World of Pinot Noir celebrates vintners’ varying approaches to making wine from the same grape

Photo courtesy of Flying Goat Cellars
PINOT PANEL: Flying Goat Cellars founder and winemaker Norm Yost is one of the featured panelists in Bubbles and Bites: A Journey Around the World on Saturday, March 2, in conjunction with the multi-day World of Pinot Noir program.

One venue. Three days. Hundreds of pinot noirs. Established in 2001, World of Pinot Noir is an annual gathering that showcases dozens of wineries under one roof, while zeroing in on each participating vintners’ pinot noir selections specifically. 

The three-day event—held this year Feb. 29 through March 2 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara—includes tastings, wine seminars, lunches, dinners, and other special events. Although the program is exclusive to showcasing its namesake grape, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on the highlighted wine regions—which range from throughout California and outside the U.S.

Alongside several guest vintners from abroad, many of the program’s participants operate wineries near Santa Barbara, including in Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Lompoc, and other cities along the Central Coast. Here’s a rundown of some local pinot proprietors set to pour at the event.

click to enlarge World of Pinot Noir celebrates vintners’ varying approaches to making wine from the same grape
File photo courtesy of Chamisal Vineyards
LOCALLY SOURCED: Chamisal Vineyards’ handcrafted pinot noirs are sourced from its 82-acre estate vineyard in the Edna Valley AVA. The SLO-based winery will pour four of its pinot noirs during this year’s World of Pinot Noir tastings.

Lompoc libations

While some Lompoc-produced pinot noirs shine with star power, like Kurt Russell’s boutique pinots at GoGi Wines, there are others that sparkle in a more literal sense.

One of Ampelos Cellars’ three featured wines at World of Pinot Noir is its 2020 blanc de noir sparkling, a 100 percent pinot noir sparkling wine sourced from its vintner’s biodynamic vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA.

The same vineyard is responsible for the pinot noir grapes that Flying Goat Cellars used to produce its 2019 Goat Bubbles, which will be poured during the World of Pinot Noir tasting festivities, alongside two of Flying Goat’s traditional nonsparkling pinot noirs.

The program will highlight pinot noir tastings from a plethora of wineries and vineyards based in Lompoc, including Brewer Clifton, Dierberg Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, Liquid Farm, Longoria Wines, Melville Winery, Montemar Winery, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pali Wine Co., Sandhi Wines, Sanford Winery & Vineyards, Sea Smoke, The Hilt Estate, and the aforementioned GoGi Wines.

SYV sips

click to enlarge World of Pinot Noir celebrates vintners’ varying approaches to making wine from the same grape
File photo courtesy of Muse Wine Management
GRAB A GLASS: Fess Parker Winery is one of the featured Los Olivos-based vintners participating in the 2024 World of Pinot Noir program.

Hours after this year’s Golden Globes ceremony ended in January, Paul Giamatti was famously spotted at an In-N-Out Burger in LA with his trophy in hand. Although animal style fries and Neapolitan shakes aren’t part of any pairing events at World of Pinot Noir this year, the program is highlighting a Buellton vintner that one of Giamatti’s past portrayals endorsed.

As seen in Sideways, pinot noirs from Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines will be poured during the World of Pinot Noir, alongside several wines from wineries located throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.

Other Buellton-based participants in the lineup include Brick Barn Wine Estate, Ken Brown Wines, Marbeso Wine, and Pence Vineyards and Winery. Los Olivos-based vintners Fess Parker Winery, Tercero Wines, and Zaca Mesa Winery, and Solvang-based vintners Alma Rosa Winery, Lincourt Vineyards, Piazza Family Wines, and Rusack Vineyards are slated to pour as well.

click to enlarge World of Pinot Noir celebrates vintners’ varying approaches to making wine from the same grape
File photo by Caleb Wiseblood
BOTTLE THROTTLE: This year’s World of Pinot event will highlight pinot noirs from several wineries based in the Santa Maria Valley, including Bien Nacido.

At county’s end

Multiple wineries featured at World of Pinot Noir are based near the northern boundary of Santa Barbara County, including one vintner—Lumen—from Los Alamos and eight that range throughout the Santa Maria Valley.

The Santa Maria-based vintners scheduled to showcase their pinot noirs are Au Bon Climat Winery, Bien Nacido Estate, Bonaccorsi Wine Company, Cambria Estate Winery, Foxen Vineyard and Winery, Native9 Wine, Presqu’ile Winery, and Riverbench Vineyard & Winery.

World of Pinot Noir will highlight wineries from the city of Santa Barbara and outside Santa Barbara County as well. San Luis Obispo County-based wineries hail from Arroyo Grande (Campion Wines, Center of Effort Wines, Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, and Talley Vineyards), SLO (Chamisal Vineyards, Tolosa, and El Lugar Wines), Paso Robles (Aequorea, Cordant Winery, and Oceano Wines), and Templeton (Haliotide Wines).

The event will feature vintners from outside the state, and country, too, with select pinots from France and Argentina to help accentuate the “world” in World of Pinot Noir.

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood is in a world of his own. Send comments to [email protected].

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