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2011 Pinot on the River Tasting: October 23, Healdsburg, CA

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 just as soon as things dry out from this major dump we just had. Either way, it's the time of year that wine country really pinot.festival.logo.jpgbecomes 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 .

Now in its eighth 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 Sunday afternoon.

Originally a multi-day event replete with tours and winemaker dinners, the event has been scaled back this year to be simply a walk-around tasting of wine in the beautiful plaza square in Healdsburg, at the heart of the Russian River Valley. While it no longer involves a lot of bells and whistles, the event is still an opportunity to taste a lot of really great wine for not that much money, so I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Pinot Noir, or who is interested in learning whether or not they do.

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 2011
Sunday, October 23rd
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Healdsburg Plaza in Downtown
Healdsburg, CA 95448

Tickets will run you $75 for the tasting, and if you pay $85 you get early access, $150 gets you VIP seating (instead of walking around) plus access to tasting seminars by winemakers. Buy tickets online here.

Who knows what the weather will be like for this event. It could be in the seventies and sunny, or it could be downright chilly, and even wet, 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.

Comments (4)

Eric wrote:
10.08.11 at 10:40 AM

Thanks Alder, here is some info on the special Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries Presentations:

Santa Cruz, Calif., October 6, 2011 – Santa Cruz Mountains vintners are taking Pinot on the River by storm to showcase their distinctive mountain Pinot Noirs in a regional seminar prior to the grand tasting on October 23 in Healdsburg, California.
Ten leading vintners from the Santa Cruz Mountains representing the length and breadth of this large appellation will bring a taste of their terroir to Healdsburg. The Santa Cruz Mountains regional seminar is 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. Sunday, October 23 in the VIP tent in the Healdsburg town plaza, at Pinot on the River.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for Pinot Noir lovers to immerse themselves in the distinct terroir of the Santa Cruz Mountains and to discover our mountain Pinots,” said Mary Lindsay, president of the Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains. “Those attending the seminar will better understand our somewhat complicated region and the awesome flavor profiles of our Pinot Noirs.”

see http://www.pinotfestival.com for more details.

Karl Sherwood-Coombs wrote:
10.10.11 at 8:47 AM

Thank you M. L. for bringing Santa Cruz Mt Pinot to this great event...it will surely be mind opening.

Mary Lindsay wrote:
10.20.11 at 1:37 PM

Don't expect anything less from the Santa Cruz Mountains! Hope to see everyone at our regional tasting and seminar Sunday morning. Get your VIP ticket to attend.

Mary Lindsay wrote:
10.20.11 at 1:41 PM

Santa Cruz Mountains wineries presenting and tasting our Pinots at the regional seminar Sunday morning are:
- Alfaro
- Big Basin
- Beauregard
- Burrell School
- Mount Eden
- Muns Vineyard
- Rhys
- Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard (with a 2001 Pinot just released this year)
- Thomas Fogarty
- Vine Hill
- Windy Oaks

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