Cocktail Corner: 2019 World of Pinot Noir

The annual World of Pinot Noir event gathers the planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in a weekend-long seaside celebration of this delicious and storied wine. Courtesy photo.

The annual World of Pinot Noir event gathers the planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in a weekend-long seaside celebration of this delicious and storied wine. Courtesy photo.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg

Looking for a special gift for that special wine lover? Tickets to the 2019 World of Pinot Noir are sure to please even the pickiest palates.

Always one of my favorite wine festivals, this year’s event includes more than 200 wineries from around the globe, pairing dinners, Pinot Noir parties and expert-led seminars.

Some of the highlights include:

Exploring the New World of Pinot Noir with Elaine Chukan Brown, the American Specialist for JancisRobinson.com and a contributing writer to Wine & Spirits Magazine, leading a winemaker panel discussion and tasting exploring the exciting wines being produced in New Zealand, Oregon, Chile and California. The discussion will explore how these pioneering regions are helping shape the future of Pinot Noir.

Tasting the Signature Styles of Burgundy with David Glancy, Master Sommelier and founder of the San Francisco Wine School, focuses on identifying the signature styles of the marque region.

Local writer and Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann will host a dozen famous winemakers during Stars of the Central Coast Dinner.

The World of Pinot Noir takes place Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. Courtesy photo.

The World of Pinot Noir takes place Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. Courtesy photo.

Burgundy Dinner: Celebrating Domaine Chanson: One of the great historic producers of Burgundy, Chanson is one of only six producers in Burgundy still remaining from the 18th century. For this five-course dinner, the host, Chanson’s Managing Director Vincent Avenal, will be selecting verticals of some of his favorite wines to pair with the menu, created by Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz. The wines will include choice vintages of Chanson’s Beaune Clos de Fèves Monopole, Savigny Lès Beaune Dominodes, Chamberton Clos de Bèze, and Beaune Cuvée de Salins Hospice de Beaune. The dinner will open with Champagne Bollinger, Chanson’s sister Champagne house.

Savoy Vineyard: The Apex of Anderson Valley with Esther Mobley, Wine Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, exploring the wines from Anderson Valley’s famous Savoy Vineyard.

A great gift idea for any wine lover, The World of Pinot Noir takes place Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. Courtesy photo.

A great gift idea for any wine lover, The World of Pinot Noir takes place Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara. Courtesy photo.

Fess Parker Dinner to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fess Parker Winery, WOPN hosts a five-course dinner and retrospective of one of California Pinot Noir’s most pioneering and influential wine families. Members of the Parker family, as well as head winemaker Blair Fox, will be on hand to walk guests through rare library wines representing the breadth and depth of the winery’s portfolio. Chef John Cox of The Bear and Star restaurant will deliver a carefully paired menu of his signature refined ranch cuisine to complement the tasting.

The World of Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, courtesy photo.

The World of Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, courtesy photo.

In addition, there are more special winemaker dinners and seminars, an Opening Night Party, Grand Tasting events on both Friday and Saturday, and a lovely Rosé Lawn Party on the bluff Saturday as well.

The Rose Lawn Party at World of Pinot Noir at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Courtesy photo.

The Rose Lawn Party at World of Pinot Noir at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. Courtesy photo.

The World of Pinot Noir takes place February 28 – March 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Santa Barbara (8301 Hollister Ave.).

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit WorldofPinotNoir.com. Hope to see you there!

Cheers! Click here for more Cocktail Corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie believes variety is the spice of life. Send your suggestions to Leslie@sbseasons.com.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 7, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: The Wondrous World of Pinot Noir

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

“Discover. Indulge. Celebrate.” is the tagline for the World of Pinot Noir, and I can’t think of better advice when it comes to imbibing at this favorite annual event. Held Mar. 2-3 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, this festival gathers the world’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars for two days of in-depth tasting seminars and excursions, Grand Tastings, a Burgundy seminar and tasting and gourmet, locally-influenced lunches and dinners.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

As I’ve said in the past, I get to go to a LOT of wine festivals and this is definitely one of my favorites. Here’s an overview of this year’s schedule:

