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06.03.2009

Marin County Pinot Noir Tasting: June 13, Larkspur

Most of the major appellations of California tend to have their own large tastings, where members of the public have an opportunity to sample a broad range of wines from a specific area. These tastings, as I am fond of reminding you readers, are by far the best way to educate your palate and to learn both what you like and do not like, but also who you like and do not like when it comes to California wine. These tastings are the best places to discover your next favorite wine.

This particular wine tasting may be a chance to discover more than that, however. Even the most informed wine lovers may not be aware that there is an increasing amount of wine produced just north of the Golden Gate bridge, nearly 60 minutes closer than the southernmost vineyards of Napa and Sonoma.

Marin has a long history of winegrowing, stretching back into the 19th century, and while those early pioneers long ago abandoned the foggy hillsides north of the bridge for warmer regions like the Livermore Valley, there are a set of new pioneers who are teasing out some very interesting wines from the chilly hills and valleys of Marin County.

This small tasting, which benefits the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, a non-profit organization focused on helping preserve agricultural lands from development, offers a chance to sample wines from more than a dozen well known producers who are either based in Marin, or making wines with Marin county grapes.

The list of produces pouring includes:

Brookside Cellars
Corda Winery
Dutton-Goldfield Winery
Kendric Vineyards
Miller Wine Works
Moon Hill Vineyard
Orogeny Winery
Pey-Marin Vineyards
Point Reyes Vineyards
Precendent Wines
Sean Thackrey
Stubbs Vineyard
Thomas Fogarty Winery
Vergari Wines
Vision Cellars
Willowbrook Cellars

I've had a few of these wines, and coveted a few more, and this is definitely a tasting that's worth crossing the bridge, and donating fifty bucks to a good cause to attend.

Marin Winegrowers' Association Pinot Noir Tasting
Saturday, June 13th
3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Historic Escalle Winery
771 Magnolia Ave.
Larkspur, CA 94939 (map)

Tickets are $50 (which also covers valet parking for the event) and are only available for purchase online. This event regularly sells out, so if you're thinking of attending, you should purchase your tickets now.

Comments (3)

Mike Petonic wrote:
06.04.09 at 9:38 AM

Thanks for the notice and the list of Marin producers. I didn't know that there were so many, and it'll give us a nice checklist. We sometimes live in Pt Reyes, and have since become a fan of that minor appellation. In particular, Pt Reyes Vineyards. Steve and Sharon are amazing folks.

Our favorites:
* '92 Sparkling
* '97 Pinot

They may even have some older Cabs (late 70s, early 80s, from the Quail Hill Vineyard near San Rafael) in their library that I think you can buy (~$100, but not sure). We've had about 6 bottles of that era, and it holds up.

The only challenging thing about PR Vineyards is if you're from the City, or East of the hill, then there's that DUI test of curvy roads if you're driving back home. Stay the night or get an assigned driver. Lots of deer out there.

Mike Petonic wrote:
06.04.09 at 11:01 PM

*** modification on the above comment:

I meant the '97 Cab, not Pinot.

Gina R. wrote:
06.08.09 at 12:37 PM

Is this an annual event around the same time every year? I'd like to put this on my calendar. I just tried to buy tickets and will call was the only option. I guess it's already sold out!

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