World of Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara, California

World of Pinot Noir–a focused event to celebrate the finicky grape

Enter the World of Pinot Noir

The first weekend of March is always World of Pinot Noir (www.wopn.com) now held at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Bacara just north of Santa Barbara in Goleta. Here a weekend pass will set Pinot lovers back $1250 plus fees. And that doesn’t include lodging at either the host property, Bacara, or any of the other nearby hotels. If you can get a pass before they sell out, the weekend includes Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday and a series of spectacular lunches, dinners. They also include in-depth seminars exploring aspects of the elusive grape.

Why is this high-priced event such a hot ticket? Because Pinot Noir lovers are indefatigable in their quest to try every iteration of the grape possible. They want to try new producers, explore new regions, and be able to discuss with other Pinot fans the different growing and production techniques. New appellations and rock star producers pique the interest of these wine fans and the chatter here isn’t around a water cooler but over a tasting table as Pinot Noir fans alert each other to what they discovered across the room or over an AVA –focused lunch. And that is exactly what World of Pinot Noir is all about. And since Pinot Noir is considered by some to be one of the most romantic grapes, it is an event we’re not willing to miss, either.

Highlight’s of this year’s event

In fact, this year’s World of Pinot Noir includes a lunch with writer/educator Elaine Chukan Brown where she leads diners through the new world of Pinot Noir in growing areas like New Zealand, Oregon, Chile and California. A seminar focusing on the Savoy Vineyard of Anderson Valley and many of the wines being made from this single vineyard follows with tastings of the FEL, Peay, WALT and even Radio-Coteau, making a rare appearance.

World of Pinot Noir

Enjoy the Grand Tasting. Then break away for a vertical tasting of WALT wines and dinner celebrating Domaine Chanson in the classic Pinot region of Burgundy or the Roots of California Pinot Noir with Calera, Kosta-Brown and Goldeneye or, finally, 30 Years of Fess Parker Wines. You can’t go wrong with any of the three Friday dinners at World of Pinot Noir.

On Saturday, March second, the Pinot Noir madness continues with a morning Burgundy seminar followed by a three-course paired lunch. From here, Pinot lovers explore their pink side with a Rose Party on the Bluff sponsored by United Airlines. Grab the afternoon seminar on new world Pinots featuring the wines of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The Saturday Grand Tasting features an entirely different set of wineries from the Friday Grand Tasting. Saturday night at World of Pinot Noir concludes with another Pinot-focused dinner. But this one involves a tough decision.

Saturday evening means a choice between a dinner featuring Williams Selyem and Melville–two giants of the Pinot world. Or you could choose a dinner featuring the stand-out wines of California’s Central Coast. But the ultimate experience of drinking vintage Burgundy wines can be found Saturday night at the Sommelier Guild dinner.

For tickets

Tickets to events can be purchased as a package or separately. They go quickly. And they almost always sell out. So time is of the essence for Pinot lovers! At each Grand Tasting, silent auction lots go for a song and allow guests to continue their Pinot Noir at home with fond memories of World of Pinot Noir.

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