Archive for the ‘Pinot Noir’ Category

Make This Weekend Special – Enjoy The Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot

This Weekend,  June 8-9th,  the Russian River Valley Winegrowers hosts “PassPort to Pinot.”

If you have been a Simple Hedonisms reader over the years,  you likely know two things:sexy pinot

(1) Pinot Noir was my 'first girl.' Russian River Valley Pinot was my epiphany varietal, 14 years  ago,  away from Napa big reds that started me rapidly on a path of other varieties, and  that the enlightenment that wine complexity can come through nuance, rather than oak and extraction.

(2) I fell in love with Russian River, so much so I moved here and bought a small farm.  These two points becoming defining moments in my life and the juxtaposition I am at now, including being a (very small) commercial vintner, specializing in Russian River.

I am excited to go taste this weekend, as warm up for next months off the charts Pinot Event: IPNC.

Passport to Pinot: Saturday & Sunday June 8-9, 2013

Join the amazing producers of the Russian River Valley at our annual Passport to Pinot weekend, where you can celebrate the allure of our Pinot Noir and escape into the rugged beauty of our valley. This world-class tasting experience will have you traveling through our vineyards and redwoods along the Russian River, discovering hidden gems – fresh, local food, hospitality like no other and exclusive experiences at participating wineries.

The Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot weekend offers ticket holders exclusive experiences throughout the weekend at participating wineries.

Pinot is the focus, but each winery will also be offering unique offerings, including:

  • Barrel tastings – get a glimpse of the 2012 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
  • Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
  • Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
  • Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and future of a specific vineyard
  • Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
  • Artist rx cialis demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
  • Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
  • Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out some of our fantastic local musicians
  • And more!

Download the Program HERE

Tickets are only $65 for the weekend, or $40 for Sunday. (Designated driver $20.) That's less than the cost of a few tasting room fees, and less expensive than Saturday night dinner.

Buy Now

Participating wineries include:

  • Ancient Oak Cellars – “Real Dirt. Real People. Real Wine.” – Ancient Oak Cellars is a small family winery owned by Ken and Melissa Moholt-Siebert. The tasting room is conveniently located right in downtown Santa Rosa. Join us for a barrel tasting of the 2011 Estate Siebert Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir paired with Bistro 29 French mushroom tartlets. Also showing 2011 RRV Chardonnay, 2010 RRV Pinot, 2010 RRV Zinfandel, and 2012 RRV Rose of Pinot. Live music both days. Artist demonstration on Sunday.
  • Balletto Vineyards & Winery – multiple barrels of Pinot  and small bites that compliment the wines. Picnic facilities.
  • Carrozzi Vineyard, Forchini Vineyard, St. Rose Winery/Nunes Vineyard, Terlato, Trione and Bucher Vineyards – six wineries, one stop! These wineries are joining together at Carrozzi Vineyard to pouring tastes of their Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. This intimate venue on a private estate will offer amazing wines with small bites and live music. A not-to-be-missed stop!
  • Christopher Creek Winery – enjoy amazing wines with passed appetizers while listening to live music. Picnic facilities.
  • Davis Family Vineyards – will showcase barrel samples of Piot Noir from 3 single vineyard designates. Zazu on the River will be open for the weekend. Guests are welcome to enjoy lunch and music in our organic garden lounge. No buses please.
  • DeLoach Vineyards – offering pizza from their wood fired oven along with barrel tasting and pre-release. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • Dutton Estate Winery – will be offering futures tastings of the 2012 Manzana Pinot Noir and the 2012 Dutton Palms Chardonnay. Picnic facilities.
  • Dutton-Goldfield Winery – Explore the current and future of Dutton-Goldfield’s most coveted Pinots! They will be pouring their current releases, previewing upcoming releases, and comparing these to barrel samples of the 2012 vintage. Enjoy the 2011 & 2012 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot and Freestone Hill Vineyard Pinot.
  • Emeritus Vineyards – Enjoy barrel tasting, special selections of Estate Pinots from Hallberg Ranch and tours of the vineyard and winery. Special tasting of the 2012 RRV Ruby Ruby Estate Pinot Saignee. Plus a preview of the 2011 Hallberg Ranch to compare with the 2010 and 2012. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • HANNA Winery – Visit HANNA Winery and enjoy some wines grown on our Russian River Valley Ranches. Come taste our signature 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot along with our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy the handcrafted, specialty balsamic vinegars and olive oils of Sonoma County’s own “Distinctive Tastes.” All of this paired with gourmet focaccia bread from Cousteaux French Bakery.
  • HKG Estate Wines – Hop Kiln Vineyards – HKG Estate Winery at Hop Kiln Vineyards will provide guests with an incredible amuse bouche consisting of fresh local salmon tartar highlighted by capers, fresh onions and a drizzle of lemon aioli, plus barrel tastings of the 2012 Twin Corners Pinot Noir and the 2012 North Bridge Pinot Noir.
  • Hartford Family Winery – We invite you to join us at Hartford Family Winery to enjoy the beauty of Pinot Noir!  Hidden in the majestic Redwoods just a mile from the Russian River, our lively event weekend offers the rare opportunity to sample wines from barrel with Winemaker Jeff Stewart – this only happens once a year!  Several single-vineyard, highly-acclaimed Pinots from our 2009 & 2010 vintages will be featured as well, with a menu to pair prepared by Preferred Sonoma Caterers.  Paintings by local artist Carole Watanabe and live music all weekend — performances by guitarist/vocalist David Luning (Saturday, 12-3 PM) and pianist/vocalist Gentry Bronson (Sunday, 12-3 PM).  Cheers!
  • Harvest Moon Estate & Winery – Wine club discounts, full tasting flight. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • Hook & Ladder Winery – Join Hook & Ladder for barrel samples of 2012 “Third Alarm” Pinot Noir, and tastings of other Russian River Valley Pinots all paired with delicious chocolates! Picnic facilities.
  • Inman Family Wines – Join us for a special library tasting of our OGV Estate Pinot Noir, plus current releases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A caricature artist will also be on-site, doing illustrations for our guests. Case discounts available. No buses, please.
  • John Tyler Wines/Bacigalupi Vineyards – Join us for a sneak peak of our new brand. We will be selling futures and barrel sampling the 2012 Bacigalupi Pinot Noir. We will also be pouring out of the library a three year vertical of Pinot Noir by John Tyler. Sample the original wine & cheese pairing  chocolates by Truffle Gateau and delicious locally produced mustards by Foxtail Farms. Vineyard tours will be hosted throughout the day. Come see what’s happening in the Russian River Valley!
  • Joseph Swan Vineyard - Joseph Swan will be offering a tasting of various clones and vineyard blocks to show that despite how beautiful the individual components can be, they each can contribute to a more complex and intriguing vineyard bottling. They will also be offering futures, including a limited edition 6 pack of Saralee’s Vineyard – 5 different clones, plus the finished blend!
  • La Crema – La Crema will be offering guests a taste from 2 potential “Nine Barrel” Pinot Noir barrels and letting them vote for their favorite! A food pairing with their Russian River Valley Pinot will be provided as well.
  • Lauterbach Cellars – several older vintages at a 40% discount. All wines (excluding library wines) will have some type of discount. Futures available as well. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • Longboard Vineyards – Visit us at the Surf Lounge to taste the 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir and from the barrel the 2012 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (futures sales at special event pricing). During the evening of 6/8, we will be hosting a four-course winemaker dinner in our barrel room for event participants. For dinner reservations contact info@longboardvineyards.com. No buses please.
  • Lost Canyon Winery – Offering event weekend discounts and futures purchases. Will showcase 2010 Morelli Lane Pinot and Saralee’s Pinot. No buses please.
  • Martinelli Winery – offering a complimentary tasting of several Russian River Valley designate Pinot Noirs. Each will be paired with a local artisan crafted cheese. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • Matrix Winery – offering futures on their 2012 Pinot Noirs, case discounts on current vintages for Passport ticket holders. There will also be discounts for Wine Club members as well as free shipping for those joining the Wine Club during Passport weekend.
  • Mueller Winery – guests will be able to taste their full lineup of Pinots. Current releases, new releases and pre-releases – all small production wines from the luscious Russian River Valley. Will also offer tastes of their Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Zinfandel. No buses please.
  • Russian Hill Estate Winery – enjoy great deals on Pinot Noir half bottles and special pricing on current release Pinots. Picnic facilities. No buses please.
  • Russian River Vineyards – Russian River Vineyards is offering taasting of 2010 Estate Pinot Noir and wood fired pizza, with live music from 1 pm to 4 pm on Saturday.
  • Siduri & Novy Family Wines – Siduri and Novy Family wines will offer special “futures” pricing on wines tasted from barrel, as well as special discount pricing on many of our current release Siduri Pinot Noirs from Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands, and Willamette Valley. We will also be pouring several of our Novy Family wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Zinfandel. Local Artisan cheese, crackers, and dried fruit will be provided.
  • Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards – Guests visiting Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards will be transported to the private Pinot barn at the back of our 400 acres which is not normally open to the public. While there, they may barrel taste both of the small lot, single vineyard Pinot Noirs that are only offered direct from the winery as well as enjoy a savory treat from Chloe’s French Bakery. No Buses please.
  • Thomas George Estates – Make Thomas George Estates your mid-day stop to cool off in our Cave!  From 11-4PM, enjoy Rose’ of Pinot, 2012 barrel samples of Starr Ridge & Cresta Ridge Pinot Noir, followed by live music (1-4 PM) and appetizers!  For Passport Participants only – receive 20% off 6 bottles or more.
  • Valdez Winery - Join famed vineyard manager Ulises Valdez and family for a sampling of the 2012 Ulises Valdez Vineyards Pinot Noir from barrel at their new downtown Healdsburg tasting room. In addition, 3 consecutive vintages of bottled Valdez Pinot Noir will be available for tasting.

