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Weekend Wayback (and May Preview) – Santa Lucia Highlands Gala Tasting!

Pinot Noir is *so* incredibly versatile! I've enjoyed it with everything from roast beef to spiced shrimp; BBQ ribs to Chinese take-out.

Pinot Noir is *so* incredibly versatile! I’ve enjoyed it with everything from roast beef to spiced shrimp; BBQ ribs to fried chicken to Chinese take-out.

Welcome back, my friends! Today, as promised, I’m turning the ‘vertible into a “wayback machine” and whisking you back to a splendid Wine Country tasting from last spring. At the end of this post, I’ll fill in the contact details so you can order your own tickets for this year’s event…

But first – when you think of Pinot Noir, and the prime California real estate for growing it, what comes to mind?

Russian River? Sonoma Coast? Anderson Valley? Carneros? Petaluma Gap?

Well, sure. And I’m right there with you.

Not only are all of those AVAs superb sources for this uber-finicky “heartbreak grape,” but they’re already extremely well known and well recognized for it.

Both Mer Soleil and Belle Glos (*stunning* Pinot!) are owned by the Wagner family, of Caymus Cabernet fame.

Both Mer Soleil and Belle Glos (*stunning* Pinot!) are owned by the Wagner family, famous for Caymus.

But instead of looking north of San Francisco, head south toward the east side of the hills opposite Monterey. There you’ll find a somewhat less well known, but no less worthy home for Pinot Noir: the Santa Lucia Highlands.

I recently enjoyed a day-long Pinot festival at Mer Soleil, an impressive winery, wrapped in vineyards, which is not normally open to the public.

"East of Edam" from local cheesemakers Schoch Family Farmstead.

“East of Edam” from cheesemaker Schoch Family Farmstead: one of many hand-crafted local cheeses.

Following a terrific cheese seminar and cheese tasting, we moved into the huge barrel room to taste Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs from dozens of wineries, many of which are smaller and family owned.

With so many stunning Pinots to taste, it’s really difficult to single out just a few favorites.

So I’ll mention a larger handful ~ Hahn Family Wines, Boekenoogen, Wrath, Tudor, Morgan, Kosta Browne, Roar, and Pelerin, along with the Belle Glos.

Winemaker Sabrine Rodems of Wrath poured 3 wonderful single-vineyard Pinots

Winemaker Sabrine Rodems of Wrath poured three wonderful single-vineyard SLH Pinots, plus a Syrah.

This quick guide can help you find what’s available where you live ~ or you could simply order from the various wineries to put together a special SLH tasting of your own.

Better yet, order tickets for this year’s event: the 10th Annual Santa Lucia Highlands Gala, hosted at the stunning Mer Soleil Winery, on Saturday, May 14th.

*Click Here* for complete info. Hope to see you at the Gala!

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Until then, my friends,
Cheers and happy tastings,
Rosina

PS ~ Want to nab a *free* membership in the fun, interactive Drink Wine With Dinner Club, and get tasty content delivered straight to your Inbox? Just *Click Here* to join instantly!

And as always, please be sure to grab your *free download* of “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Wine and Food Pairing.” It’s the best way I know to help you make the foods *you* love taste even better!

You can also email me at Rosina@DrinkWineWithDinner.com with comments or questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers once again,
Rosina

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