Please The Palate Pick of the Week: World of Pinot Noir

For 19 years, World of Pinot Noir has been bringing together Pinot Noir producers and Pinot Noir lovers! Taking place at the Ritz Carlton Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, I attended for my fifth consecutive year and attended seminars, tasted delicious wines, saw lots of familiar friendly faces and met new winemakers. A fun weekend festival, World of Pinot Noir is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

More than 200 Pinot Noir producers from around the world participated in World of Pinot Noir 2019. There were producers from all of the California Pinot regions – Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo County, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey and Napa. There were producers from Oregon. And there were producers from France, Chile, New Zealand and Spain. So, if you like Pinot Noir, this is definitely the event for you!

I had the privilege to attend two incredible seminars. In one seminar, entitled Discovering New World Pinot Noir, we explored four distinct regions around the world, outside of Burgundy, France, that are making Pinot Noir. Moderated by Elaine Chukan Brown, we enjoyed wines from Day Wines in Willamette Valley, Oregon, Native9 wines from Santa Maria Valley, Loveblock Farms wines from Central Otago, New Zealand and Ritual Wines from Casablanca, Chile. Each of these producers has found a home in their regions where they are able to express this place through their wines.

The second seminar I attended was entitled Tasting the Signature Styles of Burgundy and featured the wines from Premier Cru vineyards, as well as regional wines, from Burgundy. Master Sommelier David Glancy of the San Francisco Wine School walked us through a history of the Burgundy region, while Vincent Avenel of Domaine Chanson and Bernard Betornaz of Maison Louis Latour share insight into the region and their specific wines.

Each afternoon was the Grand Tasting featuring more than 100 wineries each day. This was the time to see friends and try to taste as much wine as possible.

I also attended the Stars of the Central Coast dinner.

Journalist Matt Kettmann welcomed Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa Winery), Ryan Beauregard (Beauregard Vineyards), Bibiana Gonzalez Rave (Cattleya Wines), Gianni Abate (Chalone Vineyard), Tyler Russell (Cordant Winery), Rick Longoria (Longoria Wines), Jeff Pisoni (Pisoni Vineyards), Scott Shapley (ROAR Wines), Matt Brady (SAMsARA Wine Co), David Coventry (Talbott Vineyards), Matt Dees (The Hilt Wines), and Nathan Kandler (Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards). The dinner started with a winemaker at each table where we enjoyed three wines from that winery and then it was a free-for-all as everyone wandered around the room trying each other’s wines.

The highlight of the night was tasting the 1981 Sanford & Bennedict Pinot Noir with Richard Sanford. This 38 year old wine was showing its age but was still alive with acidity. It just shows the quality of wine produced in Santa Barbara County.

World of Pinot Noir is an event I look forward to each year and without a doubt is the Please The Palate pick of the week.