Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pinot Classic a Toast to the Russian River Valley

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m focusing on smaller, local wine events in my immediate area and the Pinot Classic, hosted by the Russian River Valley Winegrowers, fits the bill quite well. The Pinot Classic takes place this Memorial Day weekend -- May 24-25,  tickets are very limited at this point, but I wanted to give readers a heads up in time to snag any last minute tickets. The event is comprised of tastings at wineries, a seminar on Russian River Valley growing areas, and the Paulée Dinner. More on what exactly a “Paulée" dinner is at the end of this post.

I’m looking forward to attending the seminar on the defining characteristics of three Russian River Valley neighborhoods--Middle Reach, Laguna Ridge, and Green Valley (the area where I live). I love learning about my region and these types of presentations are always illuminating and allow me to see many local vineyards with a new perspective as I walk or drive by them on a daily basis. I find there is something very synergistic about drinking a wine from grapes grown on land you can gaze out upon, it deepens the experience in my opinion.

Anyway, enough rapturing on about the lay of the land and the wine it produces -- Here are highlights of a few Pinot Classic Open House offerings from some of my favorite producers:

C. Donatiello Winery
Offering barrel tasting samples of 2013 Clone 777 RRV Pinot and 2013 Bucher Pinot.

Cartograph Wines
Serving a 2010-2011-2012 vertical of RRV Pinot and barrel samples of the 2013 RRV Pinot noir.

Joseph Swan Vineyards (I call them Joseph Swoon because their wines make me weak in the knees)
Experience educational, fun tastings and the opportunity to purchase futures.

La Follette ( LaFollette tasting room is walking distance from my house. Lucky me.)
Taste barrel sample of the 2013 DuNah Pinot Noir along with the 2011 DuNah and 2011 Lorenzo Chardonnay.

Moshin Vineyards 
Offering a vertical tasting of their newest RRV estate vineyard – Rosalina Vineyard in the Middle Reach neighborhood – 2013 barrel along with the 2012 and 2011 vintages.

On Saturday, May 24th, the Paulée Dinner will take place at DeLoach Vineyards. The dinner is styled after the traditional Burgundy event held after harvest when all the winemakers gather and bring special bottles from their personal collections to share. Guests are also encouraged to bring something special to share with the group. It’s a great chance to tell your wine stories and enjoy some storied wine at the same time.

But be forewarned-- it’s easy to lose track of all you are tasting, so pace yourself and drink lots of water. Also be prepared to do a bit of hands in the air "la,la,la la” with your host, the ever charming and enigmatic Jean-Charles Boisset. {If you haven’t experienced this Boisset tradition before, you will soon enough.}

Over 15 winemakers will be on site pouring their wines to accompany the Pinot-inspired menu prepared by Michou Cornu, Director of Cuisine and Hospitality at Boisset Family Estates.

A full listing of all the wineries that will be participating in the event and at the Paulée Dinner can be found on the Pinot Classic site.

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