WEEKEND PASS – $1150
Includes an invitation to the Opening Night Celebration March 1; admission to the Friday and Saturday Tasting Seminars & Luncheons; VIP Admission to the Friday and Saturday Grand Tastings; and Pinot Noir Pairing Dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

THURSDAY

THURSDAY OPENING NIGHT PARTY – $110
Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Kickoff the World of Pinot Noir with a wine-filled feast and fête, presented by The SOMM Journal. Meet participating winemakers, America’s leading sommeliers and preview the weekend while sampling wines, indulging in tasty bites prepared by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz. It’s time to get this weekend-long Pinot party started.

FRIDAY

FRIDAY SINGLE-DAY PASS – $480
Includes admission to the Exploring the Oregon-Burgundy Connection Tasting Seminar & Luncheon, VIP Admission to the Friday Grand Tasting and a Friday evening Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner.

SEMINAR & LUNCHEON: Exploring the Oregon-Burgundy Connection – $265
Joshua Greene, Editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine will lead a winemaker panel discussion and tasting that explores Oregon’s deep and growing ties to Burgundy, and the how this is influencing the current and future state of this exciting New World region. The wineries include Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Domaine du Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, Chapter 24 Vineyards, Domaine des Comtes Lafon and Lingua Franca. The seminar includes a three-course Pinot Noir-paired lunch prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team, with wine service by World of Pinot Noir Sommeliers.Friday, March 2, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

FRIDAY LUNCHEON NO. 1: Celebrating the New Petaluma Gap AVA – $75
This three-course luncheon will showcase the award-winning wine made from grapes grown in the newly-minted Petaluma Gap AVA. Located in southern Sonoma and northern Marin counties, the cool-climate, windswept Petaluma Gap AVA boasts 4,000 acres of vineyards, of which, 75 percent are planted with Pinot Noir. Friday, March 2, 11:30 a.m.

CENTRAL COAST SEMINAR: Discover the Cool Climate Terroirs of the Central Coast – $65
Wine Enthusiast magazine’s contributing editor, and Central Coast expert, Matt Kettmann, will explore Pinot Noirs from the top cool-climate terroirs of the vast Central Coast. Along with a panel of acclaimed winemakers, Kettmann will guide the tasting of nine award-winning wines he scored 92 points or above. The wineries include Adelaida, Big Basin, Black Kite, Dierberg, Ken Brown Wines, Laetitia, Stephen Ross Wines and Talbott. Friday, March 2, 1 p.m.

FRIDAY VIP GRAND TASTINGS – $135
This exclusive VIP ticket provides you with early entry to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Grand Ballroom, where you’ll be able to meet winemakers, be the first to bid on silent auction items, and taste through hundreds of Pinot Noir producers from around the world. Several other exclusive VIP experiences will be announced soon. Friday, March 2, 2:30-6 p.m.

FRIDAY GRAND TASTING – $85
Taste through more than 150 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom, bid on silent auction items and “taste the place” while you nibble on fresh, local and seasonal wine country appetizers from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team. Friday, March 2, 3:30-6 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 1: The Art of Japanese Cuisine and Freeman Winery Pinot Noir, with Guest Chef Ken Tominaga – $275
Chef Ken Tominaga, founder of PABU in San Francisco and Boston, and Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma, crafts a multi-course umami-fueled feast designed to pair perfectly with the award-winning Pinot Noirs from Freeman Winery. This intimate, one-of-kind dinner experience is limited. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 2: The Bounties of the Santa Maria Valley: A Celebratory Farm-to-Fork Dinner – Presented by the Santa Maria Valley – $125
The Santa Maria AVA is home to some of America’s highest regarded Pinot Noir vineyards and producers. But this renowned sub-region of Santa Barbara is just as famous for its hearty and robust eponymously-named style of steak made from locally raised beef. Enjoy an elevated take on Santa Maria barbecue prepared by Ritz-Carlton Bacara Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz all paired with wines from the region’s most famous wineries. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 3: 101 Years of Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir Along the Historic Highway 101 – $165
A collection of winemaking expertise gathers for this epic dinner featuring winemakers Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton, Adam Lee of Siduri, Wells Guthrie of Copain and Jonathan Nagy of Byron. Join us for an evening of food, laughter, and of course, fabulous Pinot Noir, as these trailblazing winemakers share their stories of their collective 101 years of crafting some of California’s most expressive Pinot Noirs along the Golden State’s historic coastal corridor. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

