May is the Anderson Valley’s biggest wine month of the year, with Pinot Fest 2022 on the weekend of May 20-22 being held again in the Grand Tasting walkabout format with the addition of a VIP Bubble Lounge.
In previous years, the accompanying Wine Auction was help at the event, but this year, you can bid on lots starting tomorrow, May 1st, through the end of the month, ensuring that everyone has a chance to score the most coveted wines. Auction proceeds will benefit the volunteer Anderson Valley Fire Fighters, the Mendocino Conservation Resources District, and the local PTA.
The cool-climate Anderson Valley, just two hours north of San Francisco and an hour north of California’s best-known wine regions — Sonoma and Napa — is known for its world-class Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, sparkling wines, and white varietals such as Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Semillon, all offered at a fraction of the price of the wines of its neighbors to the south.
Pinot Fest is a great introduction to this still largely unsung region. Friday is all about educational seminars and barbecue, and Saturday brings the main tasting event. More than 50 wineries will be pouring all day, including more than a dozen prestige labels from the aforementioned Napa and Sonoma that purchase Anderson Valley fruit. Local chefs will be on hand with food pairings that show off the range of wines produced here.
And for the cherry on top, the Roederer Estate Family of Wines will be hosting a VIP Bubble Lounge this year, serving both Anderson Valley sparkling wines and Champagnes in the Roederer portfolio. There’s no better way to apprehend the quality of Anderson Valley fruit than to taste it side-by-side with high-end French bottlings. (Spoiler alert: It holds up quite nicely, thank you.)
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 (that includes wines from Longmeadow Ranch), all sure to get a lot of interest.