PDXposed at Indie 09

June 15, 2009 at 12:52 am (Indie Events) (, , , , , , , , , , )


KGW’s PDXposed visited the 2009 Portland Indie Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting on May 2nd.  Click here to check out the segment, which features an interview with PDXposed host Jon Olson and PIWF Founder Lisa Donoughe.



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Judging Recap

March 18, 2009 at 6:20 am (Event Details, Indie Events, judging) (, , , , , , , )

1 day.  194 wines.  10 judges.  29 tweets. 

Judging for the 2009 Indie Wine Festival was a definite success!  Volunteers arrived at the Hotel Vintage Plaza at 7 in the morning for final preparations to make sure the day would run smoothly (and it did!).  By the time judges started arriving at 9, we were running like a well-oiled machine! 

We can’t say enough about how wonderful all of our Indie judges were.  Tasting 194 wines (an Indie record!) in a single day is a daunting task, but the judges accomplished it beautifully and professionally.  It was so interesting to hear what each of the judges was looking for in the wine.  This is especially true of the differences between the winemaker and non-winemaker judges!  Each wine was tasted (and sometimes re-tasted), and in the end the judges- via blind scoring- were able to select the 40 wines that will be poured at the Festival in May.  The winning wines will be announced at the beginning of April. 

By 6:00 in the evening, after a day full of wine, we were all ready for a beer, so we headed downstairs to Pazzo and enjoyed their great happy hour deals while recapping the great day.

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make judging go so well.  With a crew this great, we can’t wait until the next Indie event!  Make sure you buy your tickets so that you can taste the winning wines and see if you agree with the judges’ decisions!

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Indie Judging Tomorrow!

March 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm (Event Details, Indie Events) (, , , )

Judging for the 2009 Festival will be taking place tomorrow, Monday, March 9.  We’ll be live-blogging and tweeting throughout the day, so be sure to stay tuned…


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New Indie Ad

March 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm (Event Details) (, , , , , , , , , )

We are excited to share our great new Indie ad with you!  It features clips from past Indies and was produced by Portland’s very own Andrew Saunderson.  Check it out below, and on the Downtown Marketing Initiative website!

Don’t forget to buy your tickets to this year’s Festival- they’re selling fast and can be purchased here.

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Four More Indie Judges Announced!

March 4, 2009 at 8:17 am (Event Details, Indie Events) (, , , , , , )

Please join us in welcoming four more judges to the Festival: Jason Lett, Rich Cushman, Randy Goodman, and Cole Danehower!

Jason LettJason Lett: Winemaker, Black Cap Wines

You can say that Jason was born to make great wine!  The son of Eyrie Vineyard founder and Oregon wine legend David Lett, Jason has made quite a name for himself in the world of fine wine.  After growing up on his family’s vineyard in Oregon, Jason spent most of his summers as a teen working and living in Burgundy.  He has also worked on vineyards in Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand.  Jason returned to Oregon after graduating with a degree in Botany from the University of New Mexico.  In 2003, he became the managing winegrower at Bishop Creek Vineyard.  Jason left Bishop Creek in 2005 to take over the vineyards and winemaking at Eyrie, the place where his wine journey began. 

In addition to his duties at Eyrie, Jason has his own solo winemaking project- Black Cap, a pinot noir that had its first vintage in 2002.  When not busy with his many winemaking and managing duties, Jason can be found spending time with his wife and daughters on their farm in McMinnville.  Click here for a recent interview with Jason on viticulture.

Rich CushmanRich Cushman: Winemaker, Viento Wines

Rich is the winemaker at Viento Wines.  A native Oregonian, he has been making wine for over 25 years!  After studying for two years in the Masters program in Enology at UC Davis, Rich traveled to Germany, where he apprenticed at the Burklin-Wolf Vineyard.  Rich’s winemaking philosophy is straightforward: to make wines that are balanced and consistently good to drink.  He strives to bring out the best in the grapes without over-processing.  Rich’s vast experience in establishing successful vineyards and winemaking have made him a very sought after wine consultant.  His extensive knowledge of Oregon vineyards and much respected opinion will be great assets to our judging panel.

