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10.07.2008

Pinot on the River Festival, October 24-26, Russian River Valley

Now is a wonderful time to be wandering around wine country. The harvest is mostly complete, so there's less chance of being hit by a wine truck, and while there's still a lot going on at wineries, things have faded from the manic atmosphere that pervaded the last four weeks at most places.

All of this means that as the afternoon sun angles low, life gets pretty idyllic on the wine roads around Sonoma, and the timing is good to relax with friends and a nice glass of wine. Which is why, I suppose, around this time of year we are treated to the opportunity to attend The Pinot on The River Festival , one of the more placid wine events all year.

Now in its fifth year of providing an intimate and casual way to enjoy some of the best Pinot Noirs from Sonoma pinot.festival.logo.jpgcounty and around the state, this festival is a great way to spend a weekend or even just a Sunday afternoon.

Held at Russian River Vineyards in Forestville, the festival begins with a dinner on Thursday, October 23rd, and continues for three days of seminars, field trips, and tastings during the day, followed by wine dinners at night. It concludes on Sunday with the walk-around Grand Tasting, where for four hours you can sample a wide variety of small production Pinot Noirs and chat with the winemakers and winery owners in a relaxed setting.

If you're interested in the wines that are poured at the event, you can check out my coverage from 2006. And here's the list of wineries pouring at this year's event.

Pinot on The River Festival
Friday Oct. 24th - Sunday Oct. 26th
Russian River Vineyards
5700 Gravenstein Hwy No. (Hwy 116)
Forestville, CA 95436
(707) 887.3344

There are still tickets available for the full weekend experience ($750). Tickets to the Sunday tasting only are $69 and should be bought at this site.

The last couple of years the weather has been absolutely beautiful for the tasting, which meant walking around in shirtsleeves, but it has the potential to be chilly, so if you're going, make sure to bring something to keep you warm if the fog sets in. Dress for the event is casual, and my usual tips for public tastings apply: wear dark clothes, come with a full stomach, and spit if you really want to enjoy the tasting.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud