Pinot Festivals

Here is a list of the major Pinot Noir Festivals and other major events also pouring Pinot Noir. If you plan to attend, purchase your tickets early as many of these events sell out quickly. Check the festival websites for further information and sign up for the mailing list to receive advanced notification of ticket and registration availability.

January

Central Otago Pinot Noir Festival

Held in Queenstown, New Zealand. Begun in 1999, with 40 wineries and 200 wine enthusiasts attending this festival. Held in late January. For information: www.pinotcelebration.co.nz.

Mendocino County Crab, Wine & Beer Fest

Last 10 days in January. Crab feeds, crab cruises, winemaker dinners, wine competitions, crab cake cook off, and dozens of other crazy crab events throughout Mendocino County. For information: www.visitmendocino.com.

Russian River Valley Winter WINEland

Two days of wine tasting, tours, education, and winemaker talks. Over 100 wineries participate. For information: www.wineroad.com.

Pasadena PinotFest

Month long (mid January to mid February) series of winemaker dinners and Grand Tasting with 100 wineries participating, mostly from Central Coast. Discontinued.

Pinot Days New York City

Discontinued. Pinot Days only held once annually in San Francisco. For information: www.pinotdays.com

February

Pinot Noir New Zealand

First begun in 2001, this festival draws winemakers and enthusiasts from all over the world to Wellington, New Zealand. Tastings are held with 100 top New Zealand Pinot Noir producers. Many world-wide wine luminaries attend. It attracts upwards of 500 attendees. For information: www.pinotnz.co.nz

Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration

This local festival in Melbourne, Australia attracts 150 people to celebrate Pinot Noirs from around the world. Biannual (last held in 2017), sponsored by Mornington Peninsula Vignerons. Held in February. For information: www.mpva.com.

La Paulée de San Francisco and La Paulée de New York

Sommelier Daniel Johnnes presents this four day event with Burgundy seminars, tastings and spectacular dinners. Burgundy's leading vignerons attend. Alternates between San Francisco and New York each year. For information: www.lapaulee.com.

March

McMinnville Wine & Food Classic

Held over 3 days, Friday-Sunday, in early March at the Evergreen Air Museum. 160 of the area's premier wine, food and art vendors. Chef demonstrations, live music. Wines available for purchase by the taste, glass, bottle or case. Benefit for students of St. James Catholic School. For information: www.sipclassic.org

Pinot Noir Summit

Sponsored by Affairs of the Vine, this event began in 2002. Over 250 Pinot Noirs from North America are evaluated by a diverse professional tasting panel. The top 30 wines are then presented at a blind tasting at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California. Awards are given to the Pinot Noirs voted the favorite by the tasting panel as well as the consumers who attend the event. Seminars on Pinot Noir and dinner with the winemakers are offered. Usually held in early March. Discontinued since 2014. For information: www.affairsofthevine.com.

Russian River Valley Wine Road Barrel Tasting

Two weekends. Over 100 participating wineries. Taste from barrel and order futures. Very popular and very crowded event. 40th Anniversary event March 3-5 and March 10-12, 2017. For information: www.wineroad.com and http://rrvw.org/crab-fennel-fest/.

World of Pinot Noir

This annual 3 day Pinot Noir Festival originally held in California's Central Coast at The Cliffs Resort in Shell Beach and moved in 2015 to Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Seminars, tastings of over 120 different Pinot Noir producers, a Burgundy seminar, many special dinners, and educational tasting seminars. Held in early March. Tickets available for entire weekend or single events. Register at: www.wopn.com.

Pinot Paradise

This festival featured the Pinot Noirs of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It was held at The Mountain Winery (formerly the Paul Masson Winery) in Saratoga, California in late March. Over 30 wineries pour Pinot Noir along with an auction and seminars. Over 900 people attended in the past but was discontinued in 2015. For information www.scmwa.com.

April

Dundee Hills Appellation Passport Tour

Winery open houses and vineyard seminars. For information: www.dundeehills.org.

Santa Barbara County Vintner's Spring Weekend

Held throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country in mid April. Over 100 local wineries, food from top local restaurants and caterers, live music. Grand Tasting in River View Park in Buellton. Many wineries offer open houses, winemaker dinners, library tastings etc.. Also Santa Barbara Wine Seminar, Big Bottle Bash and Vintners Visa Wine Country Tasting Pass. Sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Vintner's Association. For information: www.sbcountywines.com.

