Join us for the June Membership Forum Luncheon The Last Membership Forum of the 2021-2022 Forum Series
Guest Speaker Jim Bernau
Founder/CEO of Willamette Valley Vineyards Topic "Celebrating Oregon"
Wine Tasting will be Available before the Forum beginsBio Willamette Valley Vineyards was established in 1983 when Founder Jim Bernau planted an overgrown pioneer plum orchard in the Salem Hills with Pinot Noir, watering his vines with a garden hose. While the vines were growing, Jim concentrated on helping Oregon Winegrowers by passing legislation on making wineries a permitted use on farmland, the direct shipment of wine, wine tastings in stores and restaurants, and later the establishment of the Oregon Wine Board. Jim's personal gift to Oregon State University established the first professorship for fermentation science in the nation.
Jim believes among the healthiest forms of business organizations are those owned by the community. He conducted the first "crowdfunding" in the nation to build his winery by obtaining permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1988, resulting in a growing fabric of laws allowing community-based funding for small businesses. Willamette Valley Vineyards has grown to more than 24,000 wine enthusiast shareholders and is listed on the NASDAQ under the symbol WVVI.
Willamette Valley Vineyards and Jim Bernau have been recognized for environmentally responsible winegrowing by LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) as well as receiving the Sustainable Standard-Setter award for their use of FSC-certified cork. In 2014, Jim was honored with the Los Heroes de Salud! award for his contributions in providing healthcare to Oregon’s vineyard workers, and in 2021 Jim received both the Portland Business Journal Executive of the Year award and the Oregon Wine Press Person of the Year award. These accomplishments have led to Willamette Valley Vineyards being listed among the top 100 Wines in the World by Wine Spectator Magazine, named "One of America's Great Pinot Noir Producers" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and "Winery of the Year" by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Date and Time
Wednesday Jun 29, 2022 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM PDT
Linn County Expo Center
At the door not available - must pre-register