By Karl Klooster • Staff Writer • 

Rosés aren't red

Marketing Director Jennifer Kilfoil and winemaker Derek Einberger have taken an appreciation for pink to a new level at Patton Valley Vineyard.

Both of them like rosé in a big way. And they couldn’t help but notice public interest in the long-neglected category was growing.

They agreed that something had to be done to provide some new momentum. So they put their heads together and came up with the Drink Pink Festival — the first of its kind in Oregon.

Kilfoil hit the phones. It wasn’t long before she had a list of 24 rosé producers up for participating in this brand new showcase.

“We wondered, would people come to a wine festival if wineries were each just pouring one wine?” she said.

The answer was a resounding yes. Delicious rosés, great food, live music and a warm day made for an incredible inaugural event last year.

Co-founders Dave Chen and Monte Pitt must be proud of their management and operations team at Patton Valley. As owners who are often away, they rely on others to keep things running smoothly. And it’s worked for them ever since they released their first wine in 1999.

When these neophytes faced enological and viticultural challenges in the early years, industry friends and acquaintances stepped up to help them out. They feel particularly indebted to Joe and Pat Campbell, founders of Elk Cove Vineyards, and their son, Adam, the winery’s general manager.

Following the pioneering example of its Elk Cove neighbor, Patton Valley has relied on sustainable, low-input practices from the outset.

With the first edition of Drink Pink successfully behind them, Kilfoil is eagerly looking forward to the second, scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at the Gaston vineyard. “This year we’ve added more wines, a wider variety of food and an additional band, so we couldn’t be more excited,” she said.

Two dozen wineries worked well last year, so they decided to stick with that number. Most will be pouring pinot noir rosé, but a few may also offer other varieties.

Participating are: Alexana, Anam Cara, Anne Amie, Apolloni, Bergström, Big Table Farm, Biggio Hamina, Brooks, Bryn Mawr, Division Winemaking, Domaine Serene, Elk Cove, Illahe, Merriman, Montinore, Omero, Patton Valley, Penner-Ash, Sokol Blosser, Soter, Stoller, Trisaetum, Van Duzer and Winderlea.

Multiple winery events are most often sponsored by AVA associations or the Oregon Wine Board, but the Patton Valley folks are handling this one all on their own.

For catering services, they contracted last year with Crown Paella and Coquine. The reaction from event-goers was so positive, they decided to go with the same pair this year.

Crown Paella is operated by the husband and wife team of Scott and Emily Ketterman. They focus on traditional Spanish cooking, specializing in giant paellas and tapas.

Coquine was founded by chef Katy Millard and partner Ksandek Podbielski, who hope to one day open their own brick and mortar restaurant. Millard prepares delicious, thoughtful, seasonal fare fashioned from locally sourced ingredients.

The layout at Patton Valley affords plenty of room to set up adjacent to the vineyard, combining outdoor ambience with indoor comfort and cover.

In one area, guests will be treated to musical entertainment byFrench singer Eric John Kaiser. Accompanied by an accordionist, he will perform bistro-style French classics and originals.

In another, the six members of The Pat O’Neil Jazz Band will perform big band and Dixieland-style classics.

Kilfoil said, “The crew here at Patton Valley consists of huge rosé fans who feel this often underappreciated wine deserves a festival all its own. This is the only Oregon festival dedicated exclusively to rosé, and it’s bound to be memorable.”

Karl Klooster can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 503-687-1227.


  • What: Second Annual Drink Pink Festival
  • Who: Two-dozen Willamette Valley wineries, all pouring rosé
  • When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13.
  • Where: Patton Valley Vineyards, 9449 S.W. Old Highway 47 in Gaston
  • Why: An opportunity to taste some of the Willamette Valley’s best rosés, all in one place, while simultaneously enjoying live music and delicious food
  • How: Tickets may be obtained for $48 by contacting Patton Valley Vineyard at 503-985-3445 or
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