Randy GoodmanRandy Goodman: Sommelier and Owner, Bar Avignon

Randy brings more than 20 years of experience to the Festival.  No stranger to professional wine tasting, he has served as a judge at San Francisco’s annual Wine Competition and the Tri-Cities Northwest Wine Competition.  He’s also no stranger to the Indie Wine Festival; this will be his fourth experience as an Indie judge!  Hailing from Northern California, Randy is an acclaimed sommelier and restaurateur.  His experience includes serving as sommelier at San Francisco’s acclaimed Carnelian Room and opening Portland’s Wildwood Restaurant and Bar (where he worked for over thirteen years).  His latest venture is Bar Avignon, an acclaimed bar/restaurant that Randy opened in Summer of 2008 with his wife, Nancy.  Randy holds a degree in Oenology from UC Davis and has completed advanced coursework for the Guild of Master Sommelier. 

 Cole DanehowerCole Danehower: Co-Publisher and Wine Editor, Northwest Palate Magazine

Cole is another highly respected member of Oregon’s wine community.  After working in executive marketing positions in Silicon Valley for nearly 20 years, Cole decided that his life needed to change, so he packed up and headed north to lush Oregon countryside.  Since arriving in Oregon, Cole has become a fixture in the northwest’s epicurean scene.  He  is the co-owner, co-publisher, and wine editor of Northwest Palate, a magazine that focuses on the wine, food, and lifestyle of the Pacific Northwest.  Cole is a James Beard Journalism award-winner and has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and The Oregonian, among others.   

In addition to his numerous other writing credits, Cole founded the Oregon Wine Report, which gives readers great information about the wines, wineries, and winemakers  of Oregon.  Cole has judged many wine competitions, and his palate and attention to a wine’s purity, balance, and character are highly regarded.  We are very excited for Cole’s return to the Festival!  For a fun and informative read, check out Cole’s blog, Inspired Imbiber 2.0.

Check back Thursday for the announcement of the final four Indie judges!

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Indie Judge #2: Katherine Cole

February 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm (Event Details) (, , , , , )

Katherine Cole


Katherine Cole brings a wealth of knowledge to the Festival.  She is the wine columnist for the FOODday section of the Oregonian newspaper and serves as a Field Editor for Southwest Airlines’ Spirit magazine.  She also writes for other publications, such as Cooking Light.


Katherine is a graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  She has studied with the International Sommelier Guild and taught journalism courses at Portland State University.  Although she has very impressive credentials, she counts the 2004 birth of her daughter as her greatest achievement.


When she’s not busy writing or exploring new wines, Katherine enjoys spending time with her family, backcountry skiing, yoga, cycling and hiking.


Katherine has always been a huge fan of the Indie Wine Festival and we’re thrilled to have her on board!


Click here to read Katherine’s column in the Oregonian!

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Fifth Anniversary Top 5!

February 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm (Event Details) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Festival Fun

In honor of Indie’s fifth anniversary we’ve made a list of the top five reasons you should check out this year’s festival!  Here they are, in reverse order:

5. The food!  Who wouldn’t want to savor delicious small plates, prepared by top local chefs, that pair beautifully with the selection of wines poured at the Festival?

4. The opportunity to be part of the first ever Producers Dinner.  Seriously, this event promises to be an unforgettable night- dinner with up and coming Indie producers at one of Portland’s best restaurants, Ten 01, hosted by award-winning sommelier Erica Landon.  Best of all, the proceeds from this fundraising event benefit the Indie Wine Foundation!  Great food, great company, and a great cause.  What more could you ask for?

3.  New location!  As you may know, this year’s event is being held at the brand new Portland Wine Project.  Where better to check out the best craft winemakers than at one of the newest and coolest urban wineries in Portland?

