Home Industry News Releases Winemakers Agree, Pinot Noir Is a Perfect Pairing for the Thanksgiving Table

Winemakers Agree, Pinot Noir Is a Perfect Pairing for the Thanksgiving Table


Petaluma Gap Winemakers Share Recipes to Complement Their Top-Rated Wines 

Petaluma, CA – October 6, 2020 – When the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance asked its winemakers which wine they would choose to complement a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the resounding reply was Pinot Noir. Because of its earthy flavor, soft tannins and bright acidity, it is the perfect match for turkey, cranberries, mushrooms and holiday spices that dominate at this time of year. The most-planted grape variety in the Petaluma Gap American Viticultural Area (AVA) is Pinot Noir; and Pinot Noir grown in this cool growing region is defined by the wind. The wind has a cooling effect on the grapevines, resulting in slower ripening and longer-hang time and allowing for more complex flavors to develop. 

The resulting wines have quickly garnered hundreds of awards from top reviewers as well as local, national and international competitions, since becoming an official AVA just over two years ago. According to Erica Stancliff, winemaker for Trombetta Family Wines, Pfendler Vineyards, and President of the Board of the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers, “Pinot Noir is my first choice to serve guests at Thanksgiving, because it pairs so well with both the white and dark meat of turkey and its earthy qualities are a perfect match for the bounty of mushrooms, cranberries and other holiday favorites throughout the season.” 

Petaluma Gap winemakers were asked to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes and to select their favorite award-winning Pinot Noir to pair with their holiday dish. “With so many 90+ Point wines to choose from, clearly there’s a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, despite the pandemic and wildfires that have been dominating our thoughts throughout the last several months. Over the last two years the Alliance has tracked its members’ 90+ point wines with about 70 in the last 12 months alone,” said Stancliff.

Below are some of the top-scoring Pinot Noirs with their respective winemaker’s family recipes to pair with the wine; the recipes will be shared on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; @PetalumaGap, one recipe per day, starting on Monday, November 2, 2020. Follow the Hashtags and share your own favorite #PetalumaGap #PinotPairing for the holidays. 

Most of these wines are available for purchase on the wineries websites; see www.petalumagap.com/wineries for more information. The Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance also invites you to sign up for its monthly newsletter at https://petalumagap.com/join.

  • Garrett Martin, Winemaker
  • 91 Points – Wine Spectator
  • Paired with Mrs. B’s Lemon Thyme Roast Turkey
  • Kerith Overstreet, Winemaker
  • 92 Points – Jeb Dunnuck
  • Paired with Tangy Cranberry Relish
  • Dan Goldfield, Winemaker
  • 95 Points – Wine Enthusiast
  • Paired with Leek & Mushroom Croquettes
  • Joseph Ryan, Winemaker
  • 94 Points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous
  • Paired with Ratatouille, Tray-Baked, with Roast Beef Tenderloin
  • Julien Teichmann, Winemaker
  • 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
  • Paired with Turkey Breast Roulade Stuffed with Cranberries & Pecans
  • Julien Teichmann, Winemaker
  • 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
  • Braised Turkey Thighs with Caramelized Leeks, Carrots & Celery
  • Blake Yarger & Maurizio Casstelli, Winemakers
  • 92 Points – Harvest Challenge
  • Paired with Warm Artichoke Spinach Dip
  • Megan Baccitich, Winemaker
  • 95 Points – Connoisseur’s Guide to CA Wines
  • Paired with Yun’s Chanterelles, Done Two Ways
  • James MacPhail, Winemaker
  • 94 Points – Wine Enthusiast
  • Paired with Nonni Maria Julia’s Ravioli and Short Rib Grav
  • Shane Finley, Winemaker
  • 96 Points & Double Gold, 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition
  • Paired with Wild Mushroom & Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing
  • Erica Stancliff, Winemaker
  • 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast
  • Paired with Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

About the Alliance

Founded in 2005, the Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Alliance (PGWA) exists to educate members of the wine trade and consumers about the Petaluma Gap AVA and to increase awareness of the region’s unique growing conditions and resulting wine quality. PGWA additionally supports member winegrowers and vintners within the region through ongoing programs and communications designed to help them maximize their success within the industry. The group’s membership is made up of grape growers, wineries, associate business members, sponsors and local community members with a passion for the region and its wine. Throughout the year, the group conducts educational events and tastings independently and through the Sonoma County Vintners.

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