Now is a wonderful, if slightly manic time to be wandering around wine country. Harvest is, for some, complete, and wines are bubbling and burbling their way through fermentations. For others, any day now they will be making mad dashes into the vineyards to get the fruit in before the first major rains. Either way, it's the time of year that wine country really becomes wine country. As the afternoon sun angles low, life gets pretty idyllic 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 and enjoyable wine events held all year.
Now in its sixth year of providing an intimate and casual way to enjoy some of the best Pinot Noirs from Sonoma county and around the state, this festival is a great way to spend a weekend or even just a Sunday afternoon.
Held at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg, the festival begins with a dinner on Friday, 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, here's the list of wineries scheduled to attend.
Pinot on The River Festival 2009
Friday Oct. 23th - Sunday Oct. 25th
Rodney Strong Vineyards
11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448
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, drink lots of water, and spit if you really want to enjoy the tasting.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
Vinography Images: Cool Climate Chardonnay Vinography and The Essence of Wine Shortlisted for the Roederer Awards 2015 West Sonoma Coast Wine Festival: July 31 - August 2, Sebastopol, CA Warm Up: How Wine Grapes Got to Australia I'll Drink to That: Alister Purbrick of Tahbilk Winery Pacific Northwest Swelters Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 12, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Ryan Mills-Knapp of Le District Restaurant Krug: A Quintessence of Champagne Vinography Images: Peck Peck Pest Control
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