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Wine Of The Week: 2011 Cartograph Pinot Noir Rosé (Sat. June 26th Release Party!)

Wine Of The Week: 2010 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch, Russian River Valley

Last Minute Gift Suggestions for Wine Lovers

A Perfect Sunday in Healdsburg: Oct 21st Pinot on The River

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A Perfect Sunday in Healdsburg: Oct 21st Pinot on The River

This Sunday, October 21st is the annual Pinot cialis online canadian pharmacy on the River. This wonderful, Pinot Noir filled day, returns again to the Square on Downtown Healdsburg.  The weather is forecasted for a balmy 72 degrees and sunny, promising to be a great day.

Sunday’s Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, with over 100 wineries plus guest Artisan Food Vendors all on the downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square,  is a Sonoma County wine weekend, and Pinot Noir experience, you won’t want to miss.

Go VIP

For the Pinot-phile seeking the ultimate day of

Pinot Noir immersion, with a VIP Ticket. VIP Guests  have the opportunity to attend the special Pre-Tasting Seminar exploring Pinot Noirs from Littorai, presented by Ted Lemon.

This seminar, beginning at 9 AM and moderated by Gregory S. Walter, editor and publisher of the PinotReport newsletter, is available to VIP ticket holders only.

Following the seminar, VIP ticket holders can enter the Grand Tasting ahead of the general public, and enjoy the VIP lounge.

Tickets for the VIP Experience are $150, regular attendee ticket is $75. Factor in the price of high quality Pinot Noir, the costs of tasting fees, the close proximity of 100 Pinot producers, and the food experience that accompanies, and $75 is a a value any wine lover will quickly realize.

If Pinot Noir is one of your favorite varietal wines, this is simply a can not skip event. VIP & Seminar spots are very limited, if you are interested, I’d suggest you buy them ASAP. Tickets: http://www.pinotfestival.com/registration.html

Simple Hedonisms will be onsite tasting & tweeting live at #POTR !

 

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IPNC Weekend and Walkabout Tasting – Burgundy Comes to You In Oregon

This will be my third year attending the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville Oregon, as media. Each July, I await this event as eagerly as I do my Rhone nirvana,

Hospice du Rhone.  In fact, with the sadly muddled announced changed to HdR this could become my #1 annual wine immersion event. Not a small statement, considering the many I attend.

