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2012 Pinot Days Tasting: June 14-16, San Francisco

pinot_days_logo.gifThere once was a time when the Pinot Days tasting was the new kid on the block in San Francisco. Now in it's eightth 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 you are still trying to figure out if you do, this is an event that should not be missed.

Pinot Days offers a number of events to existing and prospective lovers of the grape. This year's format is a whole week of events, with restaurant-based events throughout the week leading up to the main event of the weekend: the grand tasting, on Saturday, June 16th. That day, roughly 200 different producers from around the globe will be pouring more than 400 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.

Want Free Tickets?
I've got 4 pairs of tickets to give away to the grand tasting on the 16th. So here's what we're going to do. Pinot Noir has been called the "heartbreak grape" because of how difficult it is to turn into the wine we all love so much. Compose a poem of any kind (haiku, limerick, sonnet, doggerel, blank verse, whatever) with the theme "heartbreak grape" in mind. Post it in the comments below and include your real name and e-mail address. I'll choose my four favorites and send you and a friend to Pinot Days to mend your broken heart.

Go for it! And for anyone that doesn't win, or just doesn't want to exercise their creativity, you can get 10% off Grand Tasting and VIP tickets using the promo code: VINOGRAPHYSF12. Who loves you baby?

Pinot Days 2012 Grand Tasting
Saturday, June 16th
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Festival Pavilion - Fort Mason Center
Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123 (map)

Tickets for the grand tasting are $50 (this is one event that doesn't seem to be perennially raising its prices) 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 $30 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!

Comments (13)

John wrote:
06.04.12 at 10:43 AM

Wine should have been such a tonic
In my pursuit of harmonic
vibrations with Joan
But the pinot, she groaned
had maceration a touch too carbonic

Gina wrote:
06.04.12 at 11:14 AM

You were delicate
I tried hard not to crush you
I love your sweet scent

Cody Rasmussen wrote:
06.04.12 at 6:23 PM

Will you be accepting free-verse poems? Nonetheless, my haiku:

Boss wants me to pour
But how will I drink Pinot
Save me from heartbreak!

Lavrentii wrote:
06.04.12 at 7:35 PM

Passion Noir Pre'veiled

Love letters written in near invisible ink,
What are you trying to say?
You promise the Moon, you
Make me to swoon;
You confound me to think-
Do you want me to go
Or, to stay.

If only I knew; what to do
What gesture, what trinket to buy.
Our souls would be brightened,
Uplifted, delightened
If only you loved me
Like I love you.

Oh, Pinot
Sometimes you'll laugh, but
So, so often you'll cry.
My consternation; my torment is wondering...

Lawrence Hill

Randy wrote:
06.04.12 at 10:01 PM

Days filled with Pinot Noir and Gris.
Color my world with the love of thee.
Difficult to grow and to ferment in time.
No wonder you are known as the "Heartbreak Wine"

John wrote:
06.04.12 at 11:29 PM

DRC should have been a sensation
when pursuing romantic relations
with my lady Joan
But the pinot, she groaned
had products of flawed fermentation

John wrote:
06.04.12 at 11:41 PM

sit on my wallet
Domaine Romanee-Conti
Oops! Now I'm shorter.

Devey wrote:
06.05.12 at 6:19 AM

Oregon Pinot Seasons

Rain, gusts, hail, and clouds
My small fingers desperately grip
Giant loppers, soaked pants
Fumbling twist ties, wrestling canes
The ice cold wire a knife into my frozen finger tips
I look out over the endless gray sticks
Stabbing defiantly into the wet granite expanse
My heart breaks in this dreariness
And I wish for spring

Rain, breezes, sun, and clouds
My small fingers desperately clutch
Tractor wheels, wine boxes
Writing spray programs, pouring wine
The parade of events a blur of repetition in my mind
I look out over the expanse of people
Wandering both aimlessly and with conviction
My heart breaks with longing to be them
And I wish for summer

Rain, moon, stars, and clouds
My small fingers desperately cling
Pruning shears, power washers
Selecting shoots, tirelessly cleaning
The vines run ahead taunting me to keep up
I look out over the wild tangled masses of green
Daring me to tame them in miles of wires
My heart breaks to keep my breaking back company
And I wish for fall

Rain, wind, fog, and clouds
My small fingers desperately attack
Forklift levers, harvest buckets
Swatting wasps, measuring additions
I look out over the sudden bins of heartbreak grapes
Mocking my determined efforts while the press whirs
My heart breaks from sleep deprivation
And I wish for a beer

06.05.12 at 8:38 AM

Night fall breaks its peak
we open the cabinets for a peak
bespeaking for the one we seek
a Pinot of noir
so to speak

nights of livid mephitis,
others of pristine gold
clay, oak and wood
and any other degrees,
of foul or wool

a word of love
of both disgust and awe
both must flourish,
if one love be nourished

a heartbreak
only a word,
for a hope's vitiation

for those in the know,
an endeavor

Marian Pefley wrote:
06.05.12 at 3:32 PM

One fine night on a recent Fili-Pinot event
A notable Pinot man named Fred Scherrer declared a statement
He said, “I think Pinot suites me well…”
And without much pause or time to dwell
He proclaimed this famous line without ambiguity
“…because it doesn’t tolerate stupidity!”

Victoria Amato wrote:
06.07.12 at 10:59 PM

Pinot Noir,
You're killing me…

I'm trying to win tickets….
But there's a problem, you see…..

I'm supposed to think of you as the "heartbreak grape…"
Something that makes me sad and blue…

But delicate, purple happiness is all I feel
Anytime I think of you….

Kevin Cronin wrote:
06.11.12 at 9:31 AM

From Santa Barbara, to Burgundy,
You're my favorite, it's easy to see,
How you bring much, happiness to thee,
At the same time, heartbreak for many.

Thinking of those who work on the vine.
I savor and I swirl and I sip, oh so fine.
I give thanks to all the producers en mass,
For I know the pains to have filled my glass.

Autumn Smith wrote:
06.12.12 at 9:08 PM

H - Harvest to heartbreak, the name of the game
E - Every year a new vintage, no one is the same
A - A labor of love, though no love is lost
R - Red juice flowing, fills all our thoughts
T - Time to revel in the Petaluma Gap
B - Burgundy to Paso, you’re all over the map
R - Rhone and Bordeaux darken with envy
E - Each so jealous, your taste is heavenly
A - A good year we wish for, with all of our might
K - Kind be the wine Gods who bless our good fight

G - Grapes that we tend to day after day
R - Rain and phylloxera, please don’t take them away
A - And now it is time to all raise a glass…
P - Pinot Days are upon us, finally, at last!
E - Enjoy! Salud! And Cheers! – This will be the best of years!

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