2. VIP Access.  By purchasing VIP tickets to this year’s Festival, you will be among the first to experience the Portland Wine Project.  And because you’ll be allowed into the event an hour before everyone else, you’ll be able to beat the crowds and have more time to interact with the producers.

1. The wine (of course)!  Where else can you experience 40 artisan wines crafted by producers that make 2500 cases or fewer?  One of the coolest things about Indie is that you actually get to meet the winemakers as they pour their wine for you to enjoy.  Bonus: don’t forget about about this year’s recession-proof Indie warehouse sale, where we’ll sell Indie alumni wine by the case for a discount of up to 20 percent.

Are you as excited as we are for Indie’s fifth anniversary??  We hope so! 

Don’t forget that tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.  See you in May!

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Indie Wine Foundation Initiatives

February 9, 2009 at 5:53 am (Indie Wine Foundation) (, , , , , , )


As many of you know, the Indie Wine Festival is the signature event of the Indie Wine Foundation-a non-profit dedicated to the sponsorship and promotion of craft winemaking in Oregon.  Promotion of craft winemaking is the Foundation’s mission, and we want your creative ideas and suggestions on what initiatives you, the craft winemaking community of Oregon, think will best serve that mission.

We want the Foundation to serve as an outlet through which we can give back to the people and places that make Oregon’s wine community so unique.  Below are some projects we think would be great for the Foundation- and we want your input!  What do you think?  What would you add/change/remove from our list?  Please leave your suggestions in the comment section of this post, or e-mail us at info@indiewinefestival.com.

Indie Wine Foundation Suggested Initiatives:

-Events other than the Indies

-Mentorship Program that would pair aspiring winemakers with those who have more experience

-Vineyard Worker Scholarship (to help those vineyard laborers who aspire to become vineyard managers/owners acheive their dreams)

-A Viticulture extension program based in Portland through one of our many regional colleges/universities

-Educational programs to educate people both inside and outside of Oregon’s craft winemaking community

-An online database (similar to craigslist) through which members of Oregon’s winemaking community can interact (get advice, find tools or supply, etc.)

Please let us know what you think!

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First 2009 Indie Judge Announced!

February 6, 2009 at 1:07 am (Event Details) (, , , , , , , )

Toby Cecchini

We’d like to give a warm Indie welcome to our first official 2009 Festival Judge, Toby Cecchini.  Toby is a writer and bartender based in New York City, and has writtenon food, wine and spirits for GQ,  Food and Wine and The New York Times.  His first book, Cosmopolitan: A Bartender’s Life, was published in 2003.  He is currently at work on his second book, a travelogue of spirits based on his travels for the New York Times’ Living and Travel magazines.

We’re so excited that Toby is able to make the trek to Portland this year, and can’t wait to see what he thinks about all our fabulous indie wines!

Keep an eye out in the coming days for more judge announcements…

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2009 Festival Tickets On Sale Now!

February 3, 2009 at 12:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Festival Tickets

Tickets to the 2009 Indie Wine Festival are now available for purchase online.  This year’s Grand Tasting will take place on Saturday, May 2nd at the Portland Wine Project.  General Admission Tickets cost $75 and grant you access to the Tasting from 2-6pm.  We are also offering special VIP Admission Tickets, which allow you to enter the Festival at 1pm, one hour earlier than General Admission Ticket holders.  VIP Admission Tickets are available for $125, and are perfect for those who prefer to browse without the crowds.

Tickets are also available for an exciting new Indie event- the first ever Producers Dinner.  This brand new event will be hosted by award-winning sommelier Erica Landon at the Pearl District’s nationally acclaimed restaurant, Ten 01.  The Producers Dinner will feature exclusive flights of Indie library wines (most of which are no longer available to the public!) and guests will be seated among Indie rising star winemakers.  Tickets are limited and cost $150 per person. You won’t want to miss this event; it will definitely be a night to remember!

Tickets to both events can be purchased through the Indie Wine Festival website.

PS:  We will begin announcing the 2009 Festival Judges in the coming days…be sure to keep an eye out!

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