While its true Rhone wines are deep in my blood, Pinot was my first girl and will always be dear to me, in the never ending journey of exploring this complex, elusive, high maintenance, highly rewarding varietal.

 

Pick Your Experience: Full Weekend or Afternoon Walkabout

 Option A: The Full Monty of Pinot Noir

You have several choices of participating in IPNC.  There is no doubt the ultimate Pinot Noir experience is the full weekend package. Two days and nights of seminars, tours, classes,  tastings, food and more.

If Friday and Saturday aren’t enough Pinot Noir for you, you can even start Thursday night.  The Anne Amie Counter Culture event is fabulous, and highly recommended, have been twice. I look forward with great anticipation this year to kicking off IPNC by dining with the Momtazi family for an extraordinary night at Maysara Winery.

It’s a minor miracle full passes are still available, two weeks out. For a Pinot lover, of any experience level, the $975 pass is a worthy investment.

The 2012 IPNC Full Weekend Ticket includes:
•  2 Grand Outdoor Tastings
•  Numerous Weekend Seminars
•  Friday Night Grand Dinner and Saturday Night Salmon Bake
•  A Vineyard Tour & Winery Lunch
•  An afternoon University of Pinot Course
•  An Array of Wine Related Activities and Small Format Tastings
•  Friday and Saturday Breakfast on the Patio
•  Sunday Sparkling Brunch Finale
•  Opportunity to Celebrate with over 70 International Pinot Noir Winemakers and 50 Northwest Chefs

If the seems pricey, consider this:  if you were going to take a wine focused vacation, or even just factored in costs of this wealth of Pinot Noir tastings, many of which you couldn’t find, especially those from France, all the food, seminars and more (the Saturday night salmon bake, which sold out a la carte, was  $150 alone. ), suddenly $975 is a reasonable food and wine vacation.

You’ll also meet winemakers from France, and taste wines, that would cost you many more thousands of dollars  to fly over and visit, IF you could get an appointment to taste. Hotels, rental cars, braving the French highway, language barriers. Or you can experience all of this in the tranquil, hospitable, Willamette Valley.

There are also many priceless factors, like the camaraderie and new friends you make, and rubbing elbows with winemakers of world renown.

 

Option B: The Perfect Sunday Afternoon

Still, if the $975 price tag, or the two day Friday and Saturday commitment is too much for you, consider the Sunday afternoon Walkabout Tasting.

The next best thing, and by no means a huge compromise if you just can’t swing the  full commitment, is the Sunday afternoon walk around tasting. You’ll still meet the winemakers, try wines you’ll never be able to try, all gathered together in a captive, gorgeous environment.

Held in the beautiful Oak Grove at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, this annual outdoor tasting showcases Pinot noirs from over 70 wineries worldwide. Guests are provided a Riedel Oregon Pinot noir glass price of viagra at the start of the afternoon and are set free to sip and sample throughout the Oak Grove.

To maximize  interaction with winemakers, the tasting is split into two sessions. Approximately 35 Featured Winemakers will pour for

each session with a break in the middle for winemaker introductions. In addition to extraordinary winemakers, top-notch Northwest chefs will prepare divine dishes to accompany an unparalleled array of international Pinot noir.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet some of the world’s finest Pinot noir winemakers at Oregon’s largest outdoor wine tasting.

Unparalled Organization

I have attended hundreds of wine events, and I have organized and hosted wine tastings, its not a walk in the park to execute flawlessly on.  With 26 years to practice, the IPNC team

has this down to an art form, that no event can match. You need only show up and enjoy, the logistics are flawless, the setting perfect, the people friendly, and the wines and service impeccable.

Put It On “The List”

If you love wine, especially Pinot Noir, this is a ‘bucket list’ event. I’d suggest you move it high up in priority on that list.

 

Cheers, hope to see you there. Follow the fun on Twitter with hashtag #IPNC !buy cheap cialis online no prescription

Do not Miss Russian River Valley Passport to Pinot June 9-10. Details AND a Ticket Contest!

While its safe to say I yet to visit

a wine region I haven’t liked, few have captured my heart and changed my life as much as Russian River Valley. Yes, I am all about the Rhones, but as I have said many times, Pinot Noir was ‘my first girl.’ My path

to moving to wine country, that changed my life, started in Russian River Valley, where I now reside with my own small vineyard. (Sorry, not Pinot Noir, Grenache.)

 

This Saturday and Sunday you have a chance to experience what put RRV on the global wine map – Pinot Noir. Riedel Flow Pinot Noir Glass, pair

The Russian River Winegrowers, of which I am a proud associate member, is holding “Passport to Pinot,” a don’t miss weekend Pinot experience.

 

What Is Passport to Pinot?

As one might guess Pinot is the center star of the show, but its more than that. Each winery will pull out the stops to showcase it with things like:
• Barrel tastings – get a

glimpse of the 2011 vintage of Pinot Noir before it’s bottled
• Futures purchases – secure your supply of the wines you love in barrel
• Library wines – discover the beauty of Pinot as it ages
• Vertical tastings – compare the past, present and futurye of a specific cheap canadian pharmacy vineyard
• Amazing food pairings – with all the delicious local foods here in Russian River Valley, wine and food are a match made in heaven
• Artist demonstrations – from painters to potters to jewelers and beyond
• Vineyard tours – get out in the vines and learn why we say great wine starts with the grapes
• Entertainment – relax with a glass of wine while checking out fantastic local musicians
• And more!

 

For a list of participating RRV wineries, and their special offer, click here.

Tickets are $65 for both days, or $40 for Sunday, and are available here. https://ssl.sonic.net/rrvw/web/passport2pinot_order_2012_cc.shtml

If you read the food, entertainment, and special purchase discount offers, $40-$65 is a steal!

 

Quick, Enter and Win a Pair of Weekend Passes – Expires in 48 hours!

One lucky couple will get a full weekend pass. In comments below simply tell us.

If you one participating winery (or pick several) do you want to visit, and why.

A winner will be randomly drawn and announced.

 

I will be wandering around wineries on Sunday, say hi if you see me – cheers!

