By Rick Riozza
Roll Up!! The 2nd Annual Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival—aka “A Passion 4 Pinot” is returning at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert on Saturday January 8, 2022!!
As of our publishing time Tuesday night, the event has been moved outside due to Covid, but will still take place.
The 2nd Annual Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival, “A Passion 4 Pinot” is a premier event on the international wine calendar. Hosted in one of the world’s most dramatic and awe-inspiring Hotels, this is a unique opportunity to engage with some of the top winery owners and winemakers and other leading wine personalities and enthusiasts from all over California.
During this Celebration of Pinot Noir, you will discover just what it is that makes Pinot Noir so unique. Join with other Pinot aficionados as you share tastings with winemakers and staff from over 60 top-tier and world class wineries! Here you will profile the uncompromising characteristics and unforgettable characters, highlight the different winemaking practices and philosophies that produce wines of such distinction and enable you to “relax and unwind at the world class JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa!”
Wow! Is this a great sign of great local wine events for the coming year! This Vino Voice column has consistently written on all of the previous wine tasting events produced by David Fraschetti. You loyal readers will remember when David first put on the Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival four years ago. And David gave me and the CV Weekly the first scoop of the festivities and has proudly utilized this column to raise awareness to all of his wine and food events these past few years. Smart Guy! Cheers!
Last month our head feature writer, Crystal Harrell, actually did an informative piece on this up-coming event. And because our Vino Voice column is probably the longest running weekly wine editorial in Coachella Valley publication history, you wine and food enthusiasts deserve to hear about this great local wine party again as a reminder! So here we go!
“The first Pinot Noir Festival event was a total success that sold out at the Ritz Carlton’s ballroom in Rancho Mirage with attendees flying from 14 different states to visit. The Festival has moved over to the beautiful J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa, and Fraschetti is absolutely delighted to partner with the property and staff.
“We do things very differently than other events. First off, we never allow Beer or Spirits at our events. Our focus is on fine wine, first and foremost. Our event is not the typical ‘Drunk Fest’ unlike so many other events both here in the Coachella Valley and elsewhere in Southern California. We never allow other types of alcohol, because one shot of hard spirits, like vodka, whisky or tequila, numbs your taste buds so a person can never taste the unique nuances of the wonderful wines that are poured, which is a disservice to wineries,” explained Fraschetti.
The size and scope of the Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival is also limited to ensure a more intimate and enjoyable gathering of wine lovers.
“I learned many years ago that when it comes to wine festivals, bigger is not better. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. Those who have attended my events before know that our event is a first class fun event that is designed for all types of wine lovers, from novices to expert Somms. It’s not snobbish; it’s a fun-filled afternoon that allows one to learn, taste and fall in love with amazing Pinot Noir from the best that California has to offer,” stated Fraschetti.
“We have built very strong and lasting relationships with our partner wineries. I sent out invitations back in June and the response was immediate. Wineries that know me and are familiar with the type of event that I produce signed up within minutes. As word about the event rapidly spread within the wine industry, I had requests from some of the best Pinot Noir Producing wineries from all over California asking to partner with us for this high end- high class wine tasting event. Our partner wineries love the fact that we only allow top tier wine. Unlike other events, we are not trying to be everything to everyone; our focus is on great Pinot Noir,” said Fraschetti.
Also, a silent auction will be held at the event to benefit the nonprofit, Les Dames d’Escoffier International Palm Springs, which provides scholarships to women pursuing careers in the hospitality, culinary arts, and related fields, in which 100 percent of the money raised is donated to the organization.
To comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines, fully vaccinated attendees, staff, volunteers, and winery personnel must present proof of vaccination to enter the event. For those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the festival that was performed by an FDA-authorized or CLIA certified lab must be presented.
A limited number of tickets are now on sale for the festival and can be purchased. Early entry at 1:30 p.m. costs $150 for attendees while general admission tickets will go for $125 with a 2:30 p.m. start. Six-person group rates are also available for $750 for the 1:30 p.m. start time, and $660 for the 2:30 p.m. start. The Pinot Noir Festival will conclude at 5:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets to the Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival before they sell out, and to learn more about the Festival, go to the website www.palmspringspinotfest.com. And as always—looking forward to seeing you folks at the Fest. Cheers!