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The World of Pinot Noir Announces ‘WOPN Wine Month’

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Throughout the entire month of March, WOPN will be hosting a series of seminars, virtual winemaker tastings, its popular silent auction, and the opportunity to sip exclusive wines from the world’s most-acclaimed wineries.

February 17, 2021 (Santa Barbara, Calif.) – The annual World of Pinot Noir (WOPN) is pleased to announce it will be taking over the month of March in a global celebration of the planet’s greatest wine grape. March 2021 is officially WOPN Wine Month. 

Normally held on the first weekend of March at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in sunny Santa Barbara, the 2021 event will be entirely virtual. While we all wish we could gather at the seaside resort, this year’s challenges have presented an exciting positive: the opportunity to expand WOPN programming beyond the normal three-day get-together. 

This year, the largest annual gathering of Pinot Noir producers and fans is not simply going virtual, it’s going bigger and longer.

During WOPN Wine Month, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will feature a series of virtual tasting seminars, events, auctions and winemaker Happy Hours via Zoom, Instagram Live and Facebook Live. 

“Each year, our 3,000-plus attendees often say they’d love even more content and more opportunities for intimate experiences with winemakers,” says Laura Booras, president of the World of Pinot Noir Board of Directors. “This year, we actually have an opportunity to grow those opportunities.”

New this year is the WOPN Wine Case Experience. Each guest will receive a carefully selected case of hard-to-find Pinot Noirs handpicked by our esteemed World of Pinot Sommelier Team. Then, each Wednesday (beginning March 3), David Glancy, Master Sommelier and Founder of the San Francisco Wine School, will host an exclusive winemaker seminar and discussion featuring three of the 12 wines.

Every Thursday (beginning March 4), WOPN will present a different deep-dive tasting seminar. These winemaker panel discussions will feature esteemed personalities in the winemaking community and delve into sites such as Bien Nacido, the terroirs of the Santa Lucia Highlands and explore the rugged elegance of the Sonoma Coast. Each tasting seminar will feature a collection of wines for purchase. 

In addition to the eight tasting seminars, WOPN will host a series of free live Facebook and Instragram winemaker discussions and Happy Hours every Wednesday at noon (PST) and Friday at 5pm (PST), respectively. 

WOPN’s popular annual Silent Auction goes virtual. Bid throughout the month on large-format bottles, exclusive library wines and one-of-a-kind experiences from scores of producers from around the world.  

Here is a complete list of the WOPN Wine Month Virtual Seminars. To see the detailed month-long schedule, and for information on purchasing wines for the seminars, please visit the World of Pinot Noir.

The WOPN Wine Case Seminars

The Burgundy – West Coast Connection
Wednesday, March 3 | 5pm 
Join this exploration of the deep connections between American West Coast Pinot Noir and Burgundy. Master Sommelier David Glancy, founder of the San Francisco Wine School, will lead a winemaker panel and tasting that dives deep into the climates, the styles and the winemaking philosophies that bind Burgundy and these New World regions

New World Elegance
Wednesday, March 10 | 5pm
Join Master Sommelier David Glancy, founder of the San Francisco Wine School in this global tour and celebration of the expressiveness of Pinot Noir. This tasting seminar and discussion will feature three pioneering producers who are linked by their long tradition of crafting some of the most elegant wines of the New World.

The Rise of Central Coast Pinot Noir
Wednesday, March 17 | 5pm
Over the last two decades, the Pinot Noirs coming out of the cool-climate regions within the Central Coast have won global acclaim. Along with a panel of winemakers, Master Sommelier David Glancy, founder of the San Francisco Wine School, will taste through and discuss wines from three hallmark producers from three distinct terroirs and show why the Central Coast remains a region on the rise.

Celebrating Old Vines in the Old World
Wednesday, March 24 | 5pm 
Highlighting some of the most famous cool climate regions in Europe, this fun and educational seminar led by Master Sommelier David Glancy, founder of the San Francisco Wine School, will explore the heritage, the diversity and the rich raciness that old Pinot Noir vines produce. 

The WOPN Thursday Seminar Series

Pinot Noir Rock Stars
Thursday, March 4 | 4pm
Whether you call them icons, trailblazers or legends, these esteemed winemakers boast decades of experience crafting some of America’s most noteworthy Pinot Noirs. Featuring Michael Browne of CIRQ/CHEV Wines, Josh Bergstrom of Bergström Wines, Gary Franscioni of Roar Wines and Garys’ Vineyard, and Mark Pisoni of Pisoni Vineyards this lively and legendary crew will swap tales and provide insight into how they helped put West Coast Pinot Noir on the global stage

Santa Lucia Highlands: East of Eden – Pinot Noir Paradise
Thursday, March 11 | 4pm
Daily winds from the nearby Monterey Bay roar through the Santa Lucia Highlands adding unmistakable character to the region’s Pinot Noir—richness, spice and all that seductive, mouthwatering fruit. On terraced highlands above the fertile row crops of the Salinas Valley, the Santa Lucia Highlands is home to some of California’s most celebrated Pinot Noir vineyards and iconic, generational farming families. Join author and Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein and six vintners from the region for an exploration of the region’s history, people and its climatic combination of sun, wind, fog and that make it a Pinot Noir paradise.

The Sonoma Coast Seminar
Thursday, March 18 |4pm
Hosted by Keith Beavers, Tasting Director at VinePair, this fun and informative seminar will take you on a delicious journey through the vast and rugged Sonoma Coast, whose rolling hills and valleys have long been producing some of the most celebrated Pinot Noir of the New World. Beavers and a panel of winemakers will explore the Sonoma Coast’s diverse terroirs, its sub-regions, such as the Russian River Valley and the Petaluma Gap, and show via the wines why the often challenging growing conditions of this coastal region are well worth it.

The Crafted Experience with Kanzler Family Vineyards
Friday, March 19 | 4pm 
Kanzler Family Vineyards offers WOPN fans an exclusive opportunity to acquire its sold out 2017 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir. The 2017 library wine celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Kanzler estate vineyard located southwest of Sebastapol in western Sonoma County. The 14.5-acre vineyard is part of the acclaimed Russian River Valley AVA. Included in this special one-time offering is the famed Big Bottom Market Biscuit Mix heralded as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and a specialty mustard by Hurley Farms in the Napa Valley. Bake your biscuits and join Alex and Breauna Kanzler for this fun and unique experience. 

Santa Maria Valley: Bien Nacido Vineyard
Thursday, March 25 | 4pm
Recently named one of the “10 Vineyards Behind the World’s Most Famous Wines,” the World of Pinot Noir is excited to feature a seminar on this iconic and seminal Santa Maria Valley site. Join Matt Kettmann, Contributing Editor at Wine Enthusiast, and author of the acclaimed new book, Vines & Visions: The Winemakers of Santa Barbara County, as he and a panel of distinguished vintners discuss why and how this renowned vineyard produces such remarkable and delicious Pinot Noir. 

About The World of Pinot Noir
WOPN, a non-profit trade organization, was established 21 years ago 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 [email protected]. Follow and tag us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. #wopn #wopn21

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