Anderson Valley Winegrowers to Host 15th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

Anderson Valley Winegrowers to Host 15th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

March 26, 2012, Philo, Calif. – Tickets are now on sale for the 15th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, to be held May 18-20, 2012.

The

event, which is put on by The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA), will feature a grand tasting that highlights 40 producers pouring just one single variety from one appellation (Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir rosés).

 

The Pinot Noir Festival weekend kicks off on Friday, May 18 with a day-long technical conference aimed at members of the trade and avid Pinot consumers. Conference topics include wastewater management, a Boonville vs. “deep end” Pinot tasting moderated by Michael Mina Group Wine Director Rajat Parr, a Cerise Vineyard focus tasting, and more.

 

The technical conference will be followed by a casual, outdoor barbecue at Husch Vineyards, with pulled pork sandwiches and other BBQ delicacies, a live band, and plenty of Pinot Noir.

 

After a press tasting on Saturday morning, the grand tasting at Goldeneye Winery in Philo will showcase Anderson Valley Pinot with a latin beat. Pinots will be paired with classic Mexican dishes like fig mole chicken and a group of local women will be making fresh salsas and homemade tortillas during the event. There will also be live music and a silent auction to benefit the Anderson Valley Health Center and Hendy Woods State Park.

 

Participating wineries at the grand tasting include: Balo Vineyards, Baxter Winery, Black Kite Cellars, Breggo Cellars, Brutocao Cellars, Champ de Reves, Claudia Springs Winery, Copain Wines, Couloir Wines, Drew Family Wines, Elke Vineyards, Esterlina

Vineyards, Expression Wine, Foursight Wines, Frati Horn, Fulcrum Wines, Goldeneye Winery, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Harmonique Wines, Husch Vineyards, Knez Winery, where to buy viagra Lazy Creek Vineyards, Littorai, Londer Vineyards, LuLa Cellars, MacPhail Family Wines, Maggy Hawk Vineyard, Navarro Vineyards, Phillips Hill Estates, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estate, Roessler Cellars, Scharffenberger Cellars, Standish Wine Co., Toulouse Vineyards, Twomey Cellars, Waits-Mast and Zina Hyde Cunningham.

 

On Saturday evening, May 19, local wineries will host four winemaker dinners in Anderson Valley and on the Mendocino Coast. This year’s dinners include: Roederer, Goldeneye and Fulcrum at Roederer Estate; Baxter and Navarro Vineyards at The Philo Apple Farm; Scharffenberger Cellars, Phillips Hill Estate and Waits-Mast at Scharffenberger; and Esterlina, Greenwood Ridge and Champ de Reves at the MacCallum House in Mendocino.

 

The weekend will conclude on Sunday, May 20 with open houses at Anderson Valley wineries, featuring special tastings, educational talks, music and food (a list of winery open houses can be found at www.avwines.com).

 

Tickets for the 15th annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival can be purchased at www.avwines.com.

 

For additional information about the event, please visit the AVWA Web site at www.avwines.com or contact us at (707) 895-WINE or info@avwines.com.

 

About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association:

The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association operates with the goal of supporting the region’s grape growers and wineries, as well as promoting the region’s wines. In addition to acting as a resource for its members, the association aims to better its community by donating funds every year to local nonprofit organizations. To-date, more than $220,000 – raised at the association’s events – has been given to local charities. For more information about the association, or for a list of association members, please visit http://www.avwines.com/.

 

Contact:

Kristy Charles,President, AVWA, (707) 321-4024 kristy@foursightwines.com

OR

Janis MacDonald, AVWA, (707) 895-9463, janis@avwines.com

 

Related Articles

Highlights and Top Picks of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

Simple Hedonisms is Off Again! This Week it’s the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in Oregon

#PinotSmackdown Greenhouse Tasting Winners – Baxter Winery! (Grenache up next!)

Tasting Notes – 2009 Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, Estate

Wine Review – Von Holt 2009 Pinot Noir – Russian River Valley (and a special reader gift)

Wine Events in the North Coast for February 15 – 24

Wine lovers and romantics are still coming down from the chocolate-induced sugar high last weekend’s pre-Valentine’s Day festivities caused. Fortunately, events for the coming days put the emphasis back on wine.

Start off your weekend with a jaunt

to the town of Sonoma this Friday evening. The Lodge at Sonoma is hosting the VinOlivo Grand Tasting. Nearly 60 different Sonoma wineries will be pouring and 25 restaurants and caterers serving.

If you’re a fan of Alsace varietals, or just like to laugh at people trying to say “Gewurtztraminer,” then I highly recommend you head up to Boonville this Saturday for the 7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting. There you’ll find more Pinot Gris under one roof than imagine. And, if you get white wined out, you can amble down the road a bit and enjoy some lovely Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

If you have an interest in California wine history — and would like to meet it — you’ve got to go the 6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. The food and wine are always excellent and you’ll never have a better opportunity to meet the legends of the California wine industry. Here are this year’s inductees.

All events listed below are in chronological order by region. Some events require advance reservations or ticketing, so it’s best to click through for any event you’d like to attend. The headline links for each event will take you to the calendar at NorCalWine.com where you’ll find further details on that event. And event organizers sometimes change details at the last minute, so it’s always a good idea to contact the host prior to showing up at their doorstep. For events in other regions, also check the calendar or my weekly NorCal event articles.

Lake County

Saturday, February 18

Ceago Winemaker Dinner at the Tallman Hotel — Upper Lake: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Owner Jim Fetzer, winemaker Barney Fetzer and family members will be there to introduce the wines and pairings.

Mendocino County

Saturday, February 18

Int’l Alsace Varietals Festival Technical Conference — Boonville: 9:00am – 11:30am
Winemakers from around the globe discuss winemaking and grape growing specifically for Alsace varietals.

7th annual Int’l Alsace Varietals Grand Tasting — Boonville: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Meet the winemakers and taste Alsace-style white wines from around the world, including Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Muscat.

Alsace Festival Winemakers Dinner at Shaffenberger Cellars — Philo: 6:30pm
Enjoy a sumptuous dinner with the winemakers and learn more about their wines in the elegant private dining room at Sharffenberger Cellars.

