World of Pinot Noir: Can’t Miss Pinot Tastings March 3-4


World of Pinot Noir, an annual celebration of Pinot Noir from around the world, takes place this March 3-4 at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA. Once again, it offers an enviable collection of Pinot tastings, seminars and dinners. Tickets are going fast, so grab yours ASAP.

WOPN walk-around tastings always offer an epic section of Pinot Noir. Choose from hundreds of wines, poured by producers from Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand, Australia and California. You can dive deeply into one or two appellations or do a survey tasting to compare and contrast distant regions.

But don’t miss out on the seminars. These seated, guided tastings allow you to focus on specific regions or producers and understand the fine differences between vineyards and/or vintages. This year, I’m particularly looking forward to the two-part seminar featuring Louis Latour and Hirsch Vineyards.

World of Pinot Noir

In the morning, twelve Grand Cru wines from Louis Latour will be presented. We’ll taste six vintages—1999, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2012 & 2014—from the Romanée St Vivant les Quatre Journaux vineyard. Then we’ll taste the same vintages of Château Corton Grancey. It’s a fabulous opportunity to taste the differences between those specific sites, Corton and Romanée in general, to understand those top vintages and see how vintage character can vary in Burgundy within just a few miles.

Louis Latour’s Romanée St Vivant les Quatre Journaux is an exceptional, Grand Cru plot of just two acres. Located in southern Cote de Nuits, and only a stone’s throw from the renowned Romanée-Conti, it produces velvety, aromatic wines. Chateau Corton Grancey is a blend from four Grand Cru sites in Corton, northern Cote de Beaune. The included vineyards are Les Bressandes, Les Perrières, Les Grèves and Clos du Roi.

Following that seminar, and a delicious three-course lunch, will be two different looks at the Hirsch Vineyard of the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA (northern Sonoma Coast), on of California’s premier Pinot sites. First, see the significant role vintage plays in that extreme, cool-climate terroir with a vertical tasting (2011-2014) from Hirsch’s “San Andreas Fault” Vineyard. Then, we’ll experience the difference a few hundreds yards can make in that rugged, multi-faceted mountain zone by tasting 2014 Pinot Noir from four different estate plots: West Ridge, East Ridge, Raschen and Block 8. (Make sure you’ve kept a bit of the 2014 San Andreas in your glass, so you can compare it with the other four sites.)

Even with a great lunch, all that wine from amazing seminars and walk-arounds is going to give you an appetite. So, dinner! I’m looking forward to Saturday night’s Hitching Post Retrospective with Frank Ostini. Hitching Post is an institution in Santa Barbara County, not just as the best place for Santa Maria Barbecue, but as a wine producer. At this dinner, you’ll get plenty of both!

Hitching Post will be serving up it’s unique and delicious take on wood-fired meat AND eleven consecutive vintages (1991-2001) of Hitching Post Pinot Noir, including Santa Maria Valley blends and vineyard designates from Julia’s and, especially, Bien Nacido. All but one of the wines will be poured from 3-liter or 5-liter bottles, so they’ll show development yet be beautifully fresh.

If you’re a Pinot lover and anywhere close to Santa Barbara on March 3 or 4, you’ve got to visit World of Pinot Noir. See you there!

Copyright Fred Swan 2017. Photos courtesy of World of Pinot Noir. All rights reserved.

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