Another year has flown by and it is almost time for the 16th Annual World of Pinot Noir, held March 4th and 5th at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA. WOPN includes in-depth tasting seminars and excursions, grand tastings, and gourmet, locally-influenced lunches and dinners. The extraordinary food and wine extravaganzas will be hosted by participating wineries and feature an outstanding panel of sommeliers from across the U.S.
Talley Vineyards has participated in WOPN every year beginning when Brian Talley helped form the event in 2000. This year is no exception and Talley Vineyards will celebrate our 30th year in winemaking by pouring at the Friday Focus Tasting. Those in attendance should expect to try some of our 2013 Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs as well as a few of my favorite library wines. I'm thinking some 2010 Rosemary's Vineyard Pinot might do since I tasted it recently and it is firing on all cylinders. Attendees should also ask what we have under the table since we have been known to throw in some chardonnay as a palate cleanser.
Next Brian Talley and I will attend Friday’s Country French dinner. I like the format of this wine dinner because Talley Vineyards is just one of the wineries participating. We are joined by Cirq, the new project from the famed Kosta Browne guys, Copain from Sonoma, Domaine Gille from Burgundy, and El Lugar from my good friend Coby Parker Garcia. Thanks to Chef Vincent Lesage, each course will be prepared to match the wines seamlessly. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but rumor has it courses may include beef bourguignon and bone marrow. Yes, I said bone marrrow, the richest and most delicious food that only foie gras can compete with.
One of the ways WOPN is different from other events is the educational aspect. With a multitude of seminars to expand wine knowledge participants will feel a little better about consuming so much Pinot Noir. There is a New Zealand Pinot Noir seminar and for those that only think of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand this is a great chance to explore New Zealand Pinot Noir. Another can’t miss seminar is the Sparkling Wine seminar, featuring sparkling wines that include Pinot Noir as a component. I don’t know about you, but I love starting my day with bubbles especially when they’re coming from great producers such as Argyle, Flying Goat, Donson Champagne, Inman Family, Jansz, and Riverbench.
If it is great food attendees are after, WOPN has got them covered. Dining options include everything from a Pacific Northwest dinner featuring Oregonian wines and cuisine to a Southwest dinner prepared by legendary Frank Ostini from the famed Hitching Post Restaurant. Speaking of legendary, Saturday is the Rock Star Dinner, an annual opportunity to honor a Pinot Noir luminary or, as we put it, a Rock Star. This year WOPN has the pleasure to honor the great Josh Jensen from Calera.
If you have a free weekend and you love great people, delicious food, and amazing Pinot Noir then this may be the event for you. Tickets are getting tight but now you’ve been given the heads up. Hope to see you there.