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 seventh 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 Saturday, October 23rd, and concludes on Sunday with the walk-around Grand Tasting, where for four hours (or five, if you have a VIP ticket) 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 2010
Saturday Oct. 23rd - Sunday Oct. 24th
Rodney Strong Vineyards
11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Tickets for the dinners and seminars can be purchased on an a-la-carte basis. Tickets to the Sunday tasting are $75. Buy them online here.
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.
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