The Rise of Willamette Valley Chardonnay

  • Date

    April 9–11, 2023 (Must be able to arrive in Oregon on April 9th and depart April 12th)

  • Deadline

    February 1, 2023, 11:00 PM (Pacific)

  • Location

    Willamette Valley, OR

  • Sponsor

    Jackson Family Wines

Come explore the Willamette Valley through the lens of the region’s most exciting grape: Chardonnay.

While the Oregon wine industry was built on our reputation for world-class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay has been evolving alongside its red counterpart since the early days, beginning with the original Willamette Valley plantings. Though today Chardonnay only accounts for 8% of the Willamette Valley’s planted vines, the region’s first appearance on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the World was garnered by this white grape in 2018 and critical acclaim continues to mount.

“New releases prove there’s more to the state than its Pinot Noir”, Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

“The subject of Willamette Valley chardonnays is absolutely worth pursuing.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times

“Oregon’s vintners can emulate the best of both [Old and New] worlds, while producing distinctive, place-specific wines.” Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast

Come see for yourself what all the hype is about! On this excursion, you’ll begin where it all started, paying a visit to some of the true Willamette Valley Chardonnay pioneers, including Bethel Heights Vineyard and The Eyrie Vineyard. Day one will conclude with a private dinner hosted by living legends Adelsheim Vineyard’s David Adelsheim and Jackson Family Wines’ Eugenia Keegan. On day two, you will spend time with the new kids on the block at Gran Moraine, WillaKenzie Estate and Bergström Wines, to experience the wines and stories behind Chardonnay’s recent exponential rise into the spotlight. Your sendoff will include a farewell food tour in Portland complete with donuts and craft beer tasting before a Willamette Valley Chardonnay paired dinner downtown.

Willamette Valley Chardonnay is quickly commanding attention on the national stage. Apply now for the chance to experience firsthand the juice generating all the buzz.

*US residents only. Must be currently working in the beverage industry (employment may be verified).

*Minimum 2 years’ experience as a Sommelier, or CMS-A Certified Sommelier or WSET Level 2.

*Lodging, meals, airfare, and local transport will be provided. All attendees must be able to arrive in Portland on April 9th and depart on April 12th.

Jackson Family Wines has been family-owned and family-run since they planted their first vine in 1974. While their family of winegrowers has expanded over the years, one thing that has not changed is their family culture. Wine is their passion, and from this passion comes the multigenerational vision to grow wines of distinction, do business ethically and empower the people of Jackson Family Wines.

The mission of the Willamette Valley Wineries Association is to promote, preserve and advance the prestige of Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA and its wines through the support of our members, community and environment.