WVV Wine Center Open in McMinnville!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend...or between 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM, seven days per week, at any point in the future?  We're pleased to share with you the latest development of one of our very favorite wineries, Willamette Valley Vineyards:  The Willamette Valley Wine Center in McMinnville, Oregon.  Before we get into the port and truffles of the post, I'l get the logistics out of the way now.  The grand opening is taking place this weekend, November 21 - 22, at the center which is located at 300 NE Third Street in McMinnville.

The center, developed by the dynamic center director Meg Murray under the leadership of winery founder Jim Bernau, intends to serve as an informational hub for the Willamette Valley wine community.  “We look forward to spreading the gospel of Oregon Pinot Noir through collaboration with our fellow winemakers,” said Bernau. “Our industry has a long history of collaborative and innovative efforts as well as a strong commitment to sustainable practices that have been put in place to assure a tasty tomorrow.”  Featuring concierge staff members focusing on the industry in general, the center's strong focus on sustainability and education seeks to increase tourism to McMinnville and the region.

On Thursday, Rick and I had the opportunity to visit the center prior to opening as part of the trade opening party.  From the minute we walked through the door, we were struck by an energy that I haven't felt at a wine event in a while.   The room was filled with industry folks networking, catching up, and most importantly focusing on some great WVV wine and checking out the new digs.  A revitalized space in a historic building, as you walk through the front doors you are embraced by a 360-degree  u-shaped tasting bar in the center, with a dynamic photo screen on the left wall and an educational feature of regional AVA's and soil characteristics to the right.  As we made our way to the back of the room, we found a back bar set up to handle overflow tasting, or a more private, intimate experience....and Rick discovered the wonders of a digital trash can as he utilized the facilities.  The center boasts a gorgeous sustainable cork floor and a design that maximizes flow throughout the space. Still thinking about the digital trashcan?  So are we:

The trade opening featured 10 Willamette Valley Vineyards wine offerings, paired with noshery from local restaurants including The Joel Palmer House, The Dundee Bistro, and Farm to Fork.  Our favorite wine from the evening was the 2007 Signature Cuvee, and food wise we dug the Rib Slayer Oregon Lamb Meatballs.  The place was packed, according to Meg they were expecting 450 industry folks that evening.  As a result, we decided to make the utilitarian decision to do the tasting in reverse order - starting with the Quinta Reserve Pinot Noir Port Style wine.  This decision was quickly affirmed by Jim Bernau, who commented that the port "certainly has a lot of alcohol" while being delicious.

On a normal day, the wine center will offer three tastings:  a complimentary WVV tasting, a reserve WVV tasting, and a comparative tasting featuring other vineyards and wineries from the region.  We're struck by the confidence WVV has in offering other producers wares in their center.

So...where does that leave us?  We had a wonderful experience Thursday night and trust you will too.  I know it's Saturday (or some point in the future), but get off your duff and head to McMinnville.  Meg and her staff will take good care of you and you won't be disappointed!


Rick said...

I think my favorite part about this article (aside from the content) is that our very first original video is one of a trash can. We keep it classy!

Christine Collier said...

HAHAHA. The trash can amused me as well. I gave props to Meg on the neato purchase.

Awesome post. Glad you liked it :)

Josh Gana said...

As an editorial clarification...we realize that from the video it appears like you have to press the button the trash can for it to open or close. Upon reading this post, Meg quickly corrected us by noting that it has a motion sensor for your hands. Rick just didn't wait long enough =)

noble pig said...

Can't wait to get over there...it's just down the street from me.

Christine Collier said...

WOW! I thought you had to push the button too. I think I am going to add that garbage can to my Christmas Wish List! Hahaha