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2023 Grand Seminar

Planet Pinot – Vintage 2050: Visions for the Future

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The Grand Seminar is the core educational seminar of the IPNC weekend

Featuring a wine industry luminary as your guide into the under-explored corners of Pinot Noir, the Grand Seminar is the touchstone for all IPNC Full Weekend guests.
Over the years, panels of wine experts have explored the regions of Burgundy, the Pinots of Australia, and the role of the winemaker in producing the great Pinot Noirs of the world. Each year, the Grand Seminar offers something new.

All Full Weekend guests will attend the Grand Seminar on either Friday or Saturday morning of the IPNC weekend depending on group assignment.

Next year’s theme PLANET PINOT – Vintage 2050: Visions for the Future will be led by our 2023 Master of Ceremonies duo Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, American journalists, authors, and wine critics, as well as wife and husband. Your all-inclusive weekend ticket includes intimate access to a global gathering of A-list Pinot Noir producers sharing their visions for the future of winemaking and winegrowing in each of their respected regions. Throughout this special gathering, our team of noted moderators will lead the conversation while you sip on some of the finest Pinot Noirs available from our international group of winemakers. The three-day weekend will feature over 70 top-notch international Pinot Noir producers, over 50 noted and award-winning chefs from the Pacific Northwest, a vineyard lunch and tour, and so much more.

2023 Full Weekend TICKETS
John and Dorothy
Dorothy J. Gaiter & John Brecher
The Grape Collective

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Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher conceived and wrote The Wall Street Journal’s wine column, “Tastings,” from 1998 to 2010. Dorothy and John have been tasting and studying wine since 1973. In 2020, the University of California at Davis added their papers to the Warren Winiarski Wine Writers Collection in its library, which also includes the work of Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. Dottie has had a distinguished career in journalism as a reporter, editor, columnist and editorial writer at The Miami Herald, The New York Times, and at The Journal. John was Page One Editor of The Journal, City Editor of The Miami Herald and a senior editor at Bloomberg News. They are well-known from their books and many television appearances, especially on Martha Stewart’s show, and as the creators of the annual, international “Open That Bottle Night” celebration of wine and friendship. The first bottle they shared was André Cold Duck. They have two daughters.

Ray Isle
Ray Isle
Wine & Spirits Editor | Travel + Leisure

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Ray Isle is the wine & spirits editor for Travel + Leisure and the executive wine editor for Food & Wine. He’s published dozens of stories about wine, spirits, beer, cocktails, travel, food, and pretty much everything else over the past 15 years for both brands — at least 100, probably more. Ray is a regular speaker at wine events around the country and internationally with more than two decades of experience writing about wine. He appears frequently on national media such as Today, Squawk Box, All Things Considered, The View, Splendid Table, and many others. In addition to being a four-time winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals award in narrative beverage writing, Ray has also been nominated for a James Beard Award in beverage writing three times. His book, “Real Wine”, is forthcoming from Scribner’s in 2023.

2022 Grand Seminar Panelists

Nate Klosterman from Argyle
Nate Klostermann
Winemaker | Argyle Winery

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As Oregon’s original sparkling house, founded in 1987, Argyle quickly stood out as a study in contrasts — honoring the deep traditions of wine and embracing innovation; proud to be Oregonian and pulling knowledge from winemakers around the world; cultivating camaraderie and offering mentorship to newer winemakers. When common knowledge said a winery could produce either great still wines or great sparkling, Argyle asked, “Why not both?”, answering that question with acclaimed Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and sparkling wine. Today, Argyle remains essential to Oregon by continuing to embrace the contradictions that make the winery strong. Argyle is deeply established in the Willamette Valley, yet young at heart, led by winemaker Nate Klostermann, and viticulturist Geoff Hall, who work together to explore and expand the possibilities of modern winemaking.

Claude Giraud
Claude Giraud
Proprietor | Champagne Henri Giraud

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Contemporary of Henri IV and his descendants, the Hémart family settled permanently in Aÿ at the beginning of the 17th century. Its history is rooted in Aÿ, terroir of exception, and intimately mixed with the extraordinary epic of champagne from the 18th century. Claude Giraud, 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family, today presides over the destiny of this Champagne House. Claude has returned since 1990 to history and rebuilt the first oak barrels from the Argonne Forest. The famous oaks of this historic forest have for more than ten centuries raised the great wines of Champagne. “Argonne” is today the name of the house’s iconic cuvee. Each year, Sebastien Le Golvet, the Cellar Master of the house, mobilizes his merrandiers and coopers. Together, they select the most beautiful oaks of the Argonne forest, Sebastien then leads himself the toasting. This delicate work will be the last precious touch of the grande cuvees.

