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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.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

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