 

Napa Valley

Ongoing Events

Saturday February 11 – Monday, February 20
The Ultimate Decadent Tasting at Trefethen Family Vineyards — Napa:
10:00am – 4:30pm
Enjoy special selections of Trefethen wines paired with handmade confections produced by one of Napa’s finest chocolatiers.

Friday, February 17

Cornerstone Cellars Winemaker Dinner at Bardessono — Yountville: 5:30pm – 8:30pm
Enjoy a special 5-course tasting menu drawn from Lucy’s Garden by Chef Victor Scargle, inspired by the wines of Jeff Keene.

Saturday, February 18

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Winemaker’s Dinner & Bob James Concert at Miner Family Winery — Oakville: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
An intimate concert in the caves followed by a a four-course dinner prepared by La Saison chefs Natalie & Jonathan Niksa paired with new release 2009 Miner Cabernets.

Sunday, February 19

2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Release at Nichelini Family Winery — St. Helena: 11:00am – 5:00pm
Leona Marini, 4th generation, will be on hand to offer food pairings and stories.

Monday, buy online prescription viagra February 20

6th Annual Vintners Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at CIA Greystone — St. Helena: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
A rare opportunity to mingle with noted winemakers, famous chefs, and wine-loving celebrities.

 

Sonoma County

Friday, February 17

VinOlivo Grand Tasting at The Lodge at Sonoma — Sonoma: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Sip Sonoma Valley’s best wines as you get to know the personalities behind the

wine. Sample food from more than 25 of Sonoma’s purveyors.

Music at Vino di Amore Tasting Lounge — Cloverdale: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Guitar ballads with Brian Ward

Saturday, February 18

Mardi Gras Celebration at Meadowcroft Wines — Sonoma: noon – 4:00pm
The St. Gabriel’s Celestial Brass Band, down home Louisiana cookin’, a Second Line-Parade, award winning wines and of course BEADS!

Sunday, February 19

Amphora’s Zinvitational: Zinfandel and Cioppino at Amphora — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:30pm
Current, library and barrel-sample Zinfandel plus Cioppino, sourdough and green salad.

President’s Day Celebration at Old Roma Station — Healdsburg: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Limited production wines from Bluenose, Hart’s Desire, J. Keverson, Kelley & Young, Sadler-Wells, Sapphire Hill, Skewis, Shippey and Willowbrook.

Sundays on the “Terraza” at Santa Rosa Vintners Square — Santa Rosa: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Bring a picnic. They’ll will provide the wine, bocce ball court and live music.

Thursday, February 23

J Vineyards & Winery Winemaker Dinner at John Ash & Co. — Santa Rosa: 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Join J Vineyards & Winery Assistant Winemaker, Scott Anderson, for an excellent dinner paired with five J wines.

 

Event organizers and publicists get your events published here. Post your events in the calendar at NorCalWine.com. Posting events there requires a one-time registration (easy, peasy), but is totally free of charge. And it only takes a couple of minutes. I’ll soon post a guide at NorCalWine.com with tips on how to make event posts as effective as possible.

Disclaimer: The events I’ll call attention to here are those that I’ve become aware of and which offer something beyond the standard winery tasting room experience. Neither I nor William are compensated by any of the event organizers in any way. The listings are for the benefit of the community. Event details are subject to change without notice.

This article is by Fred Swan for Simple Hedonisms. All rights reserved.

Pinot-Philes – Sunday October 23 Healdsburg Pinot on the River is a Must Not Miss Event. (New Venue!)

Pinot Noir…I may be 'married' to Rhones these days it seems, but Pinot was always my first girl and love. 

The “Full Immersion” Pinot Noir Event! 8th Annual Pinot On The River Festival Takes Over Healdsburg Plaza

This Sunday,  more than 100 small-production artisanal Pinot Noir producers will join hundreds of serious Pinot Noir fanatics at the 2011 Pinot on the River Festival, held October 23, 2011 on the Healdsburg Plaza in downtown Healdsburg in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. The eighth edition of this popular annual event focuses upon highly allocated, limited-production Pinot Noirs from up and down the West Coast.

This is a true “full-immersion” in Pinot Noir, featuring a full day of tastings from some of the West Coast’s best Pinot producers as well offerings from local artisan cheese makers and other sumptuous food.

VIP Plaza Lounge Option

Pinot on the River is again partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma which is hosting a one of a kind VIP Plaza Lounge. VIP guests will join winemakers and other special guests in this Plaza Lounge for the only on-site seating, premium tasting seminars from 6 premier wineries, fine Sonoma County fare provided by Vintage Valley Catering without long lines, and, of course, plenty of Pinot Noir! There are a limited number of VIP tickets available to ensure maximum comfort, atmosphere, and value. To purchase these VIP tickets, visit www.bgccsc.org. From a special VIP seminar on Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains all the way through Sunday's “Artisanal Pinot Noir Tasting,” it’s an event created for people who love Pinot Noir.

“We’ve brought in more than 100 of the absolute best Pinot producers on the West Coast,” said co-founder/organizer Eric Hall. “These are incredible wines, that

in many cases you simply can’t find in the marketplace. We are in a “golden age” of American Pinot Noir—it will be an extraordinary weekend for Pinot lovers.”

Seminar and Grand Tasting

Pinot On The River 2011 begins at 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 23, with a special seminar exploring Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains. This seminar, moderated by Gregory S. Walter, editor and publisher of the PinotReport newsletter, will feature 10 producers from this often undiscovered region and is available to VIP ticket holders only.

Following the seminar, VIP ticket holders can enter the Grand Tasting ahead of the general public, and enjoy the VIP longue presented by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, our partners in the event. Noon marks the beginning of the “Grand Artisanal Pinot Noir Tasting” at the north end of the Healdsburg Plaza. The event is open to public and individual tickets are available.

Event Sponsors, who support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County, include M.A. Silva Corks, Collotype Labels, Enartis-Vinquiry, Trilogy Glass, Encore Event Rentals, Dickenson Peatman, & Fogarty Attorneys at Law, Alexander Valley Cellars, C & E Capsules, North Bay Corporation, Bank of Marin, Andras & Gomez Attorneys at Law, Pack-N-Ship Direct, Sonoma County Vintner’s Co-op, and Vintage Valley Catering.