May

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival

This festival is held annually in Philo, California, in the heart of the Anderson Valley. Dating back to 1998, it is focused solely on Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley and attracts approximately 450 people. Friday Technical Seminar, Saturday Grand Tasting, and Sunday Winery Open Houses. Lodging is limited in the Anderson Valley so many attendees stay on the Mendocino Coast and use a shuttle to the Festival or drive the 1.25 hours from Healdsburg. Held in mid-May. For information: www.avwines.com.

Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country

Visit wineries in the Willamette Valley Friday thru Sunday that are rarely open to the public. For information: www.willamettewines.com.

Paso Robles Wine Festival

Always 3rd weekend in May. For information: www.pasowine.com.

Russian River Valley Pinot Classic

A multiple day celebration of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir including seminars, Passport to Pinot, and Paulee Dinner. Last weekend of May. Discontinued. For information: www.pinotclassic.com.

Santa Lucia Highlands Winegrower's Gala

Tasting of Santa Lucia Highlands wines at Mer Soleil Winery in Salinas with gourmet food pairings. May 20, 2017. For information: www.santaluciahighlands.com.

June

FiddleFest

A celebration of the producers who source fruit from the 96-acre Fiddlestix Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Held in a barn at Fiddlestix Vineyard. All wineries sourcing fruit from Fiddlestix Vineyard will be pouring along with great eats from Hitching Post and some cool fiddling. Inquire at Fiddlehead Winery for event details. For tickets: www.fiddleheadcellars.com/events.html.

Marin County Pinot Noir Celebration

Marin County growers and wineries present their Pinot Noirs at the historic Escalle Winery in Larkspur, Marin County, California. Event may be discontinued - not sure if there will be a 2017 event. For information and tickets: www.marinwines.com. Information also at www.malt.org.

Pinot and Paella

Held at the Templeton Community Park in Templeton, California. Paso Robles area Pinot Noir producers will be pouring and 16 chefs will be cooking. Proceeds go to the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation. Tickets: 805-238-5825. www.pinotandpaella.com.

July

Pinot Family Reunion

More than 40 wineries participate in this annual event held at the Vintners Inn Event Center and John Ash & Co. Restaurant. A Pinot Noir and food tasting is followed by a family-style dinner with live music. A portion of proceeds benefit the Sutter North Bay Women's Health Center. Many well-known Russian River Valley Pinot Noir producers pour. Discontinued. For information and tickets: www.vintnersinn.com

International Wine & Heart Health Summit

Held every two years in a different wine region. Australia in 2013. Physicians and anyone interested in research on the health benefits of wine are cordially invited. I last attended in Walla Walla in 2009 and I believe the event was in Willamette Valley in 2010. I don't think it has been held again and website is down.

International Pinot Noir Celebration

2016 event was the 30th. Held on the beautiful campus of Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, the event is limited to 700 people. The lunches and dinners are extraordinary including the traditional northwest-style salmon bake. Besides numerous seminars, there are two large walk-around tastings of Pinot Noirs from all over the world. There are plenty of B&B type accommodations and small hotels in the area, but many attendees choose to stay on campus in the inexpensive students living quarters for convenience (walking distance to all events). Held last weekend in July. For information: www.ipnc.org.

Central Coast Wine Classic

Dinner at Hearst Castle, Paulée Dinner, educational and tasting symposiums, bicycle tour, wine and lifestyle auction. For information: www.centralcoastwineclassic.org.

August

Mendocino Ridge & Yorkville Highlands Wine Festival

Over 60 local wines, barbecue, grape stomp, highlands games, rare bottle silent auction. August 2, 2014 at Meyer Family Cellars on Highway 128. Website not updated since 2015. No indication of future events. For information and tickets: www.yorkvillehighlands.org.

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Grape to Glass Weekend

Third weekend in August. Three days of wine, food and art in the vineyards of the Russian River Valley. Winery and vineyard tours, educational tastings, bike touring kayaking the Russian River, Hog in the Fog outdoor food and wine event and the finale, Bubbles & Pixels. For information: www.rrvw.org.

