YAMHILL, Ore. – Nearly every Willamette Valley winery will open its doors during Memorial Day weekend, and WillaKenzie Estate will go the extra mile again by bringing in Portland food trucks to offer patrons more than nibbles of cheese and crackers.
The weekend marks the second season of WillaKenzie’s Food Truck Weekends, and the Saturday-Sunday offerings will run through Oct. 30. Each weekend brings a different award-winning vendor onto the iconic Yamhill tasting room, winery and surrounding vineyards.
“Last season was an incredible success,” Claudia Bowers, brand ambassador for WillaKenzie Estate, said in a news release. “Our guests especially love the Food Truck Weekends as there are limited lunch options in Yamhill.”
It opens Saturday and Sunday with a trio of food trucks Phat Cart, Big Tony Brown BBQ and 3 Guys Grilling. Phat Cart, with its Asian fusion approach, is the reigning champion of 2015 Portland Food Cart Festival.
The Memorial Day weekend is a special event with a ticket price of $20, which includes a tasting flight, and while reservations are not required they are recommended to save time waiting in line.
Willakenzie Estate lines up variety of food trucks
The Food Truck Weekend series also will bring in vendors such as Ember & Vine (the young mobile barbecue operation by sommelier/blogger Mary Cressler and husband/pitmaster Sean Martin), La Arepa PDX, Renaissance Wood-Fired Pizza, Tamale Boy and Tamale House.
“Not only do our guests get to sample some of the area’s top food trucks in a beautiful location, WillaKenzie has the opportunity to showcase out-of- the-box food and wine pairing ideas,” Bowers said. “For example, would you ever think of pairing Pinot Gris with tamales? It’s delicious.”
Burgundy native Bernard Lacroute began to transform the 420-acre cattle ranch to vineyard in 1992 and produced his first wine in 1995 within one of the region’s first gravity flow wineries. In 2000, the computer genius who helped Sun Microsystems take its first major steps brought in Thibaud Mandet as winemaker.
There are more than a dozen blocks established throughout the Salmon Safe vineyard, and WillaKenzie Estate claims it not only produces more single-vineyard pinot noirs from a contiguous estate than any other winery in the world but its vineyard also includes the largest selection of Pinot Noir clones in North America.
And for those who want a little friend competition, the property also includes pétanque courts, which will be a centerpiece for their Bastille Day Celebration on July 16.