Sep 11, 2016

Pinot Paradise 2016

A few Saturdays ago, ok quite a few, I attended a Pinot Noir technical session on Santa Cruz Mountains AVA put on by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

Putting you on the pathway to Pinot Paradise. Who doesn't love a good Pinot Noir? Well it seems now days Pinot Noir is easy to find and often quite inexpensive but good ones are not as easy to find as one would think so checking out this Pinot centric region was going to be fun.

Pinot Noir Technical Session at Hotel Paradox
Saturday, May 21
John Bargetto acknowledging Ken Burnap 
Learn and discover! This session was from 8:30am to 11:30am and featured an engaging program around geology and soils, regional history and all with a winemaker panel to kick-off regional exploration. During this event as we tasted and talked about an array of Pinot Noirs from the oldest mountain American Viticulture Area (AVA) in the United States. The ticket price was also reasonable $45.

Held at the lovely Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, California in a well sized and comfortable meeting room. The morning started out with the first session being done by area icon and Pinotfile Ken Burnap founder of the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Ken told the story of how the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA was designed. Ken was a big player in how the AVA came about. He explained how he and David Bennion (co founder of Ridge Vineyards) spent years studying the region and the way the fog would behave creating a defined and predictable pattern.

Next up was the engaging John Bargetto of Bargetto Winery.
Bargetto Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is currently run by the third generation of this family winery. Bargetto Winery, an American story. 

John talked about the Regan Vineyard (pronounced 'Ree gan') that has nearly 40 acres planted to twelve different varietals and clones. A special vineyard that is one of the largest and most diverse in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 
As part of the session we had the opportunity to taste a Pinot Noir from Bargetto and also a Pinot Noir from the Regan vineyards made by MJA Vineyards. This was a very eyeopening tasting as the grapes came from the same vineyard but the wine could have been from different parts of the world. Both lovely tasting wines but bearing no resemblance to each other. One very much an elegant Pinot, the other more robust with heavier mouth feel.

Next up was three tastings from different wineries using the Muns Vineyard. We tasted wines from Muns, Left Bend and Thomas Fogarty Winery's. The Muns Vineyard sits atop the Santga Cruz Mountains facing the Monterey Bay at an elevation of 2600'.

The next tasting of the session was of the Lester Family Vineyards. This gentle sloping vineyards is located in Corralitos where a strong maritime influence provides for long cool maturation time. The wineries we tasted using the Lester Family Vineyards were, Big Basin, Martin Ranch and Sante Arcangeli Family wines.

The final group of wines have grapes sourced from the Coast Grade Vineyards. The Coast Grade Vineyard is located in Bonny Doon and was planted in 2008. Residing at an elevation of 1,238 to 1,350 feet on a southwest facing slope that is also heavily influenced by the Monterey Bay. The wineries we tasted were Beauregard Vineyards, Big Basin Vineyards and Partage Wine Company.

This casual yet informative (and very affordable unlike some other Pinot events) session on the Santa Cruz Mountan AVA and Pinot Noir was a wonderful overview of the region, the grape and the lovely wine that is produced by multiple wineries. The similarities and the differences were interesting and delicious from this interesting region which certainly has its share of good Pinot Noir.

Happy tasting Adventures,


No comments:

Post a Comment

We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!