SATURDAY

SATURDAY SINGLE-DAY PASS – $525
Includes admission to the Tasting Through The Best of Burgundy Tasting Seminar & Luncheon, VIP Admission to the Saturday Grand Tasting and a Saturday evening Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner. (Dinner upgrades will be available after purchase.)

SATURDAY BURGUNDY SEMINAR & LUNCHEON: Tasting Through The Best of Burgundy – $265
Founder of the San Francisco Wine School and Master Sommelier David Glancy–along with a panel of Burgundy experts and winemakers–will lead a fun and educational tasting of some of the most notable producers and most acclaimed vintages from France’s famed Pinot Noir region, and will discuss the varying classification systems of Burgundy’s sub-regions, their history, trends and the changing roles of growers and negociants. This seminar will feature multiple vintages of premier cru wines from Domaine Faively, Domaine Henri Gouge and Domaine Chanson. The seminar includes a three-course Pinot Noir-paired lunch prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team, with wine service by World of Pinot Noir Sommeliers. Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

SATURDAY LUNCHEON NO. 1:
Rosé Lawn Party Atop the Bluff presented by United Airlines – $80
Held on the seaside bluff of the Angel Oak veranda, this daytime lawn party will feature over 35 of the best Pinot Noir Rosés on planet, a gourmet buffet lunch crafted by the Angel Oak Chef du Cuisine, and the unobstructed and downright jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.

SATURDAY SEMINAR NO. 1:
Attack Of The Clones Seminar – $65
In this fun and educational winemaker-led seminar, you’ll learn–and taste–the difference between many key Pinot Noir grape clones. Panelists include: Greg Morthole – Davis Bynum, Heidi Bridenhagen – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards, Ben Papapietro – Papapietro Perry Winery, Amy Thorn – Thorn Hill Vineyards and Ben Cane – Westwood Estate Winery. Saturday, March 3, 1 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

SATURDAY VIP GRAND TASTINGS – $150
This exclusive VIP ticket provides you with early entry to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Grand Ballroom, where you’ll be able to meet winemakers, be the first to bid on silent auction items, and taste through hundreds of Pinot Noir producers from around the world. Several other exclusive VIP experiences will be announced soon. Saturday, March 3, 2:30–6 p.m.

SATURDAY GRAND TASTING – $100
Taste through more than 100 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom, bid on silent auction items and “taste the place” while you nibble on fresh, local and seasonal wine country appetizers from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team. Saturday, March 3, 3:30–6 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 1: Celebrating the Women of Pinot Noir – $150
This feast will showcase 12 wineries: Bouchaine Vineyards, Chenoweth Wines, La Crema, Lumen Wines, Meiomi, Merry Edwards Winery, Rideau Vineyards, Seagrape Wine Co & Buttonwood, St. Francis Winery, Stolo Family Vineyards, Trombetta Family Wines & Furthermore Wines, Wrath Wines and their trailblazing winemakers. Held in the downstairs Director’s Lounge and outside terrace, this multi-course feast will feature a gourmet whole-roasted pig crafted by Ritz-Carlton Bacara Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 2: Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Feast – $165
This five-course dinner will shine a spotlight on Oregon’s most famous region, the Willamette Valley, home to arguably some of the most food-friendly Pinot Noirs in the world. Emceed by Joshua Greene, the editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Master of Wine Bree Boskov of the Oregon Wine Board, the evening will feature a long list of award-winning wines and their winemakers. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 3:
 Vintage Burgundy Dinner with the Guild of Sommeliers – $450
The World of Pinot Noir is thrilled to present an extraordinary wine dinner hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers. Jay James, Master Sommelier, will present vintage Burgundy wines from the Guild’s extensive cellar in this six-course gourmand experience. This intimate, one-of-kind dinner experience is limited. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

Hope to see some of you there! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 16, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Walt Wines

Clos Pepe Vineyard, photo courtesy Walt Wines.

