Thursday, February 18, 2016

Working the World of Pinot Noir

Welcome to the wonderful world of Pinot Noir.

Or, as the case may be, The World of Pinot Noir, the amazing event that I hope many of you will soon be swimming in at the Bacara in Santa Barbara, CA, March 4 & 5. This is the first post I get to do as the official blogger of #WOPN16, so look forward to numerous posts highlighting producers who will be pouring, events that will be happening, regions that are more than happening.

To get things kicked off, it takes some work. Or it takes Peter and Rebecca Work, owners of Ampelos Cellars in the Sta. Rita Hills (aka Santa Barbara ground zero for pinot). Ampelos considers its wines from the ground up, and is one of the few vineyards to be certified organic, sustainable, and biodynamic. (Peter Work had a meeting canceled on September 11 at the World Trade Center, and that wake-up call led him back to the land.)

That's their land up in the photo. Any other questions? As they like to put it, they use, "A natural winemaking style with minimum intervention," which means the grapes get the final word. And grapes from an amazing growing region have a beautiful vocabulary.

Peter says he looks forward to WOPN to "meet old friends and passionate Pinot Noir lovers and share the latest wines with them. It's always great to reconnect with winemakers, sommeliers, and customers and have a great time."

Those who stop by the Ampelos table at the Saturday Pinot Noir by the Sea Tasting should get to sample the Ampelos 2012 estate “Lambda” Pinot Noir, the 2011 “Rho” Estate, Barrel Select Pinot Noir,  as well as 2014 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Peter hints, "There may be something under the table as well…," and any previous attendee knows what riches live under the table at some tasting spots. As if the "regular" stuff isn't enough.

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