Pinot on the River – A Fall Classic!

October is Major League Baseball’s main event.  If the A’s and Giants had fared better it might be true for the denizen’s of northern California.  However, with the local teams “waiting until next year”, those who see Harvest as the real or alternative main event for October weren’t disappointed at the 8th Annual Pinot Festival “Pinot On The River” in Healdsburg.  This event is held for the benefit of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County and was a Home Run by any measure!

Crowds on Plaza Street - Pinot Festival (Linda C)
Crowds on Plaza Street – Pinot Festival (Linda C)

The reference to the river is, of course, the Russian River whose climatic influences and abundant water nourish and shape vineyards throughout northern and western Sonoma County and numerous Sonoma appellations.   

Papapietro Perry Team (Linda C)

Papapietro Perry Team (Linda C)

Approximately 800 small artisan wine makers from around California, including vintners from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Lucia Highlands, Sonoma Coast, Russian River, Anderson Valley as well as other American Viticultural Areas participated.  Some favorites included: Black Kite Cellars, Laetitia Vineyards and Winery, Gary Farrell Winery, Boisset JCB Wines, Papapietro Perry Winery, Littorai, Siduri/Novy Family Wines, Schug Carneros Estates, the very large Terlato Family Vineyards  and the very small and non-profit Bruliam Wines.

Jesse from Boisset Taste of Terrior- JCB Wines (Linda C)

Jesse from Boisset Taste of Terrior- JCB Wines (Linda C)

There is probably no better venue than the Plaza in Healdsburg to hold such an event.  Plaza Street was blocked off for the vintners to set up their tasting tables while the Plaza itself was filled with a special VIP tasting area, artisanal cheese makers, a gourmet food stand and a very large silent auction.  

Silent Auction at Pinot Festival (Linda C)

Silent Auction at Pinot Festival (Linda C)

A terrific event, with early admission available for an additional fee, the Pinots were wide-ranging in flavor profiles and prices.  A special focus, and seminar, was held highlighting the Pinots of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  The best part of this event is that you can taste and learn about very limited production vintners whose case production is as small as 400 cases per year in the beautiful Russian River Valley town of Healdsburg, California.

Laetitia Vineyards and Gary Farrell Winery Teams (Linda C)

Laetitia Vineyards and Gary Farrell Winery Teams (Linda C)

Mark your calendars for next year as this event is a do not miss for Pinot Lovers.  With so many wineries participating and the grand tasting in downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square, this is a Sonoma County wine event you won’t want to miss.


About John Compisi

John Compisi is a freelance travel, adventure and lifestyle writer focusing on California, Italy, France or where ever life takes him. He is a published member of the SF Bay Area Travel Writers and the Redwood Writers Club. John, and photographer wife Linda, reside in Sonoma County and love nothing more than getting out there and experiencing the world, no matter if it’s a destination close to home, a road trip, or a journey to romantic international destinations.
This entry was posted in Day Trips, Uncategorized, Wine, Wine Country, Wine Events, Wineries and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pinot on the River – A Fall Classic!

  1. Kerith Overstreet says:

    Thanks for mentioning our little winery in the same sentence as so many pinot noir luminaries. It’s a great compliment to us. Great photos, too. I missed the artisanal cheese though!

    • John C says:

      Kerith, We really enjoyed your wine (the one that wasn’t sold out!!) Yes, the Artisanal Cheese was outside the alcohol circle of trust! Sorry. We will keep an eye out for more opportunities to taste and purchase your wines. Do we get a t-shirt?? Best to Brian, John

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