This is one of my favorite times of year in Northern California. We’ve lost the hard heat of the summer (and the heavy duty summer fog in San Francisco) but the days are warm and the light of the shortening days has a bright clarity to it that, along with the harvested vineyards, is our only real indication of fall. For the most part we have no changing colors here for fall, unless you count the grape vines, but they won’t be crimson for another month or two.
So what better to do with cooler days of bright sunshine than to stand around outside near the banks of the Russian River and drink Pinot Noir? Who knows if that was the question that prompted the creation of Pinot On The River, but it hardly matters. Longtime readers will remember my coverage of the first incarnation of this event, in which I said, and will happily still say, it is one of the best wine tasting events I have ever attended. Suffused with the mellow attitude of Sonoma county, but stocked with an incredible selection of California’s best Pinot Producers, this event is not one to be missed if you have the means and the interest in attending.
Pinot on The River consists of a whole weekend of activities, starting on Friday, October 28th with a welcome dinner at Lynmar winery in Graton (just down the road a piece from Guerneville). Saturday the 29th is filled with a series of three Pinot tastings — verticals from top producers, stylistic variations in Sonoma pinots, and then a special tasting of wines from outside the Russian River Valley. In the evening two separate winemaker dinners are on offer. Sunday the 30th is the grand tasting with over 60 pinot producers pouring their wines, followed by a cheese tasting in “the meadow” a nice grassy area behind the resort.
Needless to say, if you’re a fan of California Pinot Noir, this is quite the extravaganza. I’ll see you there.
2nd Annual Pinot on The River Festival
October 28th, 29th, 30th
Retreat Resort & Spa
14711 Armstrong Woods Road
Guerneville, CA 95446
The whole weekend VIP event will run $625 (does not include accommodations)
The Sunday tasting is $49
Tickets are available for sale online, and to my understanding there are still some full weekend package tickets left (They will sell out quickly, so get yours now).