There's nothing like a glass of pinot noir to brighten your day.
At least, that's how I felt when I accepted two tickets to attend Pinot Days on January 15th, a Southern California wine tasting extravaganza celebrating wine made from the pinot noir grape.
Even though I consider myself a bonafide pinotphile, this would be my first trip to Pinot Days. The annual event is held in the Barker Hanger at Santa Monica Airport, a huge venue meant to house airplanes. That gave me an idea of just how much pinot noir was going to be on display. It promised to be a pinotphile's vision of heaven.
Excited for the event, I browsed through their extensive list of exhibitors, noticing that a few of my favorite wineries were on it. These included Tantara, a small operation in Santa Maria founded by a family friend from Virginia, and Windy Oaks Estate, from whose mailing list I'd been ordering for years. Our wine cellar is chocked full of their bottles.
|Windy Oaks Estate's Booth in Barker Hanger|
|Judy and Jim Schultz, Proprietors of Windy Oaks Estate|
|Windy Oaks Estate|
After a quick stop by Tantara to say hello to our friends and a drive-by sampling of their delicious wines (the same ones that we served at my October wedding in Santa Barbara last year), we headed for uncharted territory, seeking out a few wineries that we'd heard of, but had never sampled.
|James Onitveros, Viticulturist and Owner of Native 9|
|Loring Wine Company|
|Big Table Farm|
|Jennifer Brody (the writer) with Leanne|