9th Annual Pinot Days Chicago wine infused celebration of all things Pinot Noir culminated last weekend in a Grand Festival walk around tasting at Navy Pier’s scenic Lakeview Terrace. 65 distinguished winemakers came to showcase their delicious wares with Chicago skyline as the backdrop. Some were looking to introduce new wines into Chicago market. Some were seeking distribution. Their reasons were varied, but the end result: seemingly endless amount of delicious Pinot Noir! Sparkling, rosé, red of every hue… For a Pinot lover this event is not to be missed. Thankfully, it comes around every year.
It’s hard to play favorites with this many outstanding wines. Even harder not to attempt to try them all. (You shouldn’t!) Whether the brand new rosé of Pinot Noir from Fess Parker, or sparkling Pinot Noir from Davis Family made from grapes harvested at the bottom of a shaded hill that never quite ripen, or inky dense single vineyard reds from Belle Glos with their signature red wax dipped bottles, this finicky thin-skinned grape can become so many things in the right hands.
Miles Raymond, the character we loved to hate in the movie Sideways, probably said it best: “It’s a hard grape to grow, as you know. It’s thin-skinned, temperamental. It’s not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention, you know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.”
I never miss Pinot Days. Luckily, it keeps growing in popularity among both the winemakers and the connoisseurs. Follow Pinot Days on Facebook for updates on their upcoming events. But in the meantime, I will leave you with the gallery of my personal Grand Festival highlights below. Cheers! Let’s all drink Pinot and be merry!
Pinot Days Grand Festival takes place annually at Chicago’s Navy Pier.
Photos by Gourmet Rambler. Featured image courtesy of Pinot Days.