Clos Pepe Vineyard, photo courtesy Walt Wines.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg  

“Wines of a Place” was the theme for a recent media event put on by Walt Wines, and this place was certainly a beauty!

We started the day boarding a shuttle at the Bacara Resort & Spa, which was all abuzz with World of Pinot Noir festivities coming up that weekend. Thanks to our recent rains, the hills were abundantly lush and green as we made our way north on the freeway to the renowned Clos Pepe Estate Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA in Lompoc.

Megan Gunderson Paredes and Steve Leveque lead a tasting of Walt Wines "Clos Pepe" Pinot Noir, photos courtesy Walt Wines.

Megan Gunderson Paredes and Steve Leveque lead a tasting of Walt Wines “Clos Pepe” Pinot Noir, photos courtesy Walt Wines.

Founder Steve Pepe (who retired in 2015, giving Walt Wines a long-term lease on the vineyard) led us on a walking tour of the vineyard, which is acclaimed for producing excellent wines under the Clos Pepe label, as well providing grapes, from 1998-2014, to pinot noir and chardonnay producers such as Walt (Hall Wines), Siduri/Novy Wines, AP Vin, Liquid Farm, Arcadian, Au Bon Climat, Hitching Post, Ojai Vineyard, Ken Brown Wines, Longoria Wines, Babcock Winery, Loring Wine Company, Flying Goat Cellars, Small + Tall, Conarium and Wan Fiore Project.

“Great wine is about place,” said Pepe, as a lead in to our vertical tasting of Walt “Clos Pepe” Pinot Noir vintages 2013, 2014 and 2015. All were delicious—and unique—and as we sipped Walt winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes walked us through

WALT Clos Pepe Pinot Noir, courtesy photo.

WALT Clos Pepe Pinot Noir, courtesy photo.

the process that went into creating these three wines. They use optical sorter technology to hand-sort the fruit, with the ability to make adjustments throughout the process, as she explained. For example, in 2013 harvest took place in October and in 2015 they lost 30-40% of the crop to frost and started harvest much earlier, in late August.

The company—is part of the Hall Wines family in Napa Valley, owned by Vintners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall—has a unique approach to crafting Pinot Noir. Essentially, as Vice President of Winemaking Steve Leveque explained, Walt sources its fruit from premier vineyards along the Pacific Coast representing 1,000 miles of Pinot. Each wine is designed to express the character of the site where it is grown.

Tasting the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Clos Pepe Walt Wine Pinot Noirs, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Tasting the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Clos Pepe Walt Wine Pinot Noirs, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

In addition to Clos Pepe, in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA Walt also sources grapes from Rita’s Crown, Radian, Bentrock and Fiddlestix.  They also create estate and single vineyard wines from Santa Lucia Highlands, Anderson Valley, Los Carneros (Napa County), Sonoma Coast and Willamette Valley—hence, the 1,000 miles of Pinot.

Clos Pepe Vineyard, courtesy Walt Wine.

Clos Pepe Vineyard, courtesy Walt Wine.

After the tasting we made our way to S.Y. Kitchen in Santa Ynez for a delicious Italian feast, paired with Walt Wines from other appellations, including:

—Lobster tail, onion mousse, fried salsify and citrus with Walt 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

—Yellow beet, pickled plum, hazelnuts, goat cheese and fresh lemon thyme with Walt 2014 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir

—Prosciutto and Burrata with Walt 2014 Rita’s Crown Hills Pinot Noir

and

—Ricotta gnocchi with taleggio and porcini with Walt 2015 Bob’s Ranch Pinot Noir.

Walt Wine pairing lunch at S.Y. Kitchen, photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

Walt Wine pairing lunch at S.Y. Kitchen, photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

Talk about a delicious day. For more information, visit www.waltwines.com.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

 Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on March 10, 2017.