Tickets are on sale now for the event. For more information visitwww.pinotfestival.com.  Follow them on Facebook.

You can follow my tasting notes and comments on Twitter by following me here, and you can follow ALL related Pinot on The River 'tweets' by following hashtag #POTR or click here.

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#PinotSmackdown Greenhouse Tasting Winners – Baxter Winery! (Grenache up next!)

Thursday August 18th was #PinotSmackdown day, organized by Ed Thralls of Wine Tonite. As I did for Rick Bakas #Chardonnay day, I hosted a walk around tasting. Click here for Ed's overall summary and the impressions.

Unfortunately most of my 80 attendees didn't vote for #CA as most would have. (I didn't receive any OR, NZ, or French submissions.) Had they, California would have 'won' the Smackdown.

Tasting Pinot in The Greenhouse

Feedback and buzz from the #chardonnay tasting was three times the targeted table capacity so a pre-tasting was held by a panel of judges to narrow it down. I have been evangelizing walk around tastings need to evolve, so by design, this one was kept small and focused.

A few weeks prior a panel of 5 judges consisting of myself, 2 winemakers, and a wine enthusiast tasted through 30 wines bagged, labeled, and divided into regions so that we’d have representation from multiple regions. This sounds like fun, but its actually work, and time consuming way to spend a weekend evening, so many thanks for the help. It helped assure we had a great lineup of Pinot’s for the evening.

Event Logistics

The event was also a fundraiser for the YWCA, who assisted with my ABC license. Wineries paid a small table fee of wine or donation to pour. They were required to pour the wine that won, and were allowed to pour a second Pinot if desired, as long as it was currently for sale, no library wines or barrel samples.  The event is held in my greenhouse, adjacent to my new vineyard. Tables are setup – the atmosphere is cozy, and enthusiastic.

As an experiment, we had a food truck, Goodeatz, offer food. Unfortunately we fell a few hundred dollars short of goal they needed to be onsite, but those who stayed and ate (self included) raved about the food. They are not available for my planned Sept 23 #Grenache tasting, but I am looking into others.

The 80 attendees were given a 2 page spreadsheet with details on each wine, as well as a final voting sheet to pick their Top 3 choices of the evening. Armed with clipboard, glass, and spitcup, they went in to sample the 19 pinots being poured.

The night seemed an even bigger success than chardonnay day. While we didn’t have quite as many epiphany moments as we did the chardonnay bashers who came away with new perspective – attendees gushed about the quality of the vintners, not a single bad wine, and every winery member I spoke to was very pleased with the energy and enthusiasm.  Sounds like we got tight on parking later in the evening, something I will work on, as well as encourage car pooling.

Watch for #Grenache Day – Sept 23, Calling Producers

September 23rd is Grenache day, as declared by the Grenache Symposium in France. This isn’t a great date for me as I am locked down for 4 days wine judging the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. But its Grenache, my fave varietal, what I am planting, and as a Rhone Ranger board member, it’s a moral imperative.  Last year I held a smaller tasting and a HUGE party afterwards complete with fire dancers. Not in this years budget, but sitting out just doesn’t seem an option. Contact me if you have a Grenache and/or Grenache based blend, and are interested.

The Results

As the spreadsheet shows, votes were tallied and added up. A #1 got 3 points, #2 2 points, and #3 1 point. Unfortunately a few people

didn’t specify WHICH of the two wines a winery poured, so in those cases I had to

give half credit to each wine.

A bit surprisin

g. I am a personal fan of Phil Baxter’s wines, but for Baxter, to clearly win both 1st and 2nd place. Freestone Vineyard was right behind with third. 4th place was a dogfight, with Sojourn, Deux Punx

, Joseph Swan, Bjornstaad, and Londer all within 1.5 points. Literally one vote could have changed these. This reflects the high quality of the evening, and difficulty the crowd had in choosing.

Congrats to all producers. There was a much higher spread of votes across all, and with Pinots ranging from $22-to $60+. Remember this was narrowed down from 30.

The full score sheet is here on Google Documents.

Overall & Regional Winners

Top Winners Over All
#1 Baxter Winery 2007 Toulouse
#2 Baxter Winery 2007 Oppenlander
#3 Freestone Vineyards 2007 Sonoma Coast
#4 Sojourn Cellars 2009 Gaps Crown
By Region Anderson Valley
#1 Baxter Winery 2007 Toulouse
#2 Londer Vineyards 2009 Corby
#3 Krutz 2007 Anderson Valley
Sonoma Coast
#1 Freestone Vineyards 2007 Sonoma Coast
#2 Sojourn Cellars 2009 Gap's Crown
#3 Bjornstad 2008 Hellenthal Vineyard
Russian River Valley
#1 Joseph Swan 2007 Saralee's Vineyard
#2 Foppiano Vineyards 2009 Estate
#3 Inman Family 2007 Olivet Grange
Other
#1 Baxter Winery 2007 Oppenlander – Mendocino
#2 Deux Punx 2009 Humboldt County
#3 Gloria Ferrer 2007 Carneros
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Simple Hedonisms is Off Again! This Week it's the International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC) in Oregon

The flurry of July wine travel continues!  The dust of Spain media tour barely behind me, 5 days in Virginia for the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference and the company of wine writer giants like Jancis Robinson and Eric Asimov. A few days at home, I hosted my monthly wine networking mixer for 100+ Sonoma Wine-O's and now I'm off to Portland and the Willamette Valley in Oregon, for the world renowned International Pinot Noir Celebration, also known as IPNC. After a  few post IPNC days recovery athome, and off to Mendocino to judge and attend their 2011 Wine Competition and Farm to Table Dinner, Grand Tasting.

All Things Pinot

IPNC is an amazing 3 day event, and involves a healthy mix of passionate consumers from all over the country, as well as wine makers, writers, and Pinot-philes of all shapes and sizes.

Tastings, seminars, vineyard tours, dinners – it's a fun, heady, educational immersion in the world's sexiest varietal.

