by Georgina Stassi
So much for the gentile nature of a pinot noir symposium. In Avila, they are getting ready to see some of Santa Barbara’s favorite vintners passionately debate the style and philosophy behind the noble grape. It’s the old guard vs. the young turks as one of my favorite veteran winemakers referred to it. This will not be for the faint of heart. It’s going to be a smackdown Central Coast style at the 28th Annual Central Coast Wine Classic.
The panel will consist of both highly esteemed and rising-star winemakers discussing the noble grape that is credited with putting the Santa Barbara County Wine Country on the map.
“Going back decades ago, Richard Sanford, of Alma Rosa Winery, looked all over the state for the best place to grow Pinot Noir and he found it in Santa Barbara County, west of Highway 101, west of Buellton,” said Archie McLaren, Chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic. “Obviously, over the years, vintners have come in to discover other terroirs that are special throughout the area including the Santa Maria Valley, Los Alamos and the now renown Santa Rita Hills, enabling each vintner to create her or his own unique style to be appreciated.”
Pinot Noir enthusiasts will have the opportunity to taste along side the experts as they listen to and engage in a lively discussion on this hotly debated topic. The panel of winemakers include: Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat Winery; Brian Babock of Babcock Vineyards; Chuck Carlson of Carlson Wines; Gavin Chanin of Chanin Wines; Frank Ostini of Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Wines; Greg Brewer of Melville Winery; Adam Tolmach of The Ojai Vineyard; Ernst Storm of Storm Wines; Benjamin Silver of Benjamin Silver Wines; and Steven Gerbac of Rusak Vineyards.
“I think there’s going to be lot of interesting ideas going around about Pinot Noir and a lot of great classically styled wines to taste. Old World versus New World style,” commented Ernst Storm of Storm Wines in Los Olivos. “You’ll have a panel of veteran winemakers alongside young, up-and-coming winemakers with different ideas and approaches. Gavin and I set out from the beginning, to make more classic wines; it’s what we grew up drinking. These are the wines we make.”
The 2012 CCWC Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir Symposium takes place Friday July 13, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM at the Avila Lighthouse Suites. Seating is limited and tickets are $50.00 per person.