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 has been growing some of Northern California’s best Pinot Noirs for years. But because it is somewhat out of the way, many fewer people visit it than Napa or Sonoma.
But if you ever needed an excuse to go, the best one you can get is the region’s annual Pinot Noir festival.
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.
This event is nicely settled in its new home at Camp Navarro, an expansive facility spread out in the redwoods near the little town of Navarro, which includes housing available for those visitors looking to make a weekend of it as well as a gorgeous setting for the event.
The festival begins with a full day of technical seminars on Friday, May 17th, followed by a BBQ at Goldeneye Winery that evening. The main event is the following day on Saturday, which features the grand tasting, and then a buffet dinner followed by live music and dancing. Alternatively you can attend the winemaker dinner, where you can have a multi-course meal paired with wines poured by a local winemaker at each table.
More than 50 wineries will be pouring their wines at the Grand Tasting. The full event details can be found on the event web site.
22nd Annual Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
2019 Grand Tasting
Saturday, May 18
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Art Barn & Bosch Meadow, Camp Navarro
901 Masonite Industrial Rd
Navarro, CA 95463 (map)
Tickets to the Grand Tasting are $130 and should be purchased online as they almost always sell out. The Friday technical conference tickets are $100 (yes there is wine to taste at this event), the BBQ is $60, and the winemaker dinners are $150 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.