Forget the cold and start planning for surf, sun and Spanish tiles at the 2019 World of Pinot Noir, on March 1st and 2nd at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara. Alma Rosa Winery, Balletto Vineyards, Fiddlehead Cellars, Goldeneye, Maison Louis Latour, Merry Edwards Winery and Wayfarer will lead the parade of over 250 wineries participating in expert-led Tasting Seminars, Luncheons, Dinners and Grand Tastings. You can purchase tickets for a single event, a day’s worth of events, or a whole weekend of activities as you find yourself surrounded by Pinot Noir producers and lovers from around the world.
The 2019 World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) offers not just one, but two separate Grand Tastings with over 100 different producers at each session. This is a comprehensive chance to “get current” on the latest wines made from Pinot Noir grapes grown in places such as Anderson Valley, Los Carneros, Russian River Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Maria, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez, Sonoma Coast, and the Willamette Valley. On the international front, the WOPN Grand Tastings will also include wineries from Chile (Ritual), France (Domaine Chanson), New Zealand (Brennan Wines), and Spain (Alta Pavina).
One of our favorite events from last year, the Rosé Lawn Party on the Bluff, returns again showcasing over 50 of the best Pinot Noir Rosés on the planet paired with a gourmet buffet lunch from Chef Alexander Bollinger of Angel Oak. Or, you can attend a special dinner this year celebrating the 30th anniversary of Fess Parker Winery with a five-course meal from Chef John Cox of The Bear and Star. One of the educational seminars at WOPN focuses on the Savoy Vineyard in Anderson Valley, complimented by wines from some of the premier wineries that source their fruit from this vineyard including FEL Wines, Peay Vineyards and Radio-Coteau.
World of Pinot Noir is a highly enjoyable occasion and if you keep reading we’ll describe highlights of this premier wine event or you can find the full details here. Last year’s festivities hosted nearly 3,500 attendees, the largest turnout in its 18-year history, so you should probably go here soon to purchase your tickets as events will sell out.
2019 World of Pinot Noir: Wine Seminars and Luncheons
If you want to expand your knowledge and understanding of Pinot Noir, the 2019 World of Pinot Noir offers educational wine seminars including one on Friday focused on the Savoy Vineyard in Anderson Valley in California, and one on Saturday exploring wines from Oregon’s Willamette Valley ($65 per person, per seminar).
Or, the 2019 World of Pinot Noir is also offering combination seminars and luncheons where the educational session is followed by a three-course lunch paired with wines reinforcing the learning ($275 per person, per seminar):
- On Friday, March 1, Elaine Chukan Brown will lead a winemaker panel discussion and tasting of wines from New Zealand, Oregon, Chile and California called Exploring the New World of Pinot Noir. Panelists include Erica Crawford of Loveblock Wines, Brianne Day of Day Wines, Rodrigo Soto of Ritual Wines and James Ontiveros of Native 9 Wines. ($275 per person)
- On Saturday, March 2, Master Sommelier David Glancy will lead a panel discussion and tasting around The Signature Styles of Burgundy. Attendees will learn about the varied winemaker styles that distinguish the top Burgundy houses, and the nuances of Burgundy’s sub-regions. ($275 per person)
2019 World of Pinot Noir: Special Dinners
The 2019 World of Pinot Noir presents 6 special dinner experiences to choose from, each offering a unique way to celebrate winemakers, their wines, and the alchemy of Pinot Noir wines with outstanding gourmet dishes.
