It's hard to believe there was once a time that San Francisco had no major public wine tasting focused on Pinot Noir. I've only been blogging about wine for the last four and a half years, but when I started, no such festival existed. We had a Zinfandel Festival, a tasting for small family winemakers, a tasting for Rhone varietals, a cabernet tasting, and more, but not until 2005 did San Francisco get a festival dedicated to what has been called the "heartbreak grape."
Now in it's fourth year, Pinot Days has firmly established itself as one of the largest and most exciting Pinot Noir events in America. If you enjoy Pinot Noir or are still trying to figure that out, this is an event that should not be missed.
Like many such events, Pinot Days occurs over the course of a long weekend, beginning sneakily on Wednesday, June 25th with a small winemaker dinner with cult pinot producer Kosta Browne. The festival kicks off for real on the 26th with a series of winemaker dinners at various restaurants around San Francisco. The festivities continue on Saturday with educational seminars, and the weekend finishes up with the main event: the grand tasting of 180 different producers from around the globe pouring more than 300 different wines. The tasting, as in past years, is heavily focused on California producers, but increasingly draws in participants from Oregon, Washington, New Zealand, and Burgundy.
For details on the various activities as well as a list of the producers who will be pouring their wines for the grand tasting, check out the event web site.
Pinot Days Grand Tasting
Sunday June 29th
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Fort Mason Center
Tickets for the grand tasting are $65 and should be purchased in advance online, especially if you don't want to stand in a long line at the event. Tickets for winemaker dinners and other activities range from $80 for the seminars to $150 for the dinners.
Parking at Fort Mason is easier now that it is a paid lot, but for large events like this, you'd be better off parking several blocks away and walking. Or better yet, taking public transport.
Like all such large public tastings, you will enjoy yourself more and learn a lot more by following my simple guidelines: get a good night's sleep, wear dark clothes, come with a full stomach, drink lots of water, snack a little, and SPIT YOUR WINE!
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Wine and Beauty Explained San Francisco's Lost Sommeliers Finding Pirate Treasure With a Corkscrew Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 1, 2015 Vinography Images: Sonoma Spring Siduri Wines: Rewarding the Search for Flavor Vinography Unboxed: Week of February 22, 2015 Vinography Images: Frost and Fog The Glory of 2013 Napa Cabernet: Tasting Premiere Napa Valley A Dose of Claret: Visiting With 2010 Bordeaux
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune