On Saturday, June 18th, SIP & SAVEUR attended its second Pinot Days event in San Francisco. This year it was held at the Bespoke at Westfield  (though most people we talked to preferred the Metreon location of last year’s event).  Pinot Days San Francisco has become the largest single gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world. It allows local vineyards and winemakers who produce award-winning Pinot Noir to be in the light and on a much-deserved pedestal.

This year, we reconnected with a few of our standouts from last year’s event,  including Belden Barns and St. Rose Vineyards. Following is our list of new discoveries and standouts from this year’s event:

  Lauren & Nate Belden of Belden Barns

Lauren & Nate Belden of Belden Barns


Gracianna out of Healdsburg, California. Gracianna is owned by the Amador Family who named their winery after the family’s maternal grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. The Amador family takes pride in providing an ultra-premium wine experience for wine lovers who enjoy a bottle of their wines.  We found Seth and the others working their table to be super-friendly. 

Davis Bynum was another one of our favorites this year. Kristen Mowforth and her partner-in-crime were both very friendly, warm and fun. It made experiencing the pinot noirs from Davis Bynum that much more enjoyable. The Davis Bynum Pinot Noir had a beautiful ruby red hue with cherry, tea leaves and dusty oak in the nose. It had vanilla, dark chocolate, cherries and red plums on the palate. It was bright and full of flavor. It is definitely a bottle of Pinot that you would want to have with friends over a delightful spread of cheeses and beautiful charcuterie to be enjoyed on a warm summer afternoon.

O’Connor Vineyards out of Sebastopol in Sonoma County was one of the first tasting we did during the event and is one of our most memorable standouts from this year’s Pinot Days. O’Connor Vineyard produced their first Pinot Noir in 2005 with the fruits from their vineyard. The fruit from their O’Connor vineyard embodies the traits of the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley AVA, one of the world’s finest growing regions for Pinot Noir grapes. The O’Connor Pinot Noir was a standout because of its aromas and flavors of black cherry, cola, spice, toasty oak and dark chocolate characteristics that a great Pinot Noir should embody.

Last (but not least!), Belle Glos was our hands-down favorite from this year. Though we truly enjoyed all three Pinot Noirs poured by their Northern California Market Manager, Ashely Kent; the “Clark and Telephone” was a real standout for us.  The “Clark and Telephone” is fresh, jammy and full of ripe black cherry, cranberry and gingerbread on the palate. It has the perfect balance of refreshing acidity, velvety tannins and a hint of toffee at the finish.  We expect to stock up on this one soon!