Pinot Days 2012

Oh how we love Pinot Noir! That beautifully fickle grape that makes a medium bodied wine with notes of fruit (strawberry, cherry, raspberry, blackberry), earth (herbal, mushroom, leather) and spice (cinnamon, clove, smoky, tobacco).  Whether from Sonoma, Napa, Santa Barbara, Oregon, New Zealand or Burgundy, Pinot Noir is a perfect food wine.

58 Pinot Producers came to Los Angeles for the 4th Annual Pinot Days Southern California and poured their wine for enthusiasts to enjoy the diversity of the grape.

Here are the wineries I visited during the tasting:

Cargasacchi Wines (

Planted in the Santa Rita Hills AVA in 1998, Peter Cargasacchi and his wife Julia produce two Pinot Noirs under the Cargasacchi label and one under the Point Concepción label.

Clos Pepe (

A winemaker and farmer, Wes Hagen has been making wine at Clos Pepe for fifteen years under the philosophy that great wine is farmed, not made.

Inception Wines (

Sommelier George Pitsironis and partner Jonathan Hirsh make Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County and Central Coast vineyards with the philosophy that “a great wine begins at inception.”

Inman Family Wines (

Kathleen Inman focuses on small lots of wine made from organically and sustainably farmed grapes in the Russian River Valley to produce elegant wines.

Ken Brown Wines (

Producing Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley, winemaker Ken Brown is an icon in the region having worked with Pinot Noir for almost 40 years.

La Fenetre (

Since 2005, Josh Klapper began making La Fenêtre (“The Window). As “artistic expression is the window to a person’s soul,” winemaking is Josh’s expression into Josh’s soul.

Miner Family Wines (

Gary Brookman has been the winemaker at Miner since 1997. Located in the heart of Napa, Miner sources fruit from top vineyards, such as “Gary’s Vineyard” and “Rosella’s Vineyard” in Santa Lucia, for their Pinot Noir.

New Zealand Winegrowers (

New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organization for New Zealand’s grape growing and wine industry, with approximately 700 winery members and 1000 grape growing members.

Pence Ranch (

Winemaker Jeff Fink makes Pinot and Chard at Pence Ranch, a 200-acre working ranch and polyculture located in the Sta Rita Hills appellation in Santa Barbara County.

Riverbench Vineyard & Winery (

Riverbench Vineyard was first planted in 1973 and but didn’t begin making wine until a group of local families bought the property in 2004 and today produce small quantities of quality wines.

Siduri Wines (

Producing more than 25 different Pinot Noirs each year under the Siduri and Novy labels, Adam and Dianna Lee have the largest Pinot Noir focus of any winery in California.

Sojourn Cellars (

Since 2001, founders Craig and Ellen Haserot and winemaker Erich Bradley, have produced handcrafted wines from fruit sourced from top vineyards in Sonoma and Napa.

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Coming in 2013 – Pinot Days Chicago (Spring 2013) and Pinot Days San Francisco (Summer 2013).  For more information, visit