Every March, I head up to the coast to Santa Barbara for World of Pinot Noir. For anyone who loves Pinot Noir, this is THE event. There are Pinot Noirs from around the world, each expressing the place where they are from. And, a seminar led by Elaine Brown focused on discovering some of these places which I wrote about in California Winery Advisor and am sharing here.
Pinot Noir is a wine that inspires many wine lovers. It is a grape that has cultivated a massive following. It is a wine that is pale in color with aromas of cherry, cranberry, raspberry, mushroom, tobacco, cola, licorice, clove and vanilla. It garners praise from around the world and some of the most highly prized wines in the world are Pinot Noirs.
The 18th annual World of Pinot Noir took place in Santa Barbara this past weekend. More than 250 wineries from around the world showcased their Pinot Noirs at seminars, lunches, dinners and the grand tastings. Everyone in attendance was friendly and shared the common love of Pinot Noir. I was reminded how overall, the wine industry is one of camaraderie, friendship and support.
Winemakers share their wines and taste each other’s wines, offering their feedback. Winemakers buy fruit from each other and sometimes work in the same facility, sharing equipment. They travel together for events or on sales trips.
Even as competitors, they are friends and that was showcased at a dinner I attended featuring winemakers Wells Guthrie of Copain, Jonathan Nagy of Byron, Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton and Adam Lee of Siduri.
From the Alexander Valley to the Santa Ynez Valley and in between, these four winemakers have each been making wine for more than 20 years each and their relationships go back as far.