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IPNC Invasion: Last-Minute Seats to Food-Focused Events

For the past 25 years, oenophiles have descended on McMinnville, Oregon for another installment of the International Pinot Noir Celebration, the tony food and wine festival that, as its name suggests, celebrates the best in international Pinot Noir. This year's wino weekend is set for July 29-31, and though tickets to the official event are sold out, the IPNC always has its share of official and unofficial pre-event events, both in neighboring wine country and within city limits. Ultimate procrastinators can still snag seats to the following food-and-wine feasts:

Where: Anne Amie Vineyards (Carlton, OR)
What: The second annual Counter Culture culinary event fetes at the Anne Amie winery, with an al fresco food festival that features a dozen Portland chefs dishing out their interpretations of international street food. Beaker & Flask, Lovely's Fifty-Fifty, Biwa, Ping, and probable Woodsman Tavern chef Jason Barwikowski are among the chef participants; their food will be paired with multiple pours from at least 10 wineries on-site.
When: Thursday, July 28
How much: $60
Contact: Tickets are still available but are expected to sell out soon; 503-864-2991

Where: R. Stuart & Co. (McMinnville, OR)
What: The fire-damaged Aviary continues its comeback tour as the dynamic trio of Sarah Pliner, Jasper Shen, and Kat Whitehead make their IPNC debut during a five-course pairing dinner at R. Stuart & Co's downtown McMinnville wine bar.
When: Thursday, July 28
How much: $125
Contact: Rebekah Bellingham; 503-472-4477

Where: Youngberg Hill Vineyards (McMinnville, OR)
What: The Pearl's Peruvian hotspot Andina celebrates both IPNC and Peruvian Independence Day during a pairing dinner at Youngberg Hill (with a "guest Burgundian" appearance by Domaine Marc Roy). The five-course menu — not including a selection of tapas — features plates like grilled quail and yams, smoked sweetbreads with red lentil bean tacu-tacu, and breaded buffalo tenderloin.
When: Thursday, July 28
How much: $150
Contact: Reservations available by calling Youngberg Hill; 503-472-2727

Where: Soter Vineyards (Carlton, OR)
What: Guests visit Soter's Mineral Springs Ranch for a cocktail reception (featuring sparkling wine and passed appetizers), then sit down as Genoa chef Daniel Mondok cooks up a four-course dinner inspired by Soter Vineyards' releases.
When: Thursday, July 28
How much: $100
Contact: Courtney Harris; 503-662-5600

Where: J.K. Carriere (Newberg, OR)
What: Gruner chef Chris Israel joins Brooks Wines and J.K. Carriere atop the latter's new winery on Parrett Mountain for a multi-course meal. Winemakers from both labels will be on-hand to act as hosts, and for IPNC attendees, a $20 shuttle service will take tipplers from McMinnville's Linfield College to the winery and back.
When: Thursday, July 28
How much: $125
Contact: Meg Murray; 503-554-0721

Where: IPNC @ Linfield College (McMinnville, OR)
What: The celebration's closing event, Passport to Pinot, features more than 35 wineries pouring during two outdoor tasting/informational sessions (guests will taste about 70 different kinds of Pinot over the course of one afternoon). And maybe more importantly, the food will be killer: 15 guest chefs, including Greg Perrault (June), Ken Forkish (Ken's Artisan), Jeremy Eckel (Bar Avignon), and David Anderson (Genoa) provide the Pinot-pairing dishes.
When: Sunday, July 31
How much: $150
Contact: Tickets available for purchase online.