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Willamette Valley Vineyards introduces "Bio-Cask" featured at El Gaucho in Portland, Oregon

(post, Willamette Valley Vineyards)

PORTLAND, Ore.— El Gaucho is raising a glass to an exciting development that is poised to revolutionize the wine industry.

Willamette Valley Vineyards has launched “Bio-Cask,” and El Gaucho Portland is the first restaurant anywhere to feature the winery’s new wine-casking technology. A stainless steel cask that contains the equivalent of 26 (750 ml.) bottles, the wine-preserving Bio-Cask is designed to connect with a restaurant’s tap system to provide high-quality wines by the glass to the customer at an approachable price. The technology keeps each successive glass as fresh as the first.

 Bio-Cask benefits the guest, the restaurant, the winery and the planet:
• Increases quality and consistency of the wine
• Is a simple system that utilizes existing tap technology and widely    
  available gasses
• Is waste-free
• Is ecologically friendly

Says Chad Mackay, president and CEO of Mackay Restaurants, “This is an exciting development, because it drives down the cost of wine for everybody involved by eliminated the extra materials. We’re introducing Willamette Valley Vineyards Bio-Cask in El Gaucho Portland, but we have plans to expand the technology into our other locations.”

Oregon is a famously “green” state, and Willamette Valley Vineyards is a participant in the Oregon winery Carbon Neutral Challenge. President Jim Bernau came up with the concept of the Bio-Cask during the winery’s early efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, in 2009.

Over its estimated 10-year lifespan, each slim, sleek Bio-Cask will replace 327 cases of traditionally packaged wine, thereby eliminating the need for: 3,924 glass bottles, corks and metal cork caps; 7,848 labels and adhesive; cardboard boxes; wooden pallets; and the plastic wrap to secure packed boxes for transport. Not only does the Bio-Cask virtually eliminate materials that would otherwise end up in landfills or require recycling, but the reduced per-unit weight translates to a markedly smaller carbon transportation footprint, the single most significant impact on the environment for the wine industry as a whole.

The selections currently being served at El Gaucho Portland on Tap include:
Willamette Valley Vineyards, Bio Cask Pinot Noir 2008 (Willamette Valley), $14 per glass
Troon Vineyard, Trifecta Red 2008 (Oregon), $10 per glass

“These highly food-friendly wines are on the menu right now and are pouring beautifully. Our guests know we’d only offer them the best, and they’ve embraced both the wines and the concept. Perceptions are changing rapidly about wine packaged in non-traditional ways. What’s so terrific about Bio Cask is that it offers significant ecological benefits without sacrificing a fraction of an ounce of quality,” says El Gaucho Portland Wine Director Leann Loveland, “and who can’t drink to that?”

About El Gaucho
Open since 2000, El Gaucho® is the Northwest's steakhouse legacy focused on elegant, old-school, tableside service for people celebrating their lives. The menu highlights 28-Day Dry-Aged Certified Angus Beef® Prime steaks, cutting edge fresh seafood selections from sustainable sources, and extensive wine and malt scotch lists. El Gaucho’s swanky bar was recently featured in Continental Airlines magazine and given the “Gold Standard” by Portland Monthly magazine. Located at 319 S.W. Broadway, El Gaucho is open Monday through Thursday 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday from 5 to 11 p.m. Happy hour is available 5 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close Monday through Friday and all day Sunday. For more information, visit or call (503) 227-8794.

About Willamette Valley Vineyards
We have been producing high-quality, sustainably grown Pinot Noir and other cool-climate varieties for more than 27 years – earning the distinction as “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Our mission is to create elegant, classic Oregon wines from the Willamette Valley Appellation while serving as stewards of the land. Founder Jim Bernau believes we are rewarded with wines that taste better when made from naturally grown wine grapes. Willamette Valley Vineyards wines have been served at the White House, the James Beard House and even been served on the NBC sitcom FRIENDS! For more information, call 1-800-344-9463.