Pinot Days 2008 by valleyfog
July 3, 2008, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Events

Pinot Days 2008 was this past Sunday (June 29) and it was the second year that I volunteered to pour at the Crushpad table. I’m a bit of a Crushpad groupie so it’s fun to hang out with the gang and to talk to people about making wine at Crushpad and about Pinot Noir. The event is held at the Ft. Mason Pavilion in San Francisco and attracts Pinot Noir fans and producers from all over.

They have a trade tasting from 11am-1pm, so one of the main benefits of volunteering is I get to roam around and taste some amazing Pinot Noir before the throngs (public) arrives at 1pm. I made a beeline for the Alma Rosa table. Richard and Thekla Sanford (of Sanford Pinot Noir fame) own Alma Rosa and the Santa Rita Hills vineyards from which their wonderful Pinot Noir wines are made. Initially, I wasn’t too taken with Sta. Rita Hills wines, but then I tried Alma Rosa. Their La Encantada Pinot has a nice balance of fruit and earth, with a slight funkiness that I like from Pinots and some good acidity. It’s more of a medium-bodied wine but does not go over the top like some other Pinots in California (read: Gary’s Vineyard). We are making a 2007 and 2008 Pinot Noir from their La Encantada vineyard, so it was a thrill to meet them in person.

I hit some other tables, too: Martinelli (always good Sonoma Coast juice), Flying Goat (an interesting clone – 2A), MacRostie (Carneros Pinots are good!!) and Lynmar (our winemaker Chris Nelson used to make wines here). This is the second year I’ve volunteered at Pinot Days, so faces start to look familiar. And having frequented other Pinot events like the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, I always run into friends like Larry Londer and Mary Elke.

I did actually do some work, pouring the 2007 barrel samples from Crushpad. They had some good stuff — Russian River vineyards like Gap’s Crown, Bohemian and Bellflower and wines from Santa Rita Hills (La Encantada) and Anderson Valley (Anahalla).

All in all a good way to spend a Sunday. For a Pinot Fan like myself, it was like being a kid in a candy store (with lots of free samples).


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