The first weekend of March seems to be the traditional kick off to the wine country spring reemergence. After all of this rain and wild weather, don’t we need a little Pinot Noir and a taste of future vintages to give us hope that spring and summer are on their way?
World of Pinot Noir returns to the elegant seaside Bacara Resort and Spa in Goleta in a two day festivity of Pinot Noir tastings, lunches, seminars and dinners. There is also a silent auction that benefits local charities and the winemaking program at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
Hands down this is the best event and most spectacular venue at which to try an amazing range of Pinot Noirs and other wines like Rosé of Pinot Noirs (rosés are the super trend of 2016-2017) and Pinot Gris. Not only do winemakers flock here from across California and Oregon but Pinot Noir producers around the country make the WOPN pilgrimage.
And Pinot Noir tasting opportunities do not stop at our borders. Meet and try Pinot Noir producers from Burgundy and other parts of France, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and all regions that produce Pinot around the world.
Tickets to the Focus Grand Tasting on Friday, March 3rd and the Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 4th are still available. The lunches and dinners featured throughout the weekend are not only spectacular (Kosta Browne, Hirsch, Anderson Valley, Edna Valley, Burgundy and more) but they are exceptionally well-priced for the quality of the wines and food, much of it prepared by Bacara’s Angel Oak Restaurant and guest chefs like Dustin Valette of Valette’s in Healdsburg.
Go quickly to www.worldofpinotnoir.com and join the celebration. WOPN is a well-oiled event and participants spend the day at one of the most stunning resorts in California enjoying an array of Pinot Noirs found nowhere else.
The same weekend farther north on The Wine Road that encompasses the wine valleys of Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River centering around the towns of Healdsburg and Sebastopol the 40th Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend kicks off the first of two weekends in March celebrating recent vintages available to taste only by barrel samples. March 3-5 and March 10-12, 2017, are the weekend dates this year.
Even with the expansion to two weekends it remains hard to do this region justice. The wide variety of wineries and the high caliber of wines make Barrel Tasting Weekend in these three wine valleys the best way to judge what many call a spectacular 2016 vintage and be able to buy futures at a discount before they are bottles. In addition, older vintages that are still in barrel will be available to taste as well as current releases. Given the demand for the wines in these areas, buying futures guarantees you can obtain wines that many times sell out upon release.
Be an insider and be educated on what is coming down the pike among the excellent wineries of Dry Creek Valley (known for Zinfandel), Alexander Valley (known for Cabernet Sauvignon) and Russian River Valley (known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and purchase futures to come back and pick up later. While there, don’t forget to pick up wines to drink now.