Pieter Ferreira
Pieter Ferreira
Winemaker | Graham Beck

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Pieter Ferreira, winemaker at Graham Beck from the beginning of the project, shows extraordinary dedication to crafting wines of authenticity, consistency, and supreme elegance. Pieter and his team reap countless high-profile awards both in South Africa and abroad. As chairperson of the Cap Classique Producers Association (CCPA), Pieter continues to innovate and inspire in his tireless quest for the “perfect bubble”. This dedication and attention to detail has resulted in Graham Beck being internationally lauded as an ambassador for this exacting and exhilarating style of wine. Over the years he’s been asked countless times “what defines a truly outstanding Cap Classique?” His answer is as simple as this: it’s when you ask for that second bottle! A truly ‘world-class’ Cap Classique is the result of favorable vintage conditions and reflects stricter fruit selection and the utmost care in the cellar in the pursuit of even greater excellence. 

Peter Caldwell
Peter Caldwell
Vigneron | Jansz Tasmania

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Established in 1986, Jansz Tasmania specializes in crafting luxury sparkling wines from Tasmania. Louis Roederer recognized the similarities of the Tasmanian climate to that of Champagne and planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. It was his foresight which led to the production of the first Tasmanian vintage sparkling wine in 1986 using traditional methode champenoise; a tradition that has continued today. Now Australian owned by the Hill-Smith family since 1998, the vineyard was renamed Jansz Tasmania, paying homage to Abel Janszoon Tasman who first sighted the island in 1642. Proudly Tasmanian.

Michelle DeFeo
Michelle DeFeo
President | Laurent-Perrier US

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Michelle was a founding member of Laurent-Perrier US when it was established in 1998 and worked on the sales team until 2002. She rejoined the company in her current role as president in 2011, when Laurent-Perrier was ranked the 10th best-selling champagne brand in the US. A native of New Jersey, Michelle is a long-time Francophile, having studied in France’s Loire Valley where she first experienced fine wine. After a short stint in translation, Michelle began her wine career at the US importer for Veuve Clicquot, and then gained a broad range of experience working for a wine shop, a wine distributor, and two wine marketing firms. With over two decades of experience in the luxury wine and spirits industry, Michelle is considered a specialist in the category and is frequently invited to lecture on Champagne by colleges and universities. She has been published and quoted in numerous industry and national publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Michelle holds the WSET Level 3 credential and is a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier

In 1881, when Cellar Master Eugène Laurent inherited the Alphonse Pierlot Champagne House, he provided it with the essential foundations required to produce great champagnes, namely the houses and land to create a fully-fledged estate. He purchased vines in the very best terroirs of Bouzy, Tours-sur-Marne, and Ambonnay, excavated 800 meters of cellars, and set up a tasting laboratory. That is how the Domaine Laurent-Perrier (the Estate) was anchored in Tours-sur-Marne. This picturesque village is ideally situated at the crossroads of the three main wine growing areas of the Marne département: the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. It is also part of the 17 Champagne villages ranking in the prestigious ‘Grand Cru’ area.

Ernst Loosen
Ernst Loosen
Founder | Dr. Loosen

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With over 200 years of winegrowing history in Germany’s Mosel valley, the Dr. Loosen estate is among the most highly acclaimed wineries in the world. The focus is on top-quality wines, selectively harvested  from grand cru-rated vineyards with old, ungrafted vines. Following a tradition of classic fruity style wines from his mother’s side of the family (the famous Prüm family), owner Erni Loosen has also revived the historical dry style of Riesling that was made by his paternal great-grandfather. The estate now produces a stunning collection of harmonious, single-vineyard Grosses Gewächs (GG) dry wines, along with an extensive range of Prädikat wines, from lightly sweet Kabinett to dense, sticky Trockenbeerenauslese. In addition to Riesling, the estate now has a small parcel of Pinot Noir, from which a Rosé Sekt (sparkling wine) is produced.

