As the Sta. Rita Hills celebrated their over 55 vineyards with 2600 hundred acres planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and 18 other wine grape varieties at the annual Wine and Fire weekend, a panel entitled "The Dirty Truth" discussed their perspectives on growing grapes and vineyard management.
When I received an invitation to the Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Grand Tasting, it was the prefect excuse for a weekend getaway. The Spring Weekend Festival takes place over 4 days with the Festival Grand Tasting as the main event of the weekend.
We drove up early Saturday morning to the River View Park in Buellton. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperatures were moderate with a lovely cool breeze. With over 100 wineries pouring wine, along with food and music, we strolled from tent to tent to taste some of the best wines in the region.
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.