Imagine a cultivar that you can just bathe in… Pinot Noir…

It’s so sensual and gorgeous. I adore Pinot Noir. Now, you may be confused if you know my adoration and involvement with Petite Sirah, but don’t be. I have three daughters and love each with the same intensity and devotion as I do their other two sisters. That said, I’d be a fool not to recognize what each one uniquely brings into my life. One has a tremendously brilliant heart that’s filled with more love than one could imagine, another is an generous and amazing free spirit that’s cultivated an extraordinary sense of humor, and yet another has an empathic soul that takes all of humanity into proper consideration… And I love them all dearly, separately, and equally. How could a mother not?

So, back to Pinot Noir. I adore Pinot Noir. It was a Pinot that allowed for me to expand my palate from loving white wines to becoming familiar and then appreciating the reds. This happened right after tasting my first Pinot. I was working at Belvedere Winery, my first winery position, when I tasted winemaker Kevin Warren’s Russian River Pinot Noir. The world of red wine exploded for me. My adventurous spirit is quick to flit from one thing to the next, while holding onto what I’ve already enjoyed. From Pinot I segued to all the other red varieties, but my heart’s never left the World of Pinot Noir… It’s very fitting, therefore, to be headed south to Arroyo Grande, California this coming weekend to become completely immersed, thanks to Felicia Montemayor, the event coordinator.

If you’re not familiar with “The World of Pinot Noir,” it’s a non-profit 501 (c)(6) organization, established in 2001, by a small but dedicated group of vintners from California’s South-Central Coast.

Their mission is to bring extraordinary Pinot Noir producers from around the globe together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts, for a weekend celebration and education about their collective passion…Pinot Noir!

Their annual event takes place the first full weekend in March, and includes two days of in-depth Tasting Seminars, Grand Tastings (each with a unique roster of wineries), a Featured Tasting (with a guest Burgundian producer), and two Gala Pinot Noir Dinners featuring prominent guest chefs. These extraordinary food and wine extravaganzas will be hosted by participating wineries and feature an outstanding panel of sommeliers from across the U.S.

This event has become so popular that many of their happenings are already sold out.

[Saturday Pinot Noir by the Sea Tasting, Saturday Featured Burgundian Seminar, and Saturday Paulee Dinner tickets are not available. Wait list only, which you can call to get on and then keep your fingers crossed. The key to success – always, when you know an event sells out – is to just buy your tickets early and give up your lifetime membership to Procrastinators Anonymous.]

The line-up:


  • John Winthrop Haeger Presents The Pinot Primer
  • Seminar Combination “A” [Tolosa Winery: A Vineyard Examination: Organic – Biodynamic – Sustainable – What’s the Difference?]
  • Seminar Combination “B” [Domaine Alfred Winery: Trek New Zealand’s Pinot Noir Country]
  • Seminar “C” [Grand Ballroom: AVA Regional Examination ~ Santa Cruz Mountains]
  • Pinot Noir Focus Tasting [3 Tasting Tents on the Bluffs ~ The Cliffs Resort]
  • Gala I ~ Pinot Noir Reception and Dinner [Grand Ballroom of The Cliffs Resort]
  • Gala II ~ Pinot Noir Reception and Dinner [Lido at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa]


  • Featured Burgundian Tasting ~ The Wines of Domaine Henri Gouges ~ Sold Out
  • The Iron Sommelier Challenge New Details
  • Pinot Noir By The Sea Tasting ~ Sold Out
  • Santa Barbara-Style Paulée Dinner ~ Sold Out

NEW! Sunday:

  • The Wines of Domaine Henri Gouges
  • Mondovino Screening and Winemaker Brunch

I know for sure that my colleagues/friends Steve Heimoff (Wine Entushiast) and Tom Wark (Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog) are going to be there. Anyone else we should be looking for, besides the best Pinot Noir producers?