Rollin Soles
Rollin Soles
Founder | ROCO Winery

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When Rollin Soles and Corby Stonebraker-Soles came to Oregon in the 1980s, they arrived at the leading edge of a movement. The idea of Oregon wine was actively in the making, a diverse group of entrepreneurs who wanted nothing more than to produce world-class wines in an unproven but promising winegrowing region. They built wineries, developed foundational industry organizations, and worked to establish Oregon as the premier place to make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay outside of Europe. Now more than 35 years later, ROCO showcases Oregon winemaking at its peak. Firmly rooted in the science of agriculture and fermentation, they carefully build a vision for what every bottle can be, relying on Rollin’s mastery of the techniques and methods of winemaking and Corby’s instincts as an artist to transform the raw material of beautiful fruit into the exquisite wines you take to your table.

Tony Soter of Soter Vineyards
Tony Soter
Founder | Soter Vineyards

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Native Oregonians Tony and Michelle Soter established Soter Vineyards in 1997 following Tony’s distinguished career as consulting winemaker, organic farmer, and founder of Etude in Napa, CA. Today, Tony carries on Michelle’s legacy in an uncompromised commitment to their ideals in managing Soter Vineyards and Mineral Springs Ranch, a 240-acre biodynamic farm and vineyard in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Their commitment to biodynamics means they work within a regenerative farming system focused on biodiversity, integration of plants and animals, and soil health. In addition to estate grown Pinot noir, Chardonnay and traditional method sparkling wines, they produce select bottlings under the Soter Origin Series and Planet Oregon labels. 

Rob from R Stuart
Rob Stuart
Owner, Winemaker | R. Stuart Winery

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In 2001, after years of working with other people, Rob and Maria Stuart were finally able to realize the dream of creating the winery they had always imagined. One where the quality of the wines is consistently high, but their price isn’t. Where the staff and growers are honored for the heart and soul they put into the work they do and where the customers are welcomed as friends. R. Stuart focuses our winemaking primarily on Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and their two brut sparkling wines Rosé d’Or and Bubbly, with a handful of other endeavors thrown in the mix. All their wines taste of the place they are from and are authentic, approachable, intriguing and perfectly balanced to pair with food.

Arnaud Weyrich
Arnaud Weyrich
Winemaker | Louis Roederer

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Arnaud Weyrich began his career at Roederer Estate as an intern after he graduated in 1993 from the prestigious Montpellier school, ​“Ecole Supérieure d’Oenologie” with a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology. With a strong background in both viticulture and enology, Arnaud put his education to work during his internship. This experience was the start of a great relationship with Maison Louis Roederer, as he later returned to the company and today holds the title of Winemaker and Vice President of Production. After completing his internship, Arnaud moved back to France to be with his fiancée. This move also included a position with a large retail company where he managed all quality control issues for the beverages under the company’s private label. With his passion for the wine industry and an interest in moving back to a smaller company, Arnaud happily returned to Roederer Estate in 2000. As assistant winemaker, he supervised all winemaking operations while respecting the 200-year-old traditional winemaking techniques so important to the house style of Champagne Louis Roederer. Holding a strong and diverse background in all winemaking techniques, Arnaud then moved to Reims where he was the Chief Technical Officer in charge of Development for Champagne Louis Roederer for over a year. When the opportunity arose in 2002, Arnaud moved his family back to Roederer Estate and has since managed the winery in all aspects, from the vineyard to the day-to-day business.

Champagne Louis Roederer

The cuvées of the House of Louis Roederer are the fruit of patient work with fundamental ingredients, the collaboration of experts, a quest for the perfect balance, and hardy and generous grapes, cultivated in the Champagne soil, producing a wine with a summery character and crystalline elegance. When he inherited the Champagne House in 1833, the aesthete and entrepreneur Louis Roederer took a visionary approach to enriching his vines, aiming to master every stage of the wine’s creation. He forged the wine’s unique style, character, and taste. In the mid-nineteenth century, Louis Roederer acquired some of Champagne’s grand cru vineyards—an approach that contrasted sharply with contemporary practices. While other Houses bought their grapes, Louis Roederer nurtured his vineyards, familiarized himself with the specific characteristics of each parcel, and methodically acquired the finest land. Louis Roederer’s guiding principle was that all great wine depends on the quality of the soil, a passion for tradition, and an astute vision of the future.

Roederer Estate

Founded in 1982, Roederer Estate is nestled in Mendocino County’s cool, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley. As the California outpost of Champagne Louis Roederer, Roederer Estate winery builds upon a centuries-old tradition of fine winemaking. Roederer Estate’s sparkling wines are produced using only estate-grown grapes from the winery’s own vineyards. The multi-vintage Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut debuted in 1988 to great acclaim, followed by the Roederer Estate Brut Rosé and Roederer Estate’s tête de cuvée, L’Ermitage.

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