In Pursuit of Balance: Pinot in the Spotlight

Pinot Noir grapes at Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyard, Newberg, OregonFollowing on the heels of my panel workshop at the very successful 9th Pinot Noir Summit this past month, I’m involved in another new, rather exciting Pinot adventure this month.  California Pinot Noir: In Pursuit of Balance (Twitter) is a revolutionary new partnership intending generate dialog about balance in Cali Pinot.  The partnership was founded by Jasmine Hirsch (Twitter) of Hirsch Vineyards and Winery (Twitter) and Rajat Par, longtime wine director for the Michael Mina family of restaurants including his own Rn74 (Twitter).  As a well-respected family winegrower and an international restaurant wine director respectively, they are knee deep in the world of Pinot each and everyday. It is through this dedication to a single varietal that they realized a conundrum: is California Pinot becoming too big and unwieldy?

Hirsch Vineyards and WineryThis conversation is very timely, as the topic of balance vs. power, elegant vs. burly in Pinot has truly reached fisticuffs a peak.  I was excited to be approached to work on this event because balanced, medium-bodied and earthy, cool climate Pinot really fits my palate.  Thomas L. Powers (Twitter) of the web-based HD food and wine series Gastrotommy, will be doing a live broadcast of the trade seminar and filming for a future Gastrotommy episode.  Rn74 - Michael MinaI will be the online moderator for the broadcast alongside panel the on-site moderator Ray Isle (Twitter), Wine Editor of Food & Wine Magazine (Twitter).  In addition, John Trinidad (Twitter) has written an awesome primer for IPOB, over at his SF Wine Blog.

The event drops 03/28/11 at high noon at the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco (Twitter) and Rn74, so come check it out online we’ll chat about @BalancedPinot!  Catch the full deets for the seminar and trade and consumer events are below and follow on Twitter with the hashtag #IPOB.  Cheers!


On March 28 twenty-one wineries will gather in San Francisco to share their pinot noirs. These wineries and their wines have been selected by Rajat Parr to promote the theme of balance and hopefully inspire passion and dialogue around this topic. Please click here for the list of participating wineries.


Seminar: In Pursuit of Balance

* Open to members of the press and trade by invitation only. Please RSVP to in order to reserve your seat. Closed to the public.
Moderator: Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine
Panelists: Wells Guthrie, Copain; Vanessa Wong, Peay Vineyards; Geoff Kruth, MS, Director of Operations – Guild of Sommeliers and Wine Director – Farmhouse Inn
Location: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 222 Sansome St. (between Pine and California
Time: noon – 1 pm

Trade Tasting

* Open to members of the press and trade by invitation. RSVP kindly requested to Closed to the public.
Location: RN74, 301 Mission St. (between Beale and Fremont)
Time: 2 – 4 pm

Public Tasting

* Advance ticket reservation required. Please click here to reserve your tickets.
Location: RN74, 301 Mission St. (between Beale and Fremont)
Time: 5 – 8 pm

Finished wines confirmed for the seminar (IPOB2011March):

[winelist query=”IPOB2011March” num=”100″]

Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo

View posts by Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo
Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, former West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for and former Le Wine Buff for (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. Check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Like #Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.

1 Comment

  1. […] had quite a great time while moderating and tasting my way through the very cool California Pinot Noir: In Pursuit of Balance (Twitter) event, back in […]


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