Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Celebrates Pinot Classic this Memorial Day Weekend, May 23-26 2014

Chris Donatiello, Board President for the Russian River Valley Winegrowers (RRVW), announced today plans for the multi-day celebration of Russian River Valley’s internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir, taking place during Memorial Day weekend from May 23 – May 26. The highly anticipated weekend of events explores the rugged beauty of this largely undiscovered destination and it’s hidden gems – including world-class wines, local food and unmatched hospitality. The Pinot Classic comprises multiple events including the annual Passport to Pinot barrel tasting, and the second annual Pinot Classic Paulée Dinner. In addition, a seminar on the AVA’s neighborhoods initiative will take place on Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Fountaingrove Inn.

Passport to Pinot offers Barrel Tastings from more than 30 Russian River wineries and producers while showcasing the vineyards and people that comprise the exceptional beauty of the Russian River Valley. Guests will enjoy preferred access to pre-release wines, barrel, library and limited edition winery-only wines, as well as artist demonstrations, entertainment, delicious food and so much more. Early bird tickets are $55 per person until April 15 and $65 thereafter and are available on

An exclusive evening celebrating the wine, winemakers and growers of the famed Russian River Valley will inspire guests of the annual Paulée Dinner, this year hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset‘s DeLoach Vineyards on Saturday May 24, beginning at 6 p.m. The tradition of the original Paulées in Burgundy celebrated the conclusion of harvest where vintners would gather for a communal meal, bringing special bottles of wine to share. In the spirit of this tradition, vintners from the Russian River Valley will dig deep into their personal and private wine cellars to present their favorite Pinots and Chardonnays from the Russian River and beyond. Guests are also encouraged to bring a special bottle to share.

The Annual Paulée evening begins with a winemaker reception, followed by a delicious three-course plated meal. Attendees will experience a truly unique Russian River Valley evening under the stars with a Pinot-inspired menu prepared by Michel Cornu, Director of Cuisine and Hospitality at Boisset Family Estates. Host wineries include Arista, Benovia, DeLoach, Joseph Swan, Hartford Family, Kosta Browne, Merry Edwards, Thomas George, Williams Selyem and more. Tickets are $250/person and available at

The Pinot Classic will also offer a full VIP experience, which includes exclusive opportunities for 36 ticket holders to enjoy a behind the scenes experience, including an intimate VIP reception hosted at Kosta Browne with Russian River’s winegrowers and producers on Friday, May 23, entrance to the Russian River Valley Neighborhoods seminar on Saturday, May 24, including an in-depth discussion on the distinguishing characteristics of each neighborhood and a private barrel tasting at DeLoach Vineyards on Saturday, May 24. A ticket to the Paulée Dinner is also included in the package price. Tickets are $350/person for all three days of the Pinot Classic and available at