May is the biggest wine month of the year in the Anderson Valley, with Pinot Fest 2022 the weekend of May 20-22 being held again in the Grand Tasting Drive format with the addition of a VIP Bubble Lounge.
In previous years, the accompanying wine auction was an aid to the event, but this year you can bid on lots from tomorrow, May 1, until the end of the month, ensuring that everyone has a chance to score the most coveted wines. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Anderson Valley Volunteer Firefighters, the Mendocino Conservation Resource District and the local PTA.
The cool-climate Anderson Valley, just two hours north of San Francisco and one hour north of California’s best-known wine regions – Sonoma and Napa – is known for its Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, sparkling wines and varietals. whites such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Semillon, all offered at a fraction of the price of wines from its southern neighbours.
Pinot Fest is an excellent introduction to this still largely unknown region. Friday is all about educational seminars and a barbecue, and Saturday brings the main tasting event. More than 50 wineries will be flocking throughout the day, including more than a dozen high-profile labels from the aforementioned Napa and Sonoma who buy Anderson Valley fruit. Local chefs will be on hand for wine pairings showcasing the range of wines produced here.
And to top it off, the Roederer Estate Family of Wines will host a VIP Bubble Lounge this year, serving both Anderson Valley sparkling wines and champagnes from the Roederer range. There’s no better way to experience the quality of Anderson Valley fruit than tasting them side-by-side with premium French bottlings. (Spoiler alert: Holds up pretty well, thanks.)
This year’s auction includes package experiences from The Inn at Newport Ranch (which includes Littorai wines), a meal at the spectacular Bewildered Pig (in partnership with Phillips Hill Winery) and a stay at The Brambles (which includes wines of Longmeadow Ranch), all sure to get plenty of interest.
Tickets for Pinot Fest are nearly sold out, so book now via this link. And get ready to lift your virtual paddle tomorrow morning when the auction opens.