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The Please The Palate pick of the week is easy this week! It is the World of Pinot Noir, an annual weekend wine event that takes place in Santa Barbara that celebrates all things Pinot Noir. So, if you like Pinot Noir, like me, you will understand my pick! 2018 marks the 18th year of World of Pinot Noir (WOPN). This was my fourth year in a row to attend, yet it was my fifth festival since it was the one of very first weekend wine events I ever attended in 2004. There were Pinot Noirs from across the globe - Burgundy, New Zealand, Hungary, Chile, Oregon, Sonoma, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Medocino, Lake County, Petaluma Gap, Monterrey, Washington, Napa and more!
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register (March 11, 2016). The annual World of Pinot Noir took place March 4 and 5 at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara. Pinot noir winemakers from around the world shared their wines with an audience of Pinot enthusiasts at seminars, grand tastings and dinners. And at one dinner, winemaker Josh Jensen was honored as this year’s “Rock Star of Wine.” Rob Jensen (Testarossa), Greg Brewer (Brewer-Clifton), Larry Hyde (Hyde Vineyard), Josh Jensen (Calera), Adam Tolmach (Ojai Vineyard), Terry Culton (Terry Culton Wine) (1)
Jensen is a wine industry visionary who has contributed vastly to the understanding and production of pinot noir. Considered one of the pioneers of the grape, Jensen studied at Yale and then later at Oxford, where he was on the rowing team. He traveled to France where he met Aubert de Villaine, proprietor of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, one of France’s most celebrated vineyards, and fell in love with Burgundy, where grapes grow in limestone soils.