Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival: May 20-22, Philo, CA

Exciting things are happening in Anderson Valley. Regular readers will know this thanks to my fairly comprehensive report on the region published last year. The wines, in particular the Pinot Noirs, have never been better, and this oft-overlooked wine region definitely deserves the attention of California wine lovers.

This is why I’m encouraging you to seriously consider attending the region’s annual Pinot Noir Festival, which is coming up in May. Now I normally post about events a few weeks to a month prior to when they happen, but this event is something of a special case. The combination of the event’s popularity, as well as the incredible dearth of hotel beds in the area (something like 130 total) means that things are going to get sold out very quickly.

So consider this fair warning. Book your tickets, and your lodging (unless you plan to drive up for the grand tasting only, which is quite doable) ASAP.

The event consists of a “technical conference” (i.e. seminars for those who want to learn), a preview tasting of the 2019 vintage, and a casual BBQ on Friday, May 20th. On Saturday, the grand tasting takes place, replete with a “Bubble Lounge” where you can taste sparkling wine, Champagne, and caviar (requiring a separate ticket). The grand tasting will feature the wines of more than 50 producers, some of which I guarantee will knock your socks off.

Then all day Sunday the wineries of the valley will hold open houses so you can visit your new favorites, or discover even more great wines before heading back home.

It’s a great time, in a beautiful place, with fantastic wines. I highly recommend it.

2022 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival
Grand Tasting: March 21, 2022
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Scharffenberger Cellars
8501 California Highway 128, Philo, CA 95466 (

Tickets for the Grand Tasting are priced at $150, the technical conference costs $100, and the BBQ runs $85. Purchase your tickets online in advance, as they will certainly sell out. I also recommend making a full weekend of it and finding lodging in the valley so you don’t have to drive.