A TOAST Celebrants at 17th annual Pigs & Pinot offer a toast at the Taste of Pinot event on March 15. ( Damion Hamilton Photo)

Chef Charlie Palmer’s 17th annual weekend celebrating the mutual appeal and attraction of pinot noir and pork, Pigs & Pinot, played to a full house over the weekend of March 15-16 with lunches, dinners, food and wine tasting and other events.

A cast of “Master Sommeliers, iconic winemakers and celebrity chefs showcased some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noirs with perfect pork pairings,” at the Dry Creek Kitchen and neighboring Hotel Healdsburg venues.

 Wayfarer Vineyards, 2021 Pinot Noir being poured at Taste of Pinot. (Damion Hamilton Photo)

The headline that resulted was the selection of three wines in two competitions, for the Pinot Cup and the winner of a Pinot Noir Smackdown. Reed Holland Wines of Anderson Valley was a double winner, for their 2018 “Deep End” pinot; Wayfarer Vineyards of Fort Ross and CHEV of Santa Rita Hills were also picked. (See complete list below.)

Hundreds of people were in joyous attendance at the two-day wine celebration, which included the sort of food and wine competition pioneered by Japan TV’s “Iron Chef” and made popular through several Gordon Ramsey television series.  

Two gala diners, one at Charie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen and one at Dustin Valette’s The Matheson brought this year’s Pigs & Pinot to a close on Saturday night.

The headline was the selection of a Pinot Cup winner and runner-up, and the winners of the Ultimate Smackdown as judged by Master Sommeliers Keith Goldston, Michael Jordan, Andrea Robinson, and David Yoshida.

‘Smackdown’ winners from Read Holland and Brown Family wines. (Damion Hamilton Photo)

Pinot Cup Winner: Read Holland Wines, 2018 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Deep End (Winemaker: Ashley Holland)

Pinot Cup Runner-Up: Wayfarer Vineyards, 2021 Pinot Noir, The Estate, Fort Ross-Seaview

Ultimate Pinot Noir Smackdown

Winner: CHEV by Brown Family Wines, 2021 Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills (Winemakers: Jeremiah Timm & Michael Brown).

Runner-up: Read Holland, 2018 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Deep End (Winemaker: Ashley Holland)

Over 60 acclaimed Pinot Noir wines competed in the Pinot Cup competition, both from Sonoma County and elsewhere.

Complete information on Pigs & Pinot, including silent auction, sponsors and beneficiaries, can be found online at pigsandpinot.com.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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