These days, it's hard to imagine that there was a time when San Francisco didn't play host to an event focused on Pinot Noir, but it wasn't until 2005 that the city got an event dedicated to "the heartbreak grape."
Now in it's sixth 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.
Pinot Days offers a week of events, from winemaker dinners, to small tastings in retail stores, to seminars that focus on specific regions or specific producers. The main event of the weekend, however, is the grand tasting of 220 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 2010 Grand Tasting
Sunday June 27th
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Festival Pavilion - Fort Mason Center
Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)
Tickets for the grand tasting are $60 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 to $150. Details are available on the event web site.
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 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, and SPIT!
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