More Barnyard Fun with: Pinot Noir “An opportunity for unity”

Pinot Noir…

Take away 3 things from this post:

  1. There is a public tasting of Pinot Noir 7/15/2010 AT ANABA WINERY (link).  You will get to vote for your favorite Pinot Noir by Appellation via Twiiter (more here).  We are hosting a tasting for Sonoma and Napa, likely to be in Carneros.
  2. Los Carneros is a landmark pinot noir growing region. It has shown the ability to rival the mecca – Burgundy.  However, there are many great Pinot Noir AVA’s – learn more about them here.
  3. Napa & Sonoma are 2 different AVA’s – Yet the Los Carneros AVA belongs to both Napa & Sonoma.  A common ground to both valleys that is well-respected but under traveled.

Hashtag is the name of the game!

Pinot Noir was the grape/wine that kicked me in the face and made me realize just how expansive and remarkable wine can be.   I was in my 4th class at the American Sommelier Association, and we tasted Pinots for 3 hours.   They were damn good and the factor that was the kick in the face, was that my palate was stained with a flavor that I can still recall today.  The flavor permeated my cheeks and mouth even 5 hours after class ended, this was a wine drinking experience that will last forever.   And this is where I learned that Pinot Noir can be an amazing wine.

Pinot Noir can smell like: Barnyard Funk, Leather, Horse Saddle, mushrooms, chocolate covered dry cherries, tobacco, cigar box, and you get the idea – it’s a dynamic grape.   But that my friend is just the smell of Pinot.  But tasting Pinot Noir can be so contrary to the smell, especially to a new comer in wine.    How can such great wine with dusty leathery tannin and vibrant fruit, have such a different nose?   Well, Pinot Noir is dynamic and so sensitive to the environment that it is grown in that it is an awesome grape/wine to use to evaluate the growing conditions of a given AVA.   And this complex intersection of  vineyard site, climate, soil, and varietal clone , makes Pinot Noir a great litmus and product of  Terroir.

Terroir – yup I had to say it.  Terroir  is exactly what the #PinotNoir Tasting is all about, tasting and talking about the way that Pinot tastes from all over the world.  Please check out Wine Tonite by Ed Thralls, and see exactly how this tasting will work.  He has provided us a step-by-step process of how to “tweet” and even made a thorough and expanding  key reference chart that lets you know all the Hashtags so you can vote for your favorite AVA.

And as an extension of this worldwide tasting, we are working with Jennifer Thomson from Thomson Vineyards to host a tasting for our local community in Carneros.  We are hoping to draw participants from all over Napa and Sonoma (you hear me Russian River Valley and AlexanderValley?) and anyone drinking, liking, making or growing Pinot Noir.   I’d really love to see Napa & Sonoma come together in a communal effort and take pride in the commonalities and diversities that we all share – and to do this with a glass of wine in hand.   So now you know  WHY Carneros is important Because it is the “Switzerland” of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. And Carneros is an awesome region boasting: cool climate, thin well-drained soil, long growing season, and undulating terrain that  produces some great cool climate varietals.

Please stay tuned for the location that Thomson Vineyards and Vineyard Vlog will host this event in conjunction with,, and many other wineries and wine lovers.

And again…  Can we get some some people from Both Napa & Sonoma to stand together and to drink together.

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4 Responses to More Barnyard Fun with: Pinot Noir “An opportunity for unity”

  1. Joe says:

    Nice work, buddy.

    If you want to rile Napa/Sonoma/Carneros up, there’s tons of stuff going on RE: this event up in that state to the north of you. Tamara at is making a hard push for media darling #WV (Willamette Valley). You guys will have to unite!

  2. Andrew says:

    Ohh people grow grapes outside of California? And you can buy them in California? I thought the road blocks at the state line was for fruit and wine. Oooh me.! Silly.

    Alright let’s rock. Cali Oregon NY and wherever, let’s get our pinot on. But on the hush (I have always been a fan of pinot in the Sta Rita St Ynez area, but that’s just me and my wallet is not burgundy capable yet, at least sustainably.)

  3. Rich Reader says:

    Please don’t make my head explode again. Are Los Carneros of Napa and Los Carneros of Sonoma either registered as separate AVAs/Appellations or are they treated as a single entity by the US Department of Agriculture?

  4. Andrew says:

    It’s the ONLY AVA that is delimited by climatic boundaries not geo-political boundaries. Los Carneros AVA was founded for it’s cool (climate 1) but long growing season. It has a tumultuous history, and has proven an dynamic and very interesting intersection since it’s inception. Russians to the north, Mexican settlemtents, bears, cougars, sheep, Missionaries, Pioneers, and how could you forget the indigenous tribes of Native Indians.

    I have no idea what or how the TTB sees Los Carneros, but at a quick glance we can surmise it was founded as 1 area in the early 80’s and it probably is just seen as one area now. Hope that helps!