Elevating A Wine Region and its Pinot Noir

How long does it take for a new grape growing region to establish a reputation for it’s wines? It can take quite a while or no time at all, because this kind of development is not dependent on the passage of time. It is dependent on the quality and quantity of fine wines from the region.

Marin County, one county south of Sonoma, is attempting to build a reputation for its wines and primarily for it’s Pinot Noir. Over the past 12 months the Marin County wine region created a very nice buzz among those who follow wine closely. The buzz was built by the work of a few vintners who are absolutely convinced this cool region can produce grapes of superior quality and who set about showing the gatekeepers and trades people that the wines made from these grapes are worthy.

The Pinot producers of Marin County are offering wine lovers a chance to determine for themselves just how good these wines are. "A Celebration of Marin County Pinot Noir"  will take place on Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10 in Larkspur, California. The tasting will be held between 5pm and 8pm. Tickets can be obtained at www.malt.org or by calling 415-663-1158. Tickets are $40.

Among the producers of Marin County Pinot  Noir that will be on hand are: Corda Winery,Marin
Dutton-Goldfield, Pey-Marin Vineyards, Pt. Reyes Vineyard, Stubbs Vineyard, Sean Thackrey and Vision Cellars.

I grew up in Marin County, left, then came back some years later before leaving again for Sonoma. I spent a great deal of time in the western reaches of Marin County where many of the new vineyards are located. West Marin is simply breathtaking in its beauty. The ocean and sea shore and Tomales Bay looms constantly over one hill or another that one encounters. Vast patches of grazing land fall away from either side of the backroads that one can drive. Old barns mark the terrain, leaving over from age. And fog is a regular intruder. It is…Pinot Country.

I suspect as more winemakers taste the Pinots and Rieslings from this region there will be a move to plant more vineyards. Marinites, having a sturdy tradition of land conservation, will look at these vineyards with a wary eye and doing what they can to make sure the farm land does not get painted over with vineyards. Hopefully they will see that vineyardists and winemakers tend to be the most proactive conservationists you can find. And it turns out that the upcoming "Celebration of Marin County Pinot Noir" will benefit the Marin Agricultural Land Trust. One more reason to mark your calendar and buy your tickets.

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