Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Grand Cruz Tasting, Sunday 30th

The Pinot Paradise "Grand Cruz" tasting was held on Sunday at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. The venue was a large roughly square hall, up a flight of stairs. I was a bit late in arriving so there was only a short line for entry. Proper pinot glasses and programmes were provided, along with opaque plastic spit cups.

Inside things were a little crowded, but it wasn't too bad. The wineries were arranged alphabetically around three sides of the room and in two rows down the centre. Interspersed among the wineries were local restaurants offering samples of food. There was also a roast beef carvery and a seafood buffet. The food was all delicious, though I didn't really feel that many of the providers had thought too much about the fact that their sample was being paired with Pinot Noir.

Some of the wineries had a "silent auction" going on where you could bid on large format bottles of their wines. There was also some kind of raffle with about 30 prizes whereby you bought tickets and wrote your name on the back, then dropped tickets in the boxes for each prize that you were interested in.

Even without the distractions of the auctions and raffles, and avoiding the wineries that I had visited on Saturday, I still didn't manage to hit all of the tasting tables. Very few of the wineries ran out of wine, and of those that did, most of them seemed to last until about the final half hour, which is pretty good going. Overall a very good event; highly recommended for Pinot fans. Next time I'll be sure to get there early.