On Friday, March 1, you can celebrate Domaine Chanson, one of only six producers in Burgundy still remaining from the 18th century. Wines will include choice vintages of Chanson’s Beaune Clos de Fèves Monopole, Savigny Lès Beaune Dominodes, Chamberton Clos de Bèze, and Beaune Cuvée de Salins Hospice de Beaune. The evening’s five-course meal from Bacara’s Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz will include Petit Foie Gras Torchon with Bordeaux Mission Fig Gastrique and Black Truffle, a Compressed Watermelon Waldorf Salad, and Grilled New York Steak with Compressed Potato Bravas and a Nueske Bacon Demi-Glace. ($250 per person)
Alternatively, you could focus on California Pinot Noir wineries at a five-course feast, also from Chef Umit Kaygusuz. Here, each course will be paired with the wines of Calera, Kosta Browne, and/or Goldeneye. Your host will be Neil Bernardi, Vice President of Winemaking for Duckhorn Wine Company and General Manager for Kosta Browne. ($250 per person)
Or, you can spend the evening celebrating the 30th anniversary of Fess Parker Winery with a retrospective of one of California Pinot Noir’s most pioneering and influential wine families. After a reception with Fess Parker sparkling wines, Chef John Cox of The Bear and Star restaurant will offer five courses including Smoked Abalone with Sunchoke Chowder, Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with Confit Farm Egg, and Lamb Roulade with Chanterelles. ($165 per person)
On Saturday, March 2, Williams Selyem’s Director of Winemaking Jeff Mangahas and Melville’s Winemaker and Founder Chad Melville will host a limited-seating dinner exploring the differences (and shared qualities) between North Coast and Central Coast California Pinot Noirs. These gentlemen have handpicked the wines to pair with five courses. Dishes will include Pâté de Campagne with Macerated Mission Figs, Jumbo Lump Crab Brandade with a Light Tomato Stew, and Mushroom-Crusted Filet Mignon with Parmesan Velouté. ($180 per person)
Alternatively, you can savor the diversity of talent found in the wineries of California’s Central Coast. Matt Kettmann, a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast and Senior Editor at the Santa Barbara Independent, is gathering a dozen winemakers from the best wineries in the region for this special occasion. Some of the winemakers coming include Ryan Beauregard, Bibiana Gonzalez Rave, and Jeff Pisoni. Throughout the evening, Mr. Kettman and each winemaker will discuss the wines and the stories behind them. ($165 per person)
Or, you can wrap up your glorious 2019 World of Pinot Noir weekend with a six-course Sommelier Guild Dinner, a gourmand experience hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers. Jay Fletcher, Master Sommelier, will present vintage Burgundy wines such as 2002 Alain Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru, 2007 Domaine Mei-Camuzet Nuit St. Georges Premier Cru, and 2003 Joseph Roty Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru. Courses will include Tobacco-Smoked Tuna Loin with Crispy Polenta Cake, Beef Tartare with Caviar and Quail Egg Yolk and Roasted Lamb Tenderloin with Carrot Farrotto. ($450 per person)
2019 World of Pinot Noir: Celebrating Rosés of Pinot Noir
The 2019 World of Pinot Noir is bringing back a popular daytime lawn party featuring over 50 excellent Pinot Noir Rosés. Held on the seaside bluff of the Angel Oak veranda, this event features a gourmet buffet lunch crafted by the Angel Oak’s Chef du Cuisine, Alexander Bollinger. Last year, our favorites included rosés from Bouchaine Vineyards, Cambria Estate Winery, Fiddlehead Cellars, La Crema and Long Meadow Ranch.
Buffet items this year will include Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Marcona Almonds, Pan-Seared Salmon with Citrus Beurre Blanc, Roasted Summer Squash and Baby Zucchini, Grilled Petaluma Chicken Breast with Thyme Jus, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Caramelized Leeks, and Warm Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding. ($125 per person)
2019 World of Pinot Noir: The Grand Tastings
Friday, March 1 – Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, 3:30 – 6:00 pm ($95, or $150 for VIP entrance at 2:30 pm)
Journey through the World of Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County to the Sonoma Coast to Spain. The Friday Tasting will feature wines from over 100 producers such as Bouchaine Vineyards, Brewer-Clifton, Byron Winery, Cambria Estate Winery, Copain, Fiddlehead Cellars, Kanzler Family Vineyards, Kynsi, La Crema Winery, Morgan, Presqu’ile Winery, Saintsbury, Stephen Ross Wine Cellars, Timbre Winery, and Williams Selyem.
You’ll also be able to bid on silent auction items and pair your wine tastes with fresh and seasonal wine country appetizers from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team. Items on this year’s menu include Mushroom Bruschetta, Thai Vegetable Spring Roll, Coconut Crusted Chicken Skewer, Vegetable Crudité, Crab Cake Sliders, and Beef and Gruyere Sliders.
Saturday, March 2 – Pinot Noir Grand Tasting, 3:30 – 6:00 pm ($125, or $175 for VIP entrance at 2:30 pm)
The Saturday Grand Tasting offers over 100 producers (different from the ones that poured on Friday) including Alma Rosa Winery, Au Bon Climat, Balletto Vineyards, Bernardus, Cattleya Wines, Donum Estate, Goldeneye, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Ken Brown Wines, Merry Edwards Winery, Peake Ranch, Sanford Winery, TH Estate Wines/DECROUX, Trombetta Family Wines, Wayfarer and Wrath Wines.
Once again, you can bid on silent auction items and enjoy appetizers to compliment your wine pourings. On Saturday, your options will include Wonton-Wrapped Shrimp, Hawaiian Pork Spring Roll, Fig and Goat Cheese Flatbread, Mediterranean Antipasto, and a Macaroni and Cheese Station with both Truffle & Wild Mushroom and Bacon & Aged Gouda versions.
