World of Pinot Noir Done Santa Maria Style!
The annual World of Pinot Noir event gathered the planet’s foremost Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars in a weekend-long seaside celebration. The Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, Calif. was filled with approximately 2,500 wine lovers, enthusiasts, industry professionals and more.
In March 2018, the Santa Maria Valley was a proud sponsor of the event. The Visit Santa Maria Valley display featured a delicious pinquito bean salad sampling from Susie Q’s Brand, in addition to take away samples of their renowned Susie Q Seasoning. Fresh, colorful produce from radishes, kohlrabi and carrots enhanced the display courtesy of Babé Farms. A sampling of ultra delicious, sweet California Giant Strawberries were a popular hit. Attendees dropped by for tastings in-between a grandiose experience of wine tasting.
Also, on display as a photo opportunity at the event was a custom Model A Chevrolet Farm Truck courtesy of Jay McCord, regional president of the Model A Ford Club of America. It featured a hand painted Santa Maria Valley logo on it.
For us in the Santa Maria Valley, the highlight of the weekend was The Bounties of the Santa Maria Valley: A Celebratory Farm-to-Fork Dinner. The region is the epicenter for its hearty and robust eponymous style of steak made from locally raised beef. Our guests indulged in a dinner spotlighting an elevated presentation of Santa Maria-Style barbecue prepared by Ritz-Carlton Bacara Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz, all paired with wines from the region’s most renowned wineries. This four-course menu was designed with fresh and locally-sourced vegetables from Babé Farms featuring a roasted root salad, and a mushroom vol-au-vent, perfectly prepared. Dessert was a beautifully crafted presentation of strawberry textures with California Giant Strawberries as the star.
Special guests included Laura Booras from Riverbench Winery, Deiter Cronje from Presqu’ile, Wes Hagen from J Wilkes Wines, Billy Wathen from Foxen Winery and Chris Sawyer, sommelier, wine educator and journalist, and the Cork Dorks, Adam Montiel and Jeremy West. It was truly a night of laughter, mingling and just plain fun, typical of #SantaMariaStyle.
The Santa Maria Valley is home to some of America’s highest regarded Pinot Noir vineyards and producers. Tour the land where grapes grow as far as the eye can see. Where sprawling vineyards, smooth wine and down home fun come together to create something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that you’re sure you never want to leave behind.
The Santa Maria Valley is the ideal home base for California’s Central Coast with 34 tasting rooms, 6 unique AVAs, 13 beaches, and a growing selection of local breweries, all within a beautiful 30-minute drive. The area was voted a top destination for Wine Snobs by The Travel Channel. Yet, our idea of snobbery consists of swirling ‘til you spill and where coming uncorked is quite encouraged.
The World of Pinot Noir was a weekend filled with the finest producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world together with Pinot Noir fans, for a memorable celebration and education on the shores of California’s beautiful Central Coast. We can’t wait to be back and do it again with #SantaMariaStyle.
A look ahead:
The 2018 Wine Trolley is revving up and will begin service on May 26 and run through October 14.
May is National Tourism Month! Follow the Visit Santa Maria Valley Facebook page for upcoming details on the wine trolley and National Tourism Month activities and photo contest. Details to come!