2015 Pinot Days of Southern California

On November 21, 2015, the 7th Annual Southern California Pinot Days was held at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles California. As usual, Producer Steve Rigisich and the entire Pinot Days team hit another home run. And for all of us that attended, I think that you will agree that it was an event that will be remembered for a long time or at least until the 2016 Pinot Days. Learning about Pinot Noir wines can be quite challenging. In keeping with my philosophy that to learn about wines, you must experience the wines through education and tasting. Pinot Noir is a varietal that has so many variations that you will never reach the light at the end of the tunnel. They vary based on terroir, region, country, clone and the vintner's artistry. Pinot Days is a spectacular place to school yourself on this wine varietal. Pinot Days allows you to sample and discover the many facets of Pinot Noirs from 70+ vintners. Adding to this, the ambiance of the beautiful venue at the Skirball Center and you are in for a very special day. The diversity of this wine can only be recognized at an event like Pinot Days allowing you to truly enjoy and appreciate what this grape varietal has to offer. One exciting and unique characteristic of this wine that you will discover is that it has something to offer everyone from the big Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers to those that enjoy the lighter more elegant style of wines designed in the impeccably beautiful Burgundian style. Flavors from various Pinots poured at this event included the typical cherry (light and dark), cranberry and strawberry along with subtle spice notes and other unique flavors. The list of vintners at this year's Pinot Days included:

Amalie Robert Estate, Ancien Wines, Ancient Oak Cellars, August West Wine, Bannister Wines, Belle Glos Wines, Benevento Wines, Bernardus Vineyards and Winery, Buena Vista Winery, Cellars 33, Chenoweth Wines, Conarium Wines, Cornerstone Cellars Oregon, Crafted Gluten Free, CRU WINE COMPANY, Davis Family Vineyards, DeLoach Vineyards, Dolin, Domaine Anderson, DOMAINE DELLA, Donum, Farm Fresh To You (Los Angeles), Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Foley Family Wines, Foursight Wines, Foxen Vineyard, Furthermore Pinot Noir, gainey vineyard, Golden State Container, Gros Ventre, Cellars, Hahn Estate, Hotel Angeleno, Inman Family Wines, J Vineyards & Winery, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, J. Wilkes, Keller Estate, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Kerrygold Cheese, Kessler-Haak Wines, KRAVE Jerky, Loring Wine Company, LunaOlivo, MacMurray Estate Vineyards, MacPhail Family, Wines, Maldonado Family Vineyards, Meiomi, Monterey Chocolate Company, Morgan Winery, Navarro Vineyards, New Zealand Winegrowers, Pali Wine Company, Panthea Winery & Vineyard, Papapietro Perry Winery, Philo Ridge Vineyards, Prim Family Vineyard, Ram's Gate Winery, Robert John Russo Gallery Romililly Wines, Siduri Wines, Sojourn Cellars, Sokol Blosser Winery, Spell Estate, Stoller Family Estate, Wine House, Thomas Fogarty Winery, Trombetta Family Wines, Vinemark Cellars, Waits-Mast Family Cellars, Westwood Estate Wine, Wrath, and Yelp

Walking through the event sampling wines you will also discover a nice display of cheese, salami and bread at various locations. The cheeses included a few different types of hard to creamy allowing you a nice selection for recovery of your palate. The appetizers were great and provided a little break from the number of wines on the floor.

What's really touching was seeing how many small production vintners were present. These wineries produce a very limited number of cases and it puts a large dent in their overall profits pouring for such a large event. These people are producing their wines from the heart and they want to reach out and provide you with an opportunity to sample and see what their families have worked so hard to produce. One of the vintners that I spoke to said that they were farmers and that they grow a few Pinot grapes on the side. What a passion. Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult varietals that you could select to grow on the side and then to produce wines of such quality to showcase it is phenomenal. My heart goes out to these producers. These small producers like David in David and Goliath, show the quality of their product, side by side with the Goliath's or high production wineries at the show. One thing that I have always noticed though is that small or large, all of these wineries and vintners are like one big happy family. The friendships and camaraderie amongst these Pinot Noir folks is awesome. These small production wineries were terrific and though I was not familiar with many of them, I found that many times the wines were top-notch.

What a fantastic event. Just to give you a look at the magnitude of this spectacular event, go to the Gallery in Sly's State of Wine and look at the posted pictures from the 2015 Pinot Days. Thank you to all the vintners, trades and general public that attended to make such an event as this a success. And special thanks to Steve Rigisich and the Pinot Days team for such a fantastic event. Wine connoisseurs are one big family, let’s support them and I will see you at the next Pinot Days.

Cheers,

Rusty Sly