For any Pinot Noir lover March
can only mean one thing, The World of Pinot Noir held in Shell Beach, California.
This year was the eighth annual event that brings together all the big names in Pinot Noir. Many of them were pioneers who first brought Pinot Noir to the Central Coast. In addition to the pioneers there were young faces this year as well. The wonderful thing about this event is they all come together to share their love and passion for Pinot Noir not only with each other but with the entire world. This year 196 wineries covering eight different countries participated in this two day event that has become the largest celebration of Pinot Noir in the world.
We attended this event last year and thought it could not get any better. The 2008 version of this event was better than the year before with more wineries and more events. The venue at the Cliffs Resort cannot be beat as we enjoy Pinot Noirs from all over the World over looking the Pacific Ocean. This event is not just about wine but food and education as well.
Day one included Seminars and a Stemware Focus and Food pairing with Georg Riedel. After the Seminars you could attend the Focus Tasting at the Cliffs Resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean where guests enjoyed Pinot Noir from 92 wineries, a silent auction and cheese from the Cheese Shop in Carmel. The day was not compete until you attended the Gala Dinner and Reception created by renown Chef Bradley Ogden.
The second day the events kept coming. Someone we know well from Las Vegas is Master Sommelier William Sherer , the wine director at the award winning Aureole at Mandalay Bay ,who presided over the Iron Sommelier Challenge Seminar. The wines of Domaine Jacques Frederic Mugnier were featured at another Seminar that included lunch. The crowd started to arrive and waited anxiously in line to attend the main event. This is the Pinot Noir by the Sea tasting that featured 107 wineries a silent auction and cheese from the Cheese Shop in Carmel. As the day was coming to a close we enjoyed watching the Sunset over the ocean while enjoying great Pinot Noirs and this one of a kind venue. The evening ended with a Santa Barabara-style Paulee Dinner hosted by Au Bon Climat Winery.
This event was not about individual vineyards and winemakers. It is about the entire area and it's world class Pinot Noirs. These great winemakers have come together and created a very special event that shows off the Central Coast Pinot Noirs to fellow winemakers else where in the United States and the World.
We raise our Pinot glasses to the World of Pinot Noir Board of Directors, Event Coordinator Felicia Montemayor and Board Member Barbara Smith for another great event. Cheers ! we will see you next year at World of Pinot Noir 2009. This event sells out fast. For updates go to www.worldofpinotnoir.com/