AV Pinot Festival Weekend

Last weekend was the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival -- our busiest weekend of the year. Lucky for us, the weather was perfect; it was in the mid-70s for the main event, with a slight breeze.

This year we hosted the Friday night Casual BBQ in our orchard behind the winery. I admit, we had a lot of prep work to do in a space that hadn't been used since our wedding five years ago. We weed-eated, we trimmed trees, we put the fence back together and drug out construction remnants from several projects -- all to make it look appropriately "country rustic." Well, country rustic enough for a wine event. For anyone who truly grew up on a farm in a rural area, you know what that really looks like. Farmers and ranchers don't throw anything away, which means piles of equipment, parts, fencing, and you name it. But I digress.

The evening kicked off for us on Thursday. As my husband and Foursight winemaker, Joe Webb, is the president of the Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association, we were invited to the welcome dinner at Champ de Reves (the Edmeades property Kendall-Jackson re-opened for tastings the summer before last).

It was a lovely evening and the first time the president of our association didn't give a welcome speech. It "wasn't necessary," apparently, which Joe was very happy about, but just reminded me of how differently we operate than other wine regions, like Sonoma and Napa, where I have worked. Instead, we were given an introductory speech about the brand and the wine group that it exists in, within the K-J umbrella. I think we all thought that odd because traditions among our vintner community here are paramount. I think it very much has to do with trying to keep that small-town, community feeling, even as our appellation is growing.

Friday night's BBQ turned out exactly as planned. Bones' Roadhouse killed it with their smoked lamb and Dean Titus and all the other talented locals in the band were wonderful. The wine selection wasn't too shabby either: we had everything from Scherrer to Williams-Selyem to Littorai, Foursight of course, and much more. There was even a bottle of Petite Munier from WillaKenzie Estate -- one of my old brands in the Willamette Valley.

Bones Roadhouse, with a smoker full of lamb and veggies
The red wine table

The entire photo album can be found here:

Saturday was the first time that I haven't organized and attended the morning's press tasting. It felt a little odd, but with the BBQ to plan, I was grateful. Joe and I poured for Foursight at the grand tasting at Goldeneye Winery, and, even though our plates of delicious paella, smoked salmon and cheese ended up on the ground due to a wind gust, it seemed like yet another wonderful AV Pinot Festival grand tasting, complete with great food, music, and a silent auction which raised another $25-30,000 for the Anderson Valley Health Center.

Joe and Kristy pour at Saturday's grand tasting

Saturday evening I crashed, and Sunday we were back again for our open house. We had The Oyster Girls again this year, serving petite Miyagis to pair with our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, plus vegan mushroom bites, hand-carved Jamon de Serrano, St. George cheese from Sonoma County, and more. Thank goodness for our family, who helped us through it all!

Tom and Scott Wilson carve the jamon de serrano while Ozzie waits for scraps

Winemaker Joe Webb pours our Pinots

Aluxa and the delicious oysters

Although it's always a fun weekend, we're also a little happy to see it go as it means we get to collapse for a few days then really start looking forward to the rest of the summer. Thank you to all our wine club members and customers who joined us for the weekend!

For tickets and info about the event: avwines.com.


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