Photo by Zachary Alan Photography

Queer Winemaker Remy Drabkin Elected Mayor of McMinnville, Oregon

by | Nov 14, 2022

Election comes after serving as interim mayor

McMinnville, Ore. (November 14, 2022) – Voters have elected queer winemaker and Remy Wines’ winery owner Remy Drabkin as mayor of McMinnville, Oregon. Drabkin is the first woman and the first queer-identified person to be elected to the office in McMinnville’s history. She has served as interim mayor since May 25, 2022, when she was unanimously appointed by the city council following former Mayor Scott Hill’s resignation.  

A public servant for over 12 years, Drabkin was president of McMinnville’s City Council before being appointed interim mayor. There, she chaired the city’s Affordable Housing Committee and served two terms on the city’s Planning Commission. Drabkin also served as the Council liaison to McMinnville’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee founded in 2019. She sits on the board of directors for Visit McMinnville and co-founded Wine Country Pride, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that brings Pride celebrations and visible allyship to the LGBTQ+ community in rural Oregon. Drabkin has held many other volunteer roles both in her community and at the state level, including her appointment to the Oregon Wine Board by Governor Kate Brown last year.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have been elected by the city of McMinnville to represent and steward our community into the future,” said Drabkin. “I’ve already begun some of the critical work we need to do now, like initiating conversations regarding our fiscal responsibilities and balancing them with what McMinnvillians want from their city. I’m especially looking forward to thoughtful work with the Council to keep our focus on good governance so that the city of McMinnville continues to be a guiding star amongst local governments.”
One of Oregon’s few queer winemakers, Drabkin is no stranger to breaking barriers. In 2006, she opened Remy Wines, a Willamette Valley winery focused on crafting Old World-style wines with grapes grown in the Pacific Northwest. Remy Wines is known for world-class wines and as a warm and welcoming space for all, especially underrepresented communities in rural Oregon.

While her successful bid for mayor is her most recent achievement, Drabkin is also currently overseeing the construction of a new adaptive reuse winery facility at Remy Wines, a facility built as sustainably as possible, utilizing many reused products and a breakthrough carbon-neutral concrete formula that bears her name: the Drabkin-Mead Formulation

Additionally, this year’s Wine Country Pride festivities featured the world’s first Queer Wine Fest, a celebration of queer-owned, queer-made, and queer-grown wines, hosted at Remy Wines last June. The fest returns June 25, 2023.

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