Wally's Central Coast Wine & Food Celebration

A one day tasting of wines from distinguished Central Coast wineries paired with foods from some of Los Angeles' best restaurants. A benefit for the Michael Bonaccorsi UC Davis Scholarship Foundation. For information: www.wallywine.com.

West of West Wine Festival

A celebration of the wine, food and culture of the West Sonoma Coast. The Grand Tasting offers more than 40 producers and growers. Chicago (April), Sebastopol (August) and Orange County (November) California, all in 2014. Sponsored by West Sonoma Coast Vintners. Discontinued.

Wine & Fire

Sponsored by the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance, a group of 50 producer and grower members. Friday night Barn Party, Saturday morning Seminar and lunch, Saturday evening Grand Tasting at La Purisima Mission, and Sunday member winery Open Houses. For tickets: www.staritahills.com.

Winemaker's Celebration

Monterey Wine Country's annual event featuring over 45 wineries. Wine seminars, wine tastings, foods, and auction. For information: www.montereywines.com.

September

Winesong!

Mendocino County's celebration of food, wine, art, travel, and giving. Tastings, wine and lifestyle auction held on the Mendocino Coast. For information: www.winesong.org.

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend over Labor Day Weekend combines two of Sonoma's most prestigious wine and food events: the Sonoma Starlight at Francis Ford Coppola Winer, Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch with 150 wineries pouring, and the aynnual Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction. Many winemaker lunches and dinners are scheduled as well. For information and tickets: www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.

October

Sonoma County Harvest Fair

First weekend in October. Sample the best Sonoma County wines and food at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 707-545-4203. For information: 707-545-4203 or http://www.sonomacountyfair.com/hf_home.php.

Pinot on the River

Annual tasting of primarily North Coast Pinot Noir held in late October on Healdsburg Square. For information: www.pinotfestival.com.

Harvest Wine

Tour Paso Robles. Held the third weekend in October. For information: www.pasowine.com.

November

Hospices de Beaune (Les Trois Giorieuses Burgundy Wine Festival)

Begun as a charity wine auction in 1859, it is now a three day festival celebrating Burgundy's food and wines. Thousands attend the winery dinners and tasting. Held in mid-November. For information: www.hospices-de-beaune.com/fr/hospices/index.php.

A Wine & Food Affair

First weekend in November. Wine and food pairing at over 70 Russian River Valley wineries. For information: www.wineroad.com.

Big Sur Food & Wine Festival

First weekend in November since 2008. Brings together roughed coastline, refined cuisine, and elegant wine tastings in the backdrop of the soul of what is uniquely Big Sur. Many notable California Pinot Noir producers participate each year. For information: www.bigsurfoodandwine.org.

PinotFest

This is a classy tasting and dinner featuring top California Pinot Noir producers. Started in 1999, it is held at the Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco, California. Limited to 300 people, the event sells out every year. Held in mid-November. For information: www.farallonrestaurant.com.

Salud

Oregon's Pinot Noir Auction. A weekend of wine, food, and fun to support efforts to bring healthcare to seasonal vineyard workers and their families. I support this event with an auction item each year called "Russian River Valley Immersion" where I host two couples for four days in the Russian River Valley. For information: www.saludauction.org.

The Great Wine Escape Weekend

Seminars, winemaker dinners, progressive dinner, wine country tours and open houses in Monterey County wine region. For information: www.montereywines.com.

Wine Country Thanksgiving

A three day open house in the Willamette Valley of Oregon of wineries usually not open to the public (also Memorial Day weekend - see May). For information: www.willamettewines.com.

Vintner's Holidays at Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park

32 prominent California wineries participate in a series of eight sessions. Dine with winemakers, winery owners and growers in each session, moderated by some of the most respected wine authorities in the country. Two and three night packages available. For information: www.YosemitePark.com/Vintners.

Multiple Months

Napa Valley Mustard Festival

Many seasonal wine country events. For information: www.mustardfestival.org.

Passport Program - Santa Cruz Mountains

For $30 receive a passport to Santa Cruz Mountain wineries, many of which are not open to the public at any other time. The 3rd Saturday in January, April, July, and November. For information: www.scmwa.com.