Cocktail Corner: World of Pinot Noir Makes a Delicious Gift

Photos courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

Photos courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

A Spirited Toast to All Things Alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg 

If you’re looking to splurge on a gift for that special someone, who happens to be a wine lover, why not plan your Pinot Noir adventure together and take them to the World of Pinot!

I get to go to a LOT of wine festivals and this event, which takes place March 3 – 4 at the Bacara Resort & Spa, is definitely one of my favorites.

There are two days of tastings, seminars and dinners where guests can taste wines from more than 200 wineries —all Pinot Noirs—from areas including Burgundy, Mendocino, Monterey, New Zealand, Oregon, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo and Sonoma. It’s the ultimate tasting experience!

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Right now there’s even a special holiday gift offer available until January 3. Enter code “Pink” to receive a discount on the Rosé Lunch and Grand Tasting on Friday, March 3. Enjoy a selection of Pinot Noir Rosé wines with lunch prepared by Bacara’s culinary team in the new Angel Oak restaurant, then continue your journey of Pinot Noir at the Grand Tasting.

Also on special for the holidays is the Sparkling Brunch and Grand Tasting on Saturday, March 4. Kick off your day with bubbles! A selection of sparkling wine and Champagnes will be featured with brunch prepared by Bacara’s culinary team in the new Angel Oak restaurant. Then continue on to the Grand Tasting. Enter code “Bubbles” to receive your special discount.

Additional highlights include: Hirsch Seminar and Tasting; Kosta Browne 20th Anniversary Dinner; Louis Latour Tasting & Dinner; Edna Valley Winery Collective Dinner; Cheese Seminar featuring Sonoma Wines; Vintage Burgundy Dinner with the Guild of Sommeliers; Rock Stars of Pinot Noir featuring Merry Edwards and the Hitching Post Vertical Tasting & Barbecue; as well as the Grand Tasting on both Friday and Saturday.

Click here for the entire lineup of events or visit worldofpinotnoir.com for more information. Hope to see you there! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

 Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 16, 2016.

 

Editor’s Pick: World of Pinot

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Just in time for our wine-themed issue is one of my all-time favorite wine festivals. The 16th Annual World of Pinot Noir (Mar. 4–5) brings together an impressive lineup of producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with pinot noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education at the beautiful Bacara Resort & Spa. This year’s event includes two days of food and wine extravaganzas hosted by an outstanding panel of sommeliers from across the U.S.

For more information visit worldofpinotnoir.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Cocktail Corner: The Wonderful World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

The word Pinotphile may not roll off the tongue quite as sweetly as say, a 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Fess Parker Pinot Noir, but the World of Pinot Noir—which features Fess Parker among the more than 200 top interpreters of the grape—is quite a delicious event.

The sixteenth annual World of Pinot Noir is taking place for the third time locally, March 4-5 at Bacara Resort & Spa. This indescribably fun weekend brings pinot noir producers and pinot noir enthusiasts together for an impressive line-up of educational, culinary and tasting events highlighting a veritable buffet of pinot noirs from California, Oregon, Burgundy, Champagne, New Zealand and Tasmania.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Tasting Events

The World of Pinot Noir Friday Focus Tasting showcases 100 Pinot producers pouring a vineyard designate and library wine selection. The Saturday Grand Tasting features a different lineup of wineries and expands to 125 brands. Both tastings feature wine country appetizers from Bacara Executive Chef Vincent Lesage.

Pinot Focused Seminars

A Sparkling Evolution explores the grower-producer Champagne and Sparkling wine movement

The Diversity of Maison Joseph Drouhin’s Burgundy with Frederic Drouhin focuses on a tasting of wine from different “climats” and Burgundy’s recent designation as a World Heritage site by UNESCO

– Côte d’ Or March Madness is an educational Premier Cru wine tasting that pits the best villages from the Côte de Beaune against the Côte de Nuit

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Debunking the Myth: Cheese & Chocolate wine pairing seminars features fromagers and chocolatiers throwing down the gauntlet to winemakers

Featured Pinot Noir Dinners

Southwestern featuring “ranchero” style cuisine prepared by Frank Ostini of Hitching Post II

Pacific Northwest with guest Chef Jason French from Oregon’s Ned Ludd restaurant

Country French dinner prepared by Bacara Executive Chef Vincent Lesage

– The Rock Stars of Pinot Noir event honoring Josh Jensen with Calera Wine Company

Pioneers & Protégés dinner pairs wines and cuisine with winemaker mentors and mentees

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Pinot in the Movies

The winning films from the inaugural International Wine Film Festival will be shown on the big screen in the resort’s state of the art theatre. Somm: Into the Bottle will be screened on Saturday afternoon.

