SF Bay Area residents should move quickly to clear their schedules for this Saturday afternoon because there are a few more tickets left for the phenomenal PinotFest 2014 at Farralon Restaurant in San Francisco. Peter Palmer (Founder of PinotFest and former Wine Director at Farralon), Ryan Simas (Chef de Cuisine at Farralon), and Mark Franz (Chef/Owner of Farralon) are hosting the 16th Annual PinotFest celebration on Saturday, November 22, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. And did we mention the 60 top Pinot Noir producers from the West Coast joining them? Put it all together and you’re looking at “A Public Tasting of a Sexy Wine.”
Created in 1999, the PinotFest celebration is one of the highlights of the wine event calendar, and a major attraction for people who love outstanding Pinot Noirs. The Grand Tasting is considered one of the most stylish gatherings of the year for both winemakers and guests and is held in private dining rooms on the 4th floor inside the Kensington Park Hotel (450 Post Street, San Francisco, 415-956-6969).
Wineries from all over the West Coast will be represented at PinotFest, with Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley (Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin, Soter Vineyards), Russian River Valley (Freeman, Lynmar Estate, Merry Edwards), Sonoma Coast (Cobb Wines, Ernest Vineyards, Wayfarer), Los Carneros (Etude, Gloria Ferrer, Saintsbury) and Santa Barbara (Alma Rosa, Au Bon Climat, Melville) regions. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased by going here.
If you attend, you’ll also have a chance to try Pinot Noirs from Alexander Valley (Handley Cellars), Marin County (Pey-Marin Vineyards), Monterey (Calera), Napa (El Molino), San Luis Obispo (Talley Vineyards) and even the Santa Cruz Mountains (Thomas Fogarty Winery).
If that’s not enough yet, you should know that participating wineries also include Bethel Heights, Chehalem, Drake Wines, Fiddlehead Cellars, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Kendrick Vineyards, Kosta Browne, Littorai, Marimar Estate, Morgan, Peay Vineyards, Radio-Coteau, Talisman, Tendril Wine Cellars, WillaKenzie Estate and over two dozen more. For the complete list of participating wineries, please go here.
Throughout the entire month of November, Farallon dinner guests can choose from two flights of Pinot Noir assembled from PinotFest participating wineries, or enjoy carefully selected flights of wines from the Pinot family of grapes alongside a special five-course Coastal Cuisine tasting menu .
Or, you can just order off of the regular menu which has recently featured Oysters (from California, Washington, British Columbia and New York), Littleneck Clams, Ahi Tuna Sashimi, Roasted Heirloom Baby Beet Salad (with Lavender Ricotta, Petite Arugula, and Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette), Semolina Gnocchi (with Roasted Maitake Mushrooms, European Chestnuts, and Porcini Butter), Seared Hawaiian Hebi (with Black Jonathan Apple Puree, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and a Sherry Reduction), Cast Iron Roasted Maryland Striped Bass (with King Trumpet Mushrooms, Purple Peruvian Potatoes, and a Sugar Pie Pumpkin Puree), and a Duroc Pork Schnitzel (with Persimmon Carpaccio, Roasted Broccoli Slaw, and a Pomegranate Reduction). In addition to the wine flights, Farallon has an extensive wine list including Pinot Noirs by the bottle, half-bottle, and by the glass.
What’s on the food menu for the PinotFest Grand Tasting this year? We don’t know. But, offerings from past years have included Hot-Smoked Alaskan King Salmon with Honey-Rum Glaze, White Truffle Scented Risotto Balls, Liberty Farms Duck Sausage Crostini with Sour Michigan Cherries, Pulled Short Rib and Caramelized Shallot Profiteroles, and a festival favorite of Duck Gizzards with Fennel Seed and Chives.
So, if the idea of kicking off your weekend with three hours of delicious food, outstanding Pinot Noirs, and a chance to meet and mingle with winemakers and vintners appeals to you, move quickly to secure your tickets. In case you want to play it safe and not have to worry about driving afterwards, you should know that the Kensington Park Hotel still has some rooms available, as do the other nearby Personality Hotels Hotel Diva (440 Geary Street, San Francisco, 415-885-0200) and Hotel Union Square (114 Powell Street, San Francisco, 415-397-3000). So please make your reservations for both PinotFest, and your lodging, soon.