PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – McMinnville’s long-standing reputation as Oregon’s beloved wine country has attracted tourists for years, but the small town now has another banner to boast: its rainbow flag.
According to a recent article from Time Out, McMinnville is the second most LGBTQ-friendly small town in the U.S. – succeeding only Lexington, Kentucky for the lead spot.
“This rural town in Oregon’s Willamette Valley offers an amazing LGBTQ+ lifestyle for a lot of reasons, not least because it’s the site of the world’s first Queer Wine Fest,” the list reads.
Established in 2022, McMinnville’s Queer Wine Fest hosts a street fair, drag performances, and pride-themed pet parades to connect wine drinkers with local LGBTQ winery owners and makers from across the country. This year’s festival will be on June 25.
McMinnville’s first queer mayor Remy Drabkin is a local winery owner and winemaker who created the festival in celebration of queer wine professionals and the town’s LGBTQ visitors.
“Queer Wine Fest brings crucial representation and connection to the queer community in rural Oregon while educating all about the contributions of LGBTQ+ people in wine,” Drabkin said. “Queer Wine Fest offers a straightforward and fun way to support LGBTQ+ folks working in a predominately heteronormative industry and at a time when we need allyship more than ever.”
This year will feature 19 wineries with LGBTQ leaders, a live performance from Camp Crush, and seasonal, PNW cuisine.