Q: What are the requirements to be considered as a Featured Winery?
A: To be eligible for participation, a winery must produce at least 500 cases of Pinot noir annually (as of the current calendar year) and should have produced at least three commercially available vintages of Pinot noir.
Q: How does the selection process work?
A: From October – early December, the IPNC accepts interest forms from all wineries interested in participating in the upcoming event. Oregon wineries are required to submit samples for a blind tasting by the IPNC wine selection committee if they have not participated in the IPNC in the last three years (All other wineries are encouraged to submit wine samples, but are not required to do so). For interest forms and more information, see our winery participation page. In December and January the wine selection committee meets to taste submitted samples and select a roster of IPNC featured wineries. The selection committee consists of winemakers, restaurateurs, and retailers appointed by the Board of Directors. The wineries that “taste in” will be included in the list of wineries to be invited to participate in the event. Wineries are informed of the decision by the end of February.
Q: What qualities does the IPNC look for?
A: The IPNC endeavors to select a slate of wineries by focusing on quality, both of the individual wineries and the event as a whole, as the principal criterion. Quality will also be the dominant factor in the determination of the number and distribution of participating wineries. Secondarily, the theme and focus of the program will influence selection, number, and distribution of wineries. As far as Oregon wineries are concerned, as long as the priorities of quality, theme, and focus are satisfied, the IPNC will endeavor to select wineries that have not participated in the IPNC in two or more consecutive years.
Q: Are we required to submit wines to be considered for inclusion? (Oregon vs. California vs. Overseas)
A: All Oregon wineries must “taste in” in order to participate in the IPNC. While the IPNC does not solicit samples from wineries outside of Oregon, many domestic and international producers choose to submit samples as an additional way to be considered by the selection committee.
Q: We haven’t participated in several years. How do we get back in the loop?
A: Please submit an interest form (available and downloadable from the IPNC website: Domestic Producers and Foreign Producers). You may also wish to submit samples as an additional way to be considered by the wine selection committee.
Q: Who will know that I submitted?
A: The Executive Director and Assistant Director of the IPNC are the only two individuals who will know which wines have been submitted. The Executive Director and the Assistant Director do not participate in the tasting/selection process. All wines are tasted blindly by the wine selection committee. Only the wines that “taste in” are unveiled following the tasting.
Q: How can we be involved if we are not a participating winery?
A: If you are not a participating winery, the best way to be involved is to attend as a guest. This would provide you with opportunities throughout the weekend to interact with consumers, journalists, chefs, and fellow winemakers and industry peers.
Q: How many wineries do you select from each region? What are the criteria?
A: As a general rule, the IPNC selects up to 30 wineries from Oregon and up to 15 wineries from California. Approximately 15-20 wineries are invited from the world’s Pinot growing regions such as Burgundy, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Austria, Alsace, Champagne, Canada, and others from various parts of North America and around the globe.
Q: How many new wineries “taste in” each year?
A: There is no pre-determined number. The wine selection panel blind tastes all samples, sometimes more than once, before any decisions are made.
Q: We submitted a sample, but have not heard back from the IPNC. Why?
A: Most wineries are contacted by late February regarding participation. If you have not been contacted by early March, please feel free to call the office at 800/775-4762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: If we have participated previously (even within the last four years), can we resubmit?
A: You are always welcome to resubmit samples for consideration. Please note, wineries from the most recent event will not be selected.
Q: If we received a decline from IPNC, does that mean we are out for good?
A: Not at all. You are welcome to submit in future years!
Q: Can we submit wines multiple years in a row?
A: Of course. You are encouraged to submit your wines again.
Q: Your submission deadline has passed, may we still submit a sample?
A: There are absolutely no exceptions to the wine submission deadline, as the tasting panel meets soon after that date.
Q: The vintages you require are not available in time to meet your submission deadline. Do we have options?
A: In cases such as this, we kindly ask that you call the IPNC to explain your situation and discuss possible resolutions.
If you have questions or comments, please feel free to call the office at 800/775-4762 or email email@example.com.