Trust me, this is a weekend pinot noir lovers won’t want to miss. And if you need any more incentive, a portion of the funds from the World of Pinot Noir silent auction benefit the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation with Allan Hancock College and the Keith Patterson Memorial Endowment at Cal Poly University.

All events take place at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave. For additional information or to purchase tickets visit worldofpinotnoir.com.

Hope to see some of you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on February 26. 2016.

Cocktail Corner: Lots of Ways to Eat, Drink and Make Merry

Kurt Russell, photo by Isaac Hernandez

Kurt Russell will take part in the annual Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend at the Bacara Resort. Photo by Isaac Hernandez

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg

There’s no shortage of fun wine, beer and cocktail events in Santa Barbara County, but the next few weeks are particularly eventful.

Here’s a look at some of the toast-worthy happenings:

March 6-7 World of Pinot Noir

Indulge in the pleasures of Pinot Noir at the beautiful Bacara this spring, when the 15th Annual World of Pinot Noir unites producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education. Last year’s event set a high bar for wonderful wines. Sip and savor at the Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 805/489-1758, worldofpinotnoir.com.

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

Courtesy World of Pinot Noir

March 18-22 Taste of Solvang

Celebrate the 23rd year of “Taste of Solvang” Food & Wine Destination Weekend with a five-day experience that encourages attendees to embark on “a culinary journey through Solvang, where wine country meets ‘dine country.” Highlights include the ​two-day Taste of Solvang Wine & Beer Walk, which allows guests to taste their pick from more than a dozen participating wine tasting rooms, wine bars and beer bars during the two-day stroll through Solvang Village. In addition, there’s a special Winemaker Dinner in a greenhouse setting with local winemaker and vineyard owner, Michael Larner of Larner Vineyard & Winery, and a carefully-curated pairing menu by Bacon & Brine’s Chef Pink. New this year is Bubbles & Brunch, an exclusive brunch held at Solvang’s Wildling Museum, featuring three different sparkling wines from local label, Flying Goat Cellars’ “Goat Bubbles” – a Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and a sparkling Rosé. Flying Goat Cellars Winemaker, Norm Yost, is available to walk guests through each sparkling wine and the sparkling winemaking process. Various locations throughout Solvang. Tickets are available at solvangusa.com/tickets, and for further information, visit  solvangusa.com/tos.

Garagiste Southern Exposure 2015March 27-29 Southern Exposure Festival in Solvang 

This popular festival returns to Veterans’ Hall in Solvang for what Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan promises will be “our best Southern Exposure ever—with many more exciting wine discoveries on tap from Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara County.” The weekend of events will showcase the wines of over 60 artisan garagiste commercial winemakers who produce under 1,500 cases per year from the Santa Barbara region and the Central Coast. As an added benefit, the nonprofit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program. For more information on The Garagiste Festivals, go to http://garagistefestival.com.

April 16—19 Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend 

Now in its second year at the Bacara, the Santa Barbara Food & Wine Weekend showcases the distinct tastes, sights and sounds of Santa Barbara County while also bringing cutting-edge culinary talent from across the country to our region. This multi-faceted event, which includes cooking classes with famed chefs, local wine and food tastings, movie screenings, special presentations and much more, is a benefit for The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Among the highlights this year is a special dinner with actor/winemaker Kurt Russell on April 18.  Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta. BacaraCulinaryWeekend.com.

