McMinnville, OR -- The beloved McMinnville Wine & Food Classic, which has grown to become one of the largest and most influential wine and food festivals in Oregon's wine country, returns for its 24th year under the expansive roof of the Evergreen Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. More than 170 exhibitors include over 70 wineries, more than a dozen food vendors, distillers, cideries, and breweries are scheduled to pour and serve their unique products to thousands of attendees from March 10-12, 2017, making the Classic one of the largest and best attended indoor wine and food events in the state.
Nicknamed SIP, the event is a dedicated fundraiser for McMinnville's St. James School that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that go directly towards programs benefiting the school's children. Organized and staffed entirely by volunteers, the Classic is one of the largest community events of the year in McMinnville and marshals the resources of one of Oregon's friendliest and most cohesive communities. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the 3-day festival, some who have returned every year since the festival began in 1993 as a small gathering at the McMinnville Armory.
"It's a great festival," said Rich Washburn, Vice-President of Eola Hills Wine Cellars, a long-time Classic exhibitor. "We get a lot of wine-savvy customers who come not only from across the state but from across the country. It's a great way to spend a day or more."
For wine lovers, the Classic offers truly unique choices for both tasting and purchasing of wines from throughout the state of Oregon. Willamette Valley standouts like Methven Family Vineyards & Winery, Eola Hills Wine Cellars, and Willamette Valley Vineyards will be on hand to pour their exceptional Pinot Noirs, Pinot Gris, Chardonnays, and other varietals, alongside smaller, hard-to-find labels like Varnum Vintners, J.L. Kiff Vineyard, Denison Cellars, and Armonea Winery. Brands from Southern Oregon such as Troon, Hillcrest Vineyard, and Misty Oaks Vineyard bring the state's diverse bounty of wines to McMinnville for easy tasting and comparison. There are presently over 70 wineries signed up to exhibit, representing virtually all of the AVAs of Oregon. As with previous Classics, the wine buying experience is unparalleled as patrons' purchases are staged at a convenient booth for quick check-out and delivery to their cars.
Sponsor, Golden Valley Brewery, will offer selections of their craft beers, and distilleries like Vinn, Big Bottom, and McMenamin's Edgefield Distillery will pour samples of some of the craft spirits that are making Oregon a leader in custom, small-batch distilling. Food vendors, from barbecue and seafood to baked goods, seasonings and Mexican food will return to round out the food and wine experience.
After entry, patrons pay for each tasting or food item on an individual basis. For information and to order tickets online, go to www.sipclassic.org.
VIP Parking, Free Parking, and Portland and McMinnville Shuttles will be available. Check the website for details. www.sipclassic.org
ABOUT THE MCMINNVILLE WINE & FOOD CLASSIC:
- This year marks the festival's 24th consecutive year, and 10th in a row at the Evergreen Space Museum. The 3-day event is one of the longest public food and wine events in the state of Oregon. Hours are Friday, 3 to 9 p.m.; Saturday noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Ample parking is available, and there will be shuttles from McMenamin's Hotel Oregon, downtown McMinnville.
- Some of the exhibits are cleared from the floor of the Evergreen Space Museum and vendors are interspersed with exhibits like the SR-71 Blackbird, the Titan II Missile and others, making it one of the largest indoor food and wine festivals in the state. Overhead exhibits of rockets and spacecraft add to the atmosphere. Next door on the Evergreen campus is the Evergreen Aviation Museum, with its flagship artifact, the Spruce Goose airplane built by Howard Hughes.
- Over 170 exhibitors are currently signed up, including more than 70 wineries, brewers, distillers, food vendors and crafts that include painting, sculpture, decorative metal and wood-works. Patrons are able to purchase bottles and cases of their favorite wines, with an easy and efficient checkout system that streamlines the purchasing process.
- Tickets for the event are $20 general admission, $17 Seniors and designated drivers. There will be a $3 discount coupon for Friday March 10th. 3-day passes are $36. Early Bird Discounts for tickets purchased prior to 1-15-17 at $15 General Admission, $14 Senior and Designated Driver, and $32 for a 3- day pass.
- General admission is $20/person
- The festival continues to be a major fundraiser for the St. James School of McMinnville, and marshals the resources of 100s of volunteers from the community.
- Dozens of wines are entered for judging resulting in Gold, Silver, Bronze and Best-in-Show awards.
- McMinnville Wine & Food Classic Website: www.sipclassic.org
- View the "The Classic Video" on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMze30uDbM0
- Sponsors include Pacific Seafood, Davidson Benefits Planning, Les Schwab, Golden Valley Brewery, McMenamin's Hotel Oregon, Gormley Plumbing and Mechanical, First Federal, Kathleen's Hallmark Shop, Moreland Oil Co, and Albertsons -- Safeway.