California Pinot Noir lovers take note. Wine lovers with a free weekend, listen up. It's Spring, and the wine events are coming fast and furious. It seems like every week there's a new wine tasting to go to. But some are more worth paying attention to than others.
Anderson Valley is known for two things in California, and not coincidentally, it has more or less two major wine tasting events per year. The first, the International Alsace Varietals festival took place a few months ago.
The second is the annual Pinot Noir Festival. If you're a fan of Pinot Noir and you don't have plans for the weekend of May 19th, I seriously recommend it. It's definitely worth the three hour drive.
Not only is this a gorgeous time of year in the Anderson Valley, but the Pinot Noirs on offer include a few of the better ones in the state. This isn't a huge tasting, and consequently you'll find very few huge wineries there. Instead you'll find a bunch of small, dedicated growers and producers pouring their (mostly) small production wines.
The event kicks off on Friday May 17th with a day of technical sessions, followed by a BBQ at Scharffenberger Cellars.
Saturday features the grand tasting and winemaker dinners, and those who choose to stay through Sunday can wander around to the many open houses hosted by the valley's wineries.
Participating wineries at the grand tasting include: Angel Camp, Balo Vineyards, Baxter Winery, Bink, Black Kite Cellars, Breggo Cellars, Brutocao Cellars,Cakebread, Champ de Reves, Claudia Springs, Copain Wines, Couloir Wines, Drew Family Wines, Elke Vineyards, Esterlina Vineyards, Expression, Foursight Wines, Frati Horn, Fulcrum Wine, Goldeneye Winery, Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Handley Cellars, Harmonique Wines, Husch Vineyards, Knez, La Crema, Lazy Creek Vineyards, Londer Vineyards, LuLa Cellars, Macphail Family Wines, Maggy Hawk, Navarro Vineyards, Phillips Hill Estates, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Roederer Estate, Saintsbury,Scharffenberger Cellars, Stella Cadente Olive Oil, Toulouse Vineyards, Twomey Cellars, Waits Mast, William Selyem, Wind Racer, and Witching Stick, among others.
The full conference details can be found on the event web site.
16th Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
Saturday, May 18, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
9200 Highway 128
Philo, CA 95466
Tickets to the Grand Tasting are $105 and should be purchased online as they almost always sell out. The Friday technical conference tickets are $95 (yes there is wine to taste at this event), the BBQ is $50, and the winemaker dinners are $125 a pop.
If you are driving up for the event, I recommend giving yourself a bit of extra time to get there. Perhaps drive up in the morning and have some breakfast before the tasting.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Changing Love of Pinot Noir? Vinography Images: Patchwork California Wine Country Macabre The Latitudes and Longitudes of Pinot Noir Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 15th, 2015 Vinography Images: The Rockpile Do You Need to Worry About Arsenic in Your Wine? At What Price, To Kalon? Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 28, Richmond, CA Vinography Images: Happy Tree
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