If You Love Pinot Noir, Buy Tickets To The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, May 19-21

The secret is out: Some of California’s very best Pinot Noir grows in the lush, cool-climate Anderson Valley, just north of Sonoma County. Styles range from austere and minimalist to bold and fulsome, and there’s also everything in between — not to mention some of the most delicious under-the-radar sparkling wines in the country.

The Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival, in its 24th year, will be held in various locations in the Anderson Valley from March 19-21 (see below). The Grand Tasting Saturday, May 20th, will be on the grounds of beautiful Scharffenberger Cellars, where more than 50 producers will be pouring a range of Pinot Noir in all its glory, including bubbly and still rosé. There will also be a number of Napa and Sonoma wineries that source Pinot from the Anderson Valley.

Get your tickets here. Pro tip: These events always sell out, so purchase as soon as possible.

Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Highlights

Tech Conference: Friday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $110

Location: Mendocino Fairgrounds, 14400 Highway 128, Boonville, CA 95415

Educational panel discussions, focused tastings, and more, with breakfast and lunch provided. Learn from winemakers, vineyard owners, wine educators, and members of the wine media.

BBQ in the Vineyards: Friday, May 19, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $95

Location: Lula Cellars, 2800 Guntly Road, Philo, CA 95466

This popular annual barbecue features live music and Lula Pinot Noir, along with special bottles from neighbor winemakers.

VIP Bubble Lounge: Saturday, May 20, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $125

Location: Scharffenberger Cellars, 8501 Highway 128, Philo, CA 95466

Sponsored by the Roederer Estate Family of Wines, the Bubble Lounge at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival is limited to 75 75 tickets, which gain you VIP access to wines from Roederer Estate, Scharffenberger Cellars and Champagne Louis Roederer. Includes caviar and other hors d’oeuvres and a chance to mingle with winemakers.

Also, starting May 1st, you can bid on special wines and curated packages during the month-long Wine Auction, Bidding begins on May 1st and will close on May 31st. Email [email protected] for a reminder when the auction goes live. All proceeds benefit local non-profits, including the volunteer Anderson Valley Fire Fighters and the Anderson Valley Skate Park Project.

Grand Tasting: Saturday, May 20, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cost: $175

Designated Driver Ticket: $75

Location: Scharffenberger Cellars, 8501 Highway 128, Philo, CA 95466

This is the main event, where more than 50 producers show off their Pinot Noirs, paired with bites from Mendocino County chefs. You can also bid on auction lots for charity and listen to live music throughout the day.

Winery Open Houses: Sunday, May 21, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Cost: Varies by winery

Location: Throughout Anderson Valley

If crowds are not your thing, or you want to home in on specific wineries, cruise along scenic along Highway 128 and stop in at winery tasting rooms displaying purple flags for tasting, music, food, and special wine discounts.

About the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association

The Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association (AVWA) was founded in 1983 – the same year as the appellation. Made up of 25 vineyard, 66 winery and 63 associate members, the nonprofit organization operates with the goal of supporting the region’s premier grape growers and wineries, as well as promoting the region’s distinguished wines. In addition to acting as a resource for its members, the association aims to better its community by donating funds every year to local nonprofit organizations.

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