April 18 Earth Day Pop-Up Farm-to-Table Dinner

When the sun goes down on Saturday’s Earth Day celebration, a large community table pops in front of the main stage immediately after the last band. The only activity in the park with an admission fee, this four-course locavore feast—a benefit for Community Environmental Council—features seasonal delights from New West Catering and Cultivate Events, as well as local wine pairings and live music. This limited-seating special event will sell out, so get your tickets early. | Alameda Park, 1400 Santa Barbara St., 7 p.m. For tickets contact Kathi King at 805/963-0583 ext.108, or visit SBEarthDay.org festival-highlights/farm-to-table-dinner.

April 19 Magic on the Urban Wine Trail III

Join the Parks and Recreation Community Foundation (PARC) for its third annual fundraising bash, Magic on the Urban Wine Trail, where music, art and wine meet.  Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting featuring more than 12 wineries from the Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail, while you mingle with friends, enjoy local art and music and feel great about supporting Parks and Recreation programs for under-served youth.  There is also a silent auction, raffle and bottles of favorite wines for purchase. Carrillo Recreation Center Ballroom, 100 E. Carrillo St., 3-6 p.m. 805/897-1946, parcsb.org.

Hope to see some of you there. Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns. Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on March 6, 2015.

Leslie DinabergWhen she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Editor’s Pick: World of Pinot Noir

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Courtesy photo.

World of Pinot Noir

Indulge in the pleasures of Pinot Noir at the beautiful Bacara this spring, when the 15th Annual World of Pinot Noir unites producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education. Last year’s event set a high bar for wonderful wines. Sip and savor on March 6–7 at Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta, 805/489-1758, worldofpinotnoir.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Spring 2015.

Cocktail Corner: Pinot Noir Comes to Paradise

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg  |

Shell Beach’s loss is Santa Barbara gain.

After 13 years of hosting the annual World of Pinot Noir, the two-day event moves to Santa Barbara this weekend (February 28-March 1), specifically to the luxurious, oceanfront Bacara Resort and Spa.

The mission is “to bring Pinot Noir producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education at the edge of California’s beautiful Central Coast.” For a complete look at the impressive list of participants click here.

Friday’s highlights include a seminar titled “Burgundy & Oregon: Parallels in Latitudes” where wine writer Katherine Cole shines a spotlight on the fact that though 4,000 miles apart, Burgundy and Oregon share a latitude and are both stellar Pinot Noir producing regions. As part of the seminar, guests will be treated to a three-course gourmet lunch in Restaurant Miró prepared by executive chef David Reardon and chef de cuisine Johan Denizot, created specifically to pair with the wines of the 45th parallel.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Now that’s my kind of professional development day!

Later that afternoon is the Friday Grand Tasting, featuring Pinot Noir from more than 100 producers, as well as a silent auction, screenings of wine-themed movies Somm and Sideways (with wine of course) and special winemaker dinners that evening.

Saturday’s seminar spotlights The Insider Wines of the Cote d’Or, where Don Kinnan CSS, CWE tells all about the secret wines, small producers, and boutique producers of the Cote d’Or. The session also includes a detailed discussion of the mountain of Corton, location of the Cote d’Or’s greatest expanse of Grand Cru vineyard acreage.

In addition to Corton and Corton-Charlemagne, wines will be tasted from Marsannay, Fixin, Pernand-Vergelesses, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Monthelie, Auxey-Duresses, Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay. A short history of viticulture and principal vineyards in each village will be presented. During the presentation, 12 wines, selected to represent their villages best “terroirs” will be tasted.

Following the seminar, guests will enjoy a Burgundy-inspired three-course luncheon created by Bacara’s culinary team in the Miró Restaurant.

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

Courtesy World of PInot Noir

That afternoon is a second Grand Tasting, featuring a different roster of wineries from California and even more wines from our international and regional participants—more than 120 producers of this alluring wine.

If you’ve still got a taste for the grape, the Saturday Grand Tasting is followed by an evening gala, with a seasonal and fresh plated amuse bouche as the featured winemakers and the team of sommeliers introduce themselves. Eat, Drink, Enjoy!

For more information and tickets click  here.

Cheers!

Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Originally published in Santa Barbara SEASONS on February 28, 2014.

Leslie Dinaberg

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”