Studies lead WVV to label resveratrol

Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir sales spike in 2005

(Turner, Ore. – March 20, 2006) – Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVV) and its customers have good reason to raise their wine glass. WVV recently announced its most successful year in 2005. It’s flagship varietal – Pinot Noir – led sales with an increase of 98 percent.

WVV Founder and President Jim Bernau is an innovator and leader in a growing Oregon industry. Bernau’s winery, one of more than 300 in Oregon, is again showing its leadership by seeking and receiving federal agency approval to list the resveratrol content on its Pinot Noir labels.

For example, the WVV 2002 Pinot Noir label lists 10.96 micromolar of resveratrol. The label also notes that “Pinot Noir, a thin skinned winegrape, develops a natural defense against botrytis (mold) in our moist, cool climate – the antioxidant resveratrol.” Bernau points out Dr. Leroy Creasy of Cornell University found that all red wines were not equal in their content of this powerful antioxidant. Cornell’s study found the winegrape Pinot Noir to be uniquely high in content with 3-4 micromolar of resveratrol being the average for red wine and amounts over 10 to be extraordinary.*

“We want to give our customers not only the highest quality of wine, but also a high level of information,” Bernau said. “The increased interest in the variety Pinot Noir due to the movie comedy Sideways has created a new generation of health conscious Pinot Noir consumers who are interested in more information about this variety.”

Resveratrol is an antioxidant compound called polyphenols that has been reported to have anti-inflammatory as well as anticancer properties. It is believed to be the most important cardiovascular aid from red wine consumption first reported nationally years ago in the famous 60 Minutes television broadcast “The French Paradox”. This past summer a health study conducted by the National Institute of Public Health in Copenhagen, Denmark estimated one’s risk of stomach cancer is reduced by up to 40 percent for each glass of wine consumed per day.

A study by Researcher Alessandro Cellerino at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and his colleagues report that resveratrol, found in red grapes and wine, extended the life of a short-lived vertebrate (Nothobranchius furzeri- a small fish) and may do the same for humans. (Current Biology, Feb. 2006). Additionally, Dr. A. Elizabeth Sloan, President of Sloan Trends, Inc., said in the October 2005 issue of Nutraceuticals World that resveratrol labeling on red wine as well as other health reports became the number one driver of the global food industry in 2004.

Willamette Valley Vineyards is located off Interstate-5; about an hour south of Portland, Ore. The vineyard was founded in 1983 and is best known for its leadership in producing high quality Pinot Noir wines made from sustainably farmed vineyards. The Tasting Room hours are Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The company also runs a wine distribution department, Bacchus Fine Wines. For more information, call the winery at (800) 344-9463 or visit

*Cornell Chronicle
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