Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Old world wines with a sustainable message and a queer winemaker

Say goodbye to Dry January and hello to the rest of the year drinking wine—and queer wine at that!

Remy Wines should be on your radar this year! Located in the beautiful hills of Drayton, Oregon, with a tasting room in a 1900s farmhouse, Remy Wines has plenty on offer: Tastings daily, by appointment as well as a Remy Wine Club family (or those of us who live out of state); Nebbiolo Tasting on Sunday, February 25 as part of the Last Sunday series; Spring Wine Club Pick-up Party on Sunday, March 17; and don’t forget to save the date for the 3rd Annual Queer Wine Fest on Sunday, June 30.

Remy Wines hosted the world’s first Queer Wine Fest in June 2022 and on Sunday, June 25, 2023 produced and hosted the second annual Queer Wine Fest, bringing together more than a dozen LGBTQ+ winery owners, winemakers, and winegrowers from across the West. The 2022 event was the first in the world to specifically highlight wineries with LGBTQ+ leaders. Queer Wine Fest featured 19 producers for a festival-like tasting event, with passed hors d’oeuvres, and live music from Portland-based, New Wave Pop sensation Camp Crush. 

“Queer Wine Fest is helping to establish professional networks for queer folks in the wine industry. There is now a groundswell of movements in different states that are all seeking to establish this type of community and networking opportunity,” said native Oregonian and visionary winemaker Remy Drabkin. “For consumers wanting to support LGBTQ+ and BIPOC producers, this is an opportunity to dive into the diversity of wines that we are bringing to the industry.”

Last year, Remy Wines was awarded a Native Wildflower Seed Grant from Pollinator Partnership (P2), a grant that is supporting Remy Wines in its efforts to enhance pollinator habitat and contribute to the conservation of native wildflowers. 

Queer and Sustainable Wines

Founded in 2006 by Drabkin, Remy Wines is deeply committed to sustainability and conservation practices, from the vineyard to the winery, and supporting surrounding ecosystems and communities, including the installment of native plants in the vineyard and on the surrounding property. 

Pollinator Partnership is the largest non-profit 501(c)3 organization in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The Native Wildflower Seed Grants are funded by Toyota Motor North America and are aimed at enhancing pollinator habitat projects and expanding the impact of ongoing conservation efforts. The goal of the seed grant initiative is to enhance 26,000 acres of pollinator habitat by the year 2025. 

To qualify for the wildflower seed grant program, projects must be “shovel ready” and already actively engaged in pollinator habitat enhancement activities. Remy Wines has already been cultivating native plants, tending beehives, and practicing no-till farming in the winery’s estate vineyard. Grant applicants must provide a letter of commitment to continue to manage the site as wildlife habitat and to employ ongoing best management practices for a minimum of 5 years. Projects like those at Remy Wines actively involve their local community through volunteer and educational opportunities. 

Remy Wines received a selection of seeds that are most beneficial to preserving honeybee populations. All species included in the seed mix are native at the state and provincial level, and the package has been created specifically for Remy Wines’ environs.

“Sustainability is holistic in its reach, from our built environment to human interaction with each other and the world,” says Drabkin. “Supporting native bee populations in partnership with invested, like-minded folks allows citizen scientists to work alongside researchers as we take determined and informed steps to counter climate change and extend life for humanity as we know it.” 

About Remy Wines

Founded in 2006 by native Oregonian and queer winemaker, Remy Drabkin, Remy Wines is a Willamette Valley winery rooted in service to the community. Much like its visionary founder, Remy Wines honors Old World winemaking traditions with a fresh, progressive voice and undeniable flair. Remy Wines boasts an impressive portfolio of Italian-style wines made primarily with Oregon fruit and a welcoming, unpretentious Farmhouse Tasting Room in Dayton, Oregon.

For more information, please visit

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