There are several variations on the quote:
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”
“The more I know, the less I understand.”
-Don Henley (What? Similar company, no?)
That is the only way to summarize the Pinot in the City event that I recently attended at the J.W. Marriot in Austin. That and I NEED TO GO TO WILLAMETTE VALLEY!
I attended in the afternoon as media, in the evening as a fan, and in two separate blocks of time I still couldn’t taste everything I wanted to taste. There were tables that were consistently full. There were bigger names that I have sampled elsewhere or could buy locally. There were producers that were new to me. The truth is, I could have been there all day, taking palate-cleansing breaks, and still felt like I couldn’t hit everything. Not well, not with the attention they deserve.
I compared clones from neighboring vineyards and vertical samples from one plot. I tasted Pinot Gris that cleansed and teased my palate, Pinot Blanc, layered and zesty. I had a few sparkling wines and flat wines that sparkled. And while the wines warmed and pleased my palate, the winemakers, owners, and representatives warmed my heart. An amazing group of people.
Often at these events, you come away with a half a dozen stand out wines. This event had so many gems, standing out was more of a challenge. My only complaint was that this format does not give the opportunity to give the wines the time they deserve. There were so many that I wanted to sit with, observe. There were so many stories I wanted to hear, questions I wanted to ask. The day tasting left me intoxicated with out swallowing more that one ounce. The evening left me dancing (on the inside) and wanting more.
It has been a week and I have found myself searching homes on VRBO to rent in Willamette and for the labels in the stores. One of my new goals for 2017? I want to be able to compare and learn the various Pinot clones in depth. Different clones, same site. Same clones, different sites. The more I tasted, the more I saw the diversity. The more I know, the more I want to know, the more I realize I have so much to learn.
Many thanks to all of the wonderful people from the Willamette Valley Wineries who were still smiling and sharing at the end of the day. I just wanted to send them all to a spa and give them a beer. It is exhausting work that they don’t have to do. But they do. And I am so grateful for the chance to attend.
There is no way to pick a favorite, even five favorites, but here are some of the many standouts via Twitter and photos:
@ColemanVineyard Such a pleasure to sample your varying clones. I’m hooked. #pinotinthecity
@Adelsheim Beautiful wines. Thank you for visiting #Austin. #pinotinthecity
@Lemelsonwinery Really lovely wines. A pleasure to meet you at #pinotinthecity
(Can you tell I am a big fan of Elizabeth Chambers?)
@AngelaEstate delicious wines. A pleasure to meet you, Jessica!
Brooks Pinot Blanc was unique and delicious…
I could go on an on. Imagine once I visit? I’ve drunk the Pinot, indeed.