Thursday Pre-Events – 1975-2007 Vertical Tasting

Pre-IPNC events are occurring all over Portland and Willamette. So many in fact, that for the first time in many years I am skipping the Thursday Oregon Brewers Fest, hands down one of my favorite microbrew events in the country.

That Thursday afternoon Eyrie Vineyards is hosting an off the charts  1975-2007 South Block vertical tasting.

After that, I am headed to the Anne Amie 2nd annual Counter Culture event. This event is sold out again – not surprising after last years display of local food artisans, and great wines (not just Pinot) from all over the world.

If time permits, I'd love to drop in on Drink Northwest event at Red Ridge Farms, sponsored by NorthWest Wines to You.

Press & Speakers

The three day passes to IPNC sold out months ago. The media team was kept to a team of twelve. I am honored to attend with:

MEDIA GUESTS

  • William Allen, Simple Hedonisms
  • Alyssa Rapp, Bottlenotes
  • Tim Atkin, MS (UK)
  • Talia Baiocchi, Eater.com
  • Antoinette Bruno, StarChefs.com
  • Mary Burnham, Food & Wine (2012 Wine Guide)
  • Katherine Cole, The Oregonian & MIX Magazine
  • Christian DeBenedetti, Food & Wine
  • Allison Jones, Portland Monthly
  • Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast & Seattle Times
  • Mike Thelin, Cooking Channel
  • Alder Yarrow, Vinography

The list of speakers is incredible, with heavy hitters like Eric Asimov  of the New York Times, and Allen Meadows.

  • Joshua Wesson, J Wesson Wine & Food – Keynote Speaker, Wine & Cheese Seminar Moderator
    Eric Asimov, The New York Times – Grand Seminar Moderator
    Cole Danehower, Northwest Palate – Chef Panel Moderator
    Jordan Mackay, San Francisco Magazine – Sommelier Panel Moderator
    Allen Meadows, Burghound – Wine Ageing Seminar Moderator
    Laura Werlin, Cheese Educator & Author – Wine & Cheese Seminar Moderator

Friday – IPNC, Bright & Early

8:30 to 9:15 am – Opening Ceremonies IPNC Keynote Speaker Joshua Wesson welcomes you to the Celebration and the Featured Winemakers are introduced.

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9:15 am to 3 pm – Vineyard Tour and Winery Lunch (more info)
Travel through the vine-covered countryside to a nearby Willamette Valley winery where attendees will enjoy a guided stroll through the vineyard, learning about the distinct characteristics of the host site. Afterward, we put our sensory skills to the test in Name That Pinot, a team-oriented, blind tasting game where we join featured winemakers, top sommeliers, media guests and fellow attendees in identifying a selection of handpicked mystery Pinots. Following the blind tasting, enjoy an array of wines paired with a multi-course meal created by guest chefs.

(or)

9:30 am to 11:30 am – On-Campus Grand Seminar (more info)
Enjoy a tasting and comparison of ten Pinots with moderator Eric Asimov, wine critic for The New York Times, and five pioneer winemakers from three continents.

3:30 to 4:15 pm – Afternoon Chef Panel: Evolution of NW Farm-to-Table Cuisine
Join chef panelists and moderator Cole Danehower, Editor-in-Chief of Northwest Palate Magazine, for a two-part sessions dedicated to the past, present and future of the Northwest farm-to-table movement. Following a panel discussion, retire to the lawn where each chef will share special dishes from their kitchens

4:30 to 5:30 pm – Afternoon Sommelier Panel: Uncovering the Secrets of Sommeliers
Moderator Jordan Mackay and Sommelier Rajat Parr, co-authors of James Beard Award nominated Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals, will be joined onstage by iconic sommeliers Daniel Johnnes, Larry Stone and Kevin Zraly for an engaging discussion on the secrets of their trade and the role Pinot noir has played in their careers in wine.

3:30 to 5:30 pm

– Afternoon Activities (more info) At 3:30 pm, all guests will be reunited on campus to enjoy a selection of activities.

5:30 to 7:30 pm – Alfresco Tasting (more info) The first of two grand tastings in which 35 winemakers pour their Featured Pinots.

7:30 to 11 pm – The Grand Dinner (more info) Guests experience the result of years of collaboration and tradition as four chef duos team-up to create a Burgundian-inspired meal using NW ingredients. Celebrate 25 years of the IPNC under a star-lit sky with magnums of Pinot noir.

Saturday & Sunday

The agenda continues Saturday & Sunday, with similar events on Saturday.

Sunday is the Sparkling Finale (more info) – Raise your glass in a festive toast as you bid farewell to the 25th Anniversary IPNC and look forward to the next 25 years! Savor our sumptuous buffet brunch prepared by guest chefs and paired with fine Champagne and sparkling wine, and the Passport to Pinot.

Unfortunately, being home so little in July, and more on the horizon, I have to miss the latter two days. (Including some off site media sake and Riesling tasting invites. )

A Pocket Version  of the Three Day Weekend – The Sunday Passport to Pinot

IPNC welcomes guests to a grand outdoor tasting of international Pinot noir from 70  Featured Wineries. To maximize personal interaction with each winemaker, the event is split into two sessions. Approximately 30 Featured Winemakers will pour for each session and break in the middle for winemaker introductions. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet some of the world's finest Pinot noir winemakers at Oregon's largest outdoor pinot tasting. Top-notch Northwest chefs will prepare divine dishes to accompany an unparalleled array of international Pinot noir.

The ticket price of $150 includes a tasting of 70 wines poured for you by the winemakers, food prepared by our guest chefs and a commemorative tasting glass.

Last I inquired, a handful of these were still available for sale. Double check here, before they are sold out!

The ticket price of $150 includes a tasting of 70 wines poured for you by the winemakers, food prepared by  guest chefs and a commemorative tasting glass.

Follow the Journey Live over Facebook & Twitter

Battery life and AT&T 3G permitting, I will broadcast tasting notes and picture on my Facebook Page  and Twitter.  You can also follow the Twitter hash tag summary #IPNC2011 of tweets by clicking here.

cheers!

