A Nostalgic Take on the World of Pinot Noir 2015
It’s the first week of March, 2010, midnight, my 14th hour of the day and the last day in the World of Pinot Noir office before the event starts tomorrow in Shell Beach. It will be the first of four days total, hosting over 12 individual events, 220 wineries, and expecting over 2000 guests. I’m looking at the program with my name under the ‘Event Coordinator’ title, my 22-year old paper-cut hands shaking from nerves and caffeine withdrawls, WOPN board member Mike Sinor’s words to the effect of, if you girls pull this off, you can do anything. The questions running through my head: did I confirm the rooms for the wineries attending from France, Italy and Austria? Did I send the schedule for the sommeliers and who’s pouring where? Are all of Fred Dame’s wines safely stored in the right place for his Vintage Burgundy Seminar? Are all names placed correctly for the two gala dinners?
That was five years ago, but I swear it could have been yesterday
To keep a long story short, and to get to the point of this post, the weekend went off with out (any large) hitches. I remember receiving an incredibly generous (and probably undeserved) email from Mrs. Meadows, aka Mrs. Allen “Burghound” Meadows and that made the last six weeks completely worthwhile.
The World of Pinot Noir has really evolved. I cant remember who told me this, possibly Brian Talley or Kent Torrey from The Cheese Shop in Carmel, but when WOPN first started back in 2001, Brian had told Kent something like “were throwing a Pinot event, wanna bring some cheese?” I’ll never forget that. Fifteen years later, World of Pinot has since outgrown it’s original location, quaint and sleepy beachside town of Shell Beach, just south of San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California. It’s now moved 90 miles south to Santa Barbara, where Bacara, a beautifully luxurious Spanish style resort. Of course, WOPN wouldn’t be the same if we weren’t sipping Pinot by the sea and Bacara lies right on the cliffs.
This year, get ready for in-depth seminars and dinners featuring seminars on food and featured producers, “foodie frenzy” seminars and a focus on latitude and longitude, elaborate dinners and grand
tastings on both Friday and Saturday. Not to name names, but we will anyway, moderators to include Jancis Robinson, Donald Kinnan, Nick Poletto, Bob Cummings, and Stephanie Mutz. In addition to not to mention a team of sommeliers including Fred Dame, who leads a Vintage Burgundy dinner. Chefs come locally, Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post, David Rosner (Wine Cask), David Reardon (Bacara), Johan Denizot (Miro), and bringing their large supply of cheese, Michael and Kathryn Graham of C’est Cheese! Each year there’s a Featured Burgundian producer, a guest star, if you will and this year’s is Alexandrine Roy, a ‘fourth generation winegrower’ of Domaine Marc Roy. In addition to Burgundy, Pinot Noir producers come from all over the world in past WOPNs and future, potentially including Italy, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Chile, and more…
Jitters aside from what has now been five years since my stint at WOPN, I am thrilled to not only be attending as a guest, but also see how this great event has become so much more than just a glass of Pinot at the beach and my moment in time with it, but is now a world class event not to be missed for any fan of the varietal.
Sparked your interest? More details can be found at the WOPN website or for ticket sales, here