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Great Wine Events for This Weekend, March 22 - 24 2013

Is it possible to have too many great wine events in one weekend? Probably not. This weekend has more compelling tastings than one person could possibly attend though. Here are three that are definitely worth your time.

Rhone Rangers San Francisco

With the retirement of Hospice du Rhone’s Paso Robles event after 20 years, the Rhone Rangers’ San Francisco weekend is far and away this country’s best opportunity to extensively taste and learn about Rhone variety wines. A Friday-Saturday celebration at Fort Mason, it offers more than just a grand tasting.

Friday night, March 22 is a Winemakers’ Dinner and Auction. Sixteen different wineries will sponsor a table and provide wine pairings for those guests. Some of California’s best Rhone-variety producers will participate, including Tablas Creek, Bonny Doon, JC Cellars and Ridge Vineyards. The evening will be especially... special in that Randall Grahm, founder of Bonny Doon and a founder of the Rhone Rangers, will receive a lifetime achievement award. There are still a few tickets available.

Saturday morning the 23rd offers two excellent tasting seminars, both moderated by Jon Bonné, wine editor for the SF Chronicle.

Old World Inspiration, New World Innovation: Guigal-importer Patrick Will is bringing four wines from that esteemed winery to taste and discuss along with those from four California winemakers who will present their own wines: Amy Butler, Randall Grahm, Doug Margerum and Benjamin Silver.

Mourvedre, A Rising Star in the World of American Rhones: A tasting and a winemaker roundtable with seven producers of California Mourvedre. Wines will range from rosé to dry red to dessert.

Following the seminars is the Grand Tasting, beginning at 3pm. Taste from among more than 500 Rhone-variety wines from 100+ producers. Talk to winemakers and proprietors. Click here for tickets or more information.

Pinot Paradise - Pinot Noir of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA

full 2198dc44504f99146dc65d02cfe28ff3Pinot Paradise weekend offers a variety of events focused on Pinot Noir in one of California’s best, but least visited, growing regions for that grape. Visiting Santa Cruz Mountains wineries is highly recommended, but not all are open to the public. You can taste Pinot from more than 30 different producers in one convenient location, Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell. This grand tasting is on Sunday the 24th.

You might also enjoy some of the events leading up to it on Friday and Saturday. They include technical sessions, winemaker dinners and the opportunity to taste library wines at some wineries. Click here for tickets or more information.

Livermore Valley Wineries Barrel Tasting Weekend

2010 ImageLogo copywith borderThe Livermore Valley was one of California’s first award-winning growing regions. It was also the point of introduction for several grape varieties that dominate today’s wine scene, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah and some clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. While Wente and Concannon have been there from the beginning and a handful of others for decades, there is a growing number of newer wineries, including many award winners.

I’ve done the barrel tasting weekend there a couple times and it’s good fun. There are always plenty of tasty wines. And, while the event is well-attended, it’s not crazy crowded like some other barrel tastings. The weather should be great for it too! Expect sunny 70s. Click here for tickets or more information.

Follow NorCalWine on TwitterBecome a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on FacebookAlso check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

This article is original to Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.