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Highlights and Top Picks of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

May 20-22nd was the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. It was a busy wine weekend, with overlapping events including Taste Alexander Valley. I had missed the last few years Anderson Valley Pinot Festival due to similar conflicts, and decided to prioritize the event this year. I headed first to Scharffenberger Cellars , who hosted a media tasting, then over to Goldeneye for the walk around tasting. The day prior was a series of technical seminars and tastings, I unfortunately missed, a mistake I will not repeat in 2012.

I will gush in more detail about both, but this is not to be missed event for Pinot-philes.

My Picks from the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Tasting

Kudos to Kristy Charles, President of the Anderson Valley Wine Growers Association – the morning Media tasting one was one of the best organized I have attended. I had expected a walk-around tasting, but instead it was a self pour tasting of 30 current releases.

It was very well organized – at the door I received a clipboard with a 3 page spreadsheet that listed the winery, vintage, vineyards, retail price, release date, and case production. This made note taking so much easier and efficient.  Each bottle was on the table with detailed vinification notes in front.  (And on the clipboard to take home for reference.) While I enjoy winemaker interaction and questions I really like this format. It's very productive, allows focus and your own pace.

Overall, I was highly  impressed with the tasting. Of the 30 only two were given a low score, poor impression. I am vocal that my palate and personal philosophy is focused on wines that are balanced, with good acidity and restraint. You get no points for a Pinot the color of a Bordeaux varietal, with tannins to match. If anything, I am more drawn to a wine that was left to it's own, to express that years vintage.

Pinot Noir is one of the most expressive wine varieties of terroir and vintage, and should be different each year. Anderson Valley vintners show well in this regard, and I almost feel guilty picking out favorites. (I will confess I got to the tasting late, and had to accelerate a bit through the last 1/3, so notes not as lengthy as normal. )

Some of these will be pouring at tomorrow's Taste of Mendocino event – look for them.

My Personal Top Recommendations

  • Baxter Winery 2009 Run Dog Vineyard Native yeast. 18 months neutral French oak. 10% whole cluster. 100% Pommard 5 clone. Unfined/unfiltered. Lighter red color. Earthy nose, bright red fruit, cranberry, excellent acidity, finish. 14.3% alcohol.  110 cases. $45
  • Breggo Cellars 2009 Anderson Valley Ten months in 44% new French oak. Blend of many clones. Nose of earth, spice, red fruit, Bolder and plush on the palate. 14.8% alcohol.  2183 cases. $38
  • Couloir Wines 2009 Monument Tree 30% whole cluster. Native yeast. 30% new French oak. Unfined/unfiltered. Bright nose of red fruit and spice. Strawberry, red fruit and pomegranate. Great acidity, long finish. 14.1% alcohol, 143 cases. $38
  • Elke Vineyards 2009 Donnelly Creek Vineyard 100% de-stemmed. Burgundy yeast, nati

    ve ML. Blend of five clones. Unfiltered. Burgundian nose of earth, forest floor, mushroom. Strawberry, raspberry, silky finish. 14.3% alcohol.  840 cases. $34

  • Foursight Wines 2007 All-In, Charles Vineyard Native yeast. 20% whole cluster. Blend of 777, 114, 115, Pommard 05 clones. Unfined/unfiltered. No racking, 44% neutral barrels. Gorgeous Medium red color, gorgeous nose, cherry and pomegranate, excellent acidity. 407 cases, $46
  • Harrington Wines 2009 Wiley Vineyard Partial native yeast, 10 months French oak 25% new. Blend of 90% Pommard, 10% 777 clones. Light red color, modest nose, bright cherry, great acidity. 14.1% alcohol, 261 cases, $40
  • Londer Vineyards 2009 Paraboll (Ferrington & Valley Foothills vineyards) 40% new French oak. Blend of Pommard and Roederer 23 clones. Bright red, berry and spice on the nose, red and dark fruit, good structure and acidity, pleasing finish. 14.8% alcohol, 379 cases
  • Macphail 2009 Toulouse Vineyard Partial native yeast. Native ML. 3 months lees stirring. 11 months 60% new French oak. Unfined/unfiltered. Blend of 115, 667, 777 and Wadenswil 2A clones. Light, delicate, earthy, sensuous. Lingering finish. 14.3% alcohol. 267 cases. $49

Onto The Walk Around Tasting

The day was gorgeous – sunny and modest temperature. The reception upon arrival and general disposition of the staff and attendees mirrored that – the friendly attitude was warm and genuine – a phenomenon repeated every time I visit Mendocino County it seems.

Inside was yet more Pinot Noir. Seeking a bit of a palate break, I sought out bubbles and rose' – only a few were to be had….surprising, especially for the Rose'.

A band played, people lingered and relaxed in the grass, or sat on benches nibbling on treasures from the various food stations. I was solo – no friends or partners in crime could attend, and I was due back for a BBQ by five, or else I may

have lingered all day myself. I did finally meet my Twitter friend Chenoa, who works for Zina Hyde Cunningham Winery. It's always a pleasure to finally meet virtual wine friends in person, and Chenoa was as fun and bubbly in person as she is on Twitter.

After a few hours of tasting, chatting, a few bids on the silent auction, I reluctantly tore myself away to head back to North Sonoma, vowing next year to book a place to stay early (although with my growing cadre of Mendocino friends and wineries, perhaps not needed) and stay all 3 days. On Sundays, the wineries have open houses, but alas I had a 12 hour day of vineyard prep work ahead of me, so there was no wine playtime ahead for Simple Hedonisms.

Until next year….

My affinity for this wine region continues to grow. In 2 weeks I have the honor to attend a small writers work shop with icon Paul Dolan, and then in August, have been invited to be one of the judges in the Mendocino Count wine competition. Between trips there, and coming home to my loved Sonoma county and new farm/vineyard in Russian River Valley – my life seems full, and blessed indeed.

Thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms – cheers!

Related Articles:

Monday June 13 – Another Evolution in Wine Events – The Taste of Mendocino.

Mendocino Wine Region – My Growing Love Affair & Weekend Tour; Taste of Mendocino June 13th, A Fresh Unique Format

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