Posted on March 10, 2017

World of Pinot Noir Sees Largest Turnout In Its 17-Year History

Organizers credit this year’s growth to the event’s reinvigorated mission to host the world’s foremost producers of Pinot Noir.  

March 10, 2017 (Santa Barbara, CA) – The World of Pinot Noir (WOPN), the organization dedicated to the education and celebration of Pinot Noir, is proud to announce its recent annual event hosted a record number of attendees, and featured the most wineries since its inception in 2001.

Held March 3-4 throughout the seaside property of the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, the entire event – including two grand tastings, a charity auction, seminars and slew of focused Pinot Noir-pairing lunches and dinners – saw close to 3,000 attendees. In total, more than 200 wineries from around the globe poured their world-class Pinot Noirs during the weekend.

“This is a proud moment for WOPN,” says Coby Parker-Garcia, president of WOPN’s Board of Directors and winemaker for Claiborne & Churchill and his personal label, El Lugar Wines.

“This was a true team effort. Our board of directors, advisory board, our new management team Solterra Strategies – along with our talented sommeliers and the Bacara operations team – all worked tirelessly to attract the best and most innovative producers on the planet, and then created a fun and elegant atmosphere where the wine’s growing legion of fans could experience and share in our collective love for Pinot Noir and all its various styles.”

 Beyond the two grand tastings and seminars, the marquee events included Kosta Browne’s 20th Anniversary Dinner, where the winery dug deep into its cellar to commemorate the platinum anniversary; a Maison Louis Latour dinner and seminar, hosted by wine writer Michael Apstein; a vertical and horizontal tasting with Sonoma County’s Hirsch Vineyards; and the Merry Edwards ‘Rock Star’ Dinner at Bacara’s newly renovated Angel Oak restaurant, which honored the winery’s eponymous winemaker.

The World of Pinot Noir also presented a total of $6,000 in donations from last year’s (2016) charity wine auction to two premiere wine education programs located in the California Central Coast wine region.

A $3,000 donation was given to the Michael Bonaccorsi Foundation, which has an established endowment with Allan Hancock College’s Department of Viticulture and Enology. Bonaccorsi was the 20th American to earn the title of Master Sommelier. Bonaccorsi worked as a sommelier and director of wine at a number of prestigious restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles including Masa’s

Restaurant, Cypress Club, Zola’s and Spago. He and his wife Jenne Lee founded the Bonaccorsi Wine Company in 1999.

Another $3,000 donation was given to the Keith Patterson Memorial Endowment at California Polytechnic University’s Wine and Viticulture Program. Patterson, a professor, was a founding father of the Wine and Viticulture Program at Cal Poly. He developed and taught core viticulture classes, carried out a variety of viticulture research projects and shared his passion for grape growing and winemaking with thousands of students. Patterson helped launch the student club, Vines to Wines, a driving force in establishing the Wine and Viticulture Program as a major degree program.

This year’s charity wine auction, made possible by the gracious library-wine donations of winery participants, was a resounding success. Proceeds from the WOPN 2017 auction will go toward supporting enology and viticulture education and be presented at next year’s World of Pinot Noir, which will return to Bacara Resort & Spa March 2-3, 2018.

About The World of Pinot Noir:

WOPN, a non-profit trade organization, was established in 2001 by a small, dedicated group of winemakers from California’s Central Coast. The group’s mission is to bring together the world’s foremost Pinot Noir producers, and in a gorgeous setting, celebrate the delicious wine grape. Wineries, potential sponsors and wine enthusiasts interested in learning more, please visit worldofpinotnoir.com, or contact info@wopn.com. Follow and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #wopn #wopn2018

Photo Credit: Tenley Fohl Photography