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ZOOM Overview: What is the Trade Auction and Why Does it Matter?

WILLAMETTE is the leading event to showcase Willamette Valley Pinot noir while helping support the promotion of this exceptional Oregon wine region. At Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction, influencers of the wine trade get to experience what makes Oregon remarkable, exemplified in unique lots from the region’s top wineries.

We are pleased to invite you to register for the 2025 edition of Willamette: The Pinot Noir Auction to be held on May 15, 2025, featuring lots from the 2023 vintage. After gathering extensive feedback from buyers and wineries, we have elected to move the auction back to the spring in order to accommodate everyone to the best of our ability. 


The purpose of the trade auction is to put on a collaborative community event to raise the profile and prestige of Willamette Valley wines, bring influential wine buyers to the region who might not otherwise travel here, and raise critical funds for the Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

You may choose to submit a Pinot noir or Chardonnay lot from the 2023 vintage (or, new in 2025, let us know if you’re interested in putting forward a traditional method sparkling wine). Lots are 5, 10, or 20 cases for sale at the auction, plus two additional cases for samples. Wineries select their lot size.

Bidders at this auction are wine buyers in the trade who resell these wines to their customers. Participating wineries will benefit from networking with top industry influencers and are expected to engage in inviting and hosting their contacts in the trade.

This event is special because of the wineries who work together to create something amazing on behalf of the region, so the WVWA team and Auction Steering Committee plan these events with an overarching lens of collaboration and community through which we view all elements of the auction. 


We want each winery to feel proud of the lot(s) they put forward and proud to stand in the room next to their colleagues to showcase our best wines to the country’s top buyers. We invite you to participate with up to two lots from the following, representing your most creative, interesting, and completely unique wine(s):

  • Your individual Pinot noir lot, the heart of this auction and the reason our buyers keep coming back
  • An individual Chardonnay lot, if you do not make Pinot noir or decide that a Chardonnay lot is the best wine you can put forward
  • A collaborative lot, either Pinot noir or Chardonnay, to showcase the camaraderie that makes the Willamette Valley special
  • New in 2025: a traditional method sparkling wine lot

More About Collaborative Lots

We invite you to craft a collaboration that illustrates the camaraderie of the Willamette Valley. A collaborative wine would usually be made by two winemakers working together, but it could be more than two, as the spirit moves you. They could be winemakers who have something in common that highlights the collaborative spirit of the Valley, such as:

  • Purchasing fruit from the same vineyard
  • Neighboring one another, on the same hillside
  • Working together as a former intern with mentor, or with former fellow interns
  • Being personal friends or relations who ski together, golf together
  • Visiting each other’s cellars regularly, tasting together
  • Making vastly different styles of wine, mutually appreciated

All eligible lots are from WVWA member wineries, from the 2023 vintage, made with Willamette Valley Pinot noir or Chardonnay, and of course are wines that you are proud to stand behind. 

If you do not plan to participate, please let us know here.


Membership dues are approximately 25% of WVWA revenue. The Trade Auction has been the lifeblood of the marketing and operating budgets of the WVWA since the event was founded in 2016, funding:

  • Year-round proactive media relations for the Willamette Valley and hyper-focused media relations for the Auction (Clive Pursehouse and Samantha Cole-Johnson in attendance at the 2023 auction events, for example)
  • High performance website and CRM system. Our website www.willamettewines.com is currently the country’s best-performing regional wine association website.
  • Digital asset library (photography, videography)
  • Year-round digital marketing including expanded seasonal campaigns and strategic advertising
  • New Willamette Valley History of Geology Map
  • More trade-related activities (seminars, road trips, Pinot in the City) and assets (fact cards, maps)
  • Presence at consumer-facing events (Boston Wine Expo, World of Pinot Noir, Minnesota Food and Wine)
  • Lobbyist on retainer to ensure the WVWA perspective is included in industry dialogue
  • Membership support through education, communication and crisis management
  • Professional staff and contractors
  • Administrative and leadership support of the Willamette Valley Wine Foundation