Although most wineries pour at only one of the two Grand Tastings at World of Pinot Noir, around 15 wineries will offer tastes both days including Archery Summit, Colene Clemens Vineyards, Cristom Vineyards, Domaine Chanson, Erath Winery, the Four Graces, Gran Moraine Winery, Lange Estate, Maison Louis Latour, and Résonance.
To see the complete list of participating wineries, and which day they are participating in a Grand Tasting, please go here.
2019 World of Pinot Noir: Passes
You (and your friends) are highly encouraged to travel to Santa Barbara for a special dinner or a Grand Tasting at the 2019 World of Pinot Noir. For full-on splurging, however, you should consider purchasing a Full-Day or Full-Weekend Pass:
- The FRIDAY SINGLE DAY PASS includes access to Friday’s Tasting Seminar and Luncheon (Exploring the New World of Pinot Noir), VIP Admission to Friday’s Grand Tasting, and a Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner (some dinners may require an additional cost). ($550 per person)
- The SATURDAY SINGLE DAY PASS includes access to Saturday’s Tasting Seminar and Luncheon (Tasting the Signature Styles of Burgundy), VIP Admission to Saturday’s Grand Tasting, and a Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner (some dinners may require an additional cost). ($600 per person)
- The WEEKEND PASS includes access to everything listed above, as well as an exclusive February 28 Opening Night Celebration where you can meet participating winemakers and sample wines from around the world. You’ll be able to pair your Pinot Noir with tasty bites such as Foie Gras Macarons, Brie and Apple Fig Chutney Crostini, Poached Jumbo Prawns, Roasted Cremini Sliders, and Angus Beef and Aged Cheddar Sliders. ($1250 per person)
2019 World of Pinot Noir: Lodging Ideas
All of the 2019 World of Pinot Noir events take place at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, a luxury beach resort nestled on the bluff and beaches of the Gaviota coast between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains (8301 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, 805-968-0100). With 78 acres of oceanfront property, including two miles of natural beach, Bacara offers guestrooms in an inspiring, sun-drenched setting as well as a 42,000-square-foot spa and wellness center.
Although Bacara is now sold out for that weekend, lodging options nearby offering special WOPN discounts include:
- Best Western Plus South Coast Inn – This newly remolded hotel is near Highway 101, Goleta Beach, and the airport. Guest rooms include microwaves, refrigerators, flat screen TVs with HD and more. Amenities include complimentary parking, hot breakfast, pool and spa. $135 Wed/Thur, $220 Sat/Sun, if you book online (through WOPN website link) or call 805-967-3200. (5620 Calle Real, 805-967-3200)
- The Goodland – This Kimpton hotel offers eclectic guestrooms, designed with an easy-going California Cool aesthetic and accented with actual turntables and vinyl records. The rooms feature flat-screen TVs, Wi-FI, and some have courtyard views. $219 per room, if you book online (through WOPN website link) or call 805-967-5591. (5650 Calle Real, 805-964-6241)
- Pacifica Suites – The traditional 1-bedroom suites in this classic all-suite hotel feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges and living rooms with pull-out sofas. Visitor amenities include cooked-to-order breakfast, weekday wine receptions, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and off-street parking. To receive 20% off rack rates, call 805-683-6722. (5490 Hollister Avenue, 805-683-6722)
- Ramada Inn – Award-winning gardens, lagoons and koi ponds make the Ramada an oasis that beckons both business and leisure travelers. Traditional rooms feature microwaves, minifridges and both the Wi-Fi and continental breakfasts are complimentary. $109-$129 Thur, $139-$159 Fri/Sat, please call 800-654-1965 to book. (4770 Calle Real, 805-319-4314)
- Super 8 by Wyndham – This modern budget hotel is just a 4-minute drive to Goleta Beach and a 12-minute drive to the Santa Barbara Zoo. You’ll find a heated outdoor pool, picnic area with a BBQ grill, free Wi-Fi, free parking, and a complimentary continental breakfast. $110 per room, please call 805-967-5591 to reserve. (6021 Hollister Avenue, 805-472-3527)
Established in 2001, the World of Pinot Noir is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring together the world’s foremost Pinot Noir producers, and in a gorgeous setting, celebrate the delicious wine grape. Personally, we’ve had a wonderful time at past WOPNs discovering new producers and revisiting old favorites, and highly recommend the event to any Pinot Noir fan.
While you’re in town for the 2019 World of Pinot Noir, you can also see what some of our favorite wineries, restaurants and food purveyors in all of Santa Barbara County are by going here. Once again, we encourage you to purchase your tickets soon.