Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2012 Pinot Noir Festival Open House

Rumors of upwards to 1000 attendees to the 2012 Anderson Pinot Noir Festival buzzed around all the wineries who were planning Open Houses on the Sunday of the three day event on May 18. We, at Toulouse Vineyards decided it was high time we rearranged our layout to accommodate bigger numbers than previous years.

This year we utilized the crush pad to house a welcome station to greet, inform and hand a glass to each attendee. The rest of the crush pad was covered in picnic tables as an area to enjoy the sunny weather and to have a little chin wag with friends between tastings. We set up our palate development and pairing workshop in the NEW tasting room which worked perfectly. Dan was in the NEW office pouring the wines as the workshop progressed from the 2010 Rosé of Pinot Noir to the 2008 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, the 2009 Estate and finally ending with the massive 2008 Lautrec II. We had a tasting box of 8 profile elements as well a tasting sample for each wine. The old tasting room in the barn poured the last wine and served as a leisurely checkout station for purchases.

As ever, old friends and new friends mulled over the tasting boxes and stepped outside of their comfort zones to find surprising pairing solutions for the four wines. The most surprising and amazing pairing elements of the day were: coconut sugar and expresso powder for the Estate, sweet pickles and dried apricots with the Lautrec II, dried mango and fried Korean nori with the Anderson Valley. But don't take my word for it. Try them for yourself!

I actually don't know what the final guest count was BUT! the new layout for the event worked so well, we could have easily accommodated even more guests without any stress or strain. There was so much space and different areas for guests to enjoy themselves. For the entire day, everyone was so relaxed, I loved it. We are ready for next year...come what may.

2010 Toulouse Rosé of Pinot Noir
Paired with Fromage d'Affinois on Ripe Strawberries with Fennel Frond

2008 Toulouse Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Grilled Bacon Bread Crostini with Spicy Brown Mustard, 
Fra' Mani Soppressata and shaved Piave Vecchio Brulée

2009 Toulouse Estate Pinot Noir
Grilled Baguette Crostini with Horseradish, Fra' Mani Soppressata
and shaved Piave Vecchio Brulée

2008 Toulouse Lautrec II Pinot Noir
Turkish Apricot dipped in Ground Cardamom

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