|Dining room at Noir|
We arrived a bit early - strangely not much traffic heading east on the freeway - but the folks at Noir were ready. The tables were set, the glasses were out, and Mike Farwell and team were pouring the 2009 Alma Rosa Pinot Gris as an aperitif. We chatted briefly with Linda Padillo of Wine Warehouse, whom we've met at other wine events. Friend Jolie Winestain (with whom we've tasted at the California Wine & Cheese Company in Monrovia), arrived and proved to be a trove of information about the Pasadena food and wine scene.
In 1983 the Sanfords planted their first 100% organic vineyard at Rancho El Jabalí. The La Rinconada and La Encantada vineyards followed, and in the year 2000 all Sanford estate vineyards were the first in Santa Barbara County to be certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Differences in business philosophy led to a separation from their namesake winery in 2005. The Sanfords started in a new direction, leaving Sanford Winery to found Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, a new venture dedicated to organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Together with current winemaker, Christian Roguenant, Richard and Thekla are making wonderful wines.
Fourth Course - Chef's Selection of Cheeses with fig and honey and hazelnuts. Paired with 2009 Alma Rosa Pinot Noir Rose, Vin Gris, Sta Rita Hills. Richard calls his Rose 'Vin Gris' in honor of those French Roses that were dubbed 'gray' wines because they weren't red and they weren't white. It's dry as a bone, not a dessert wine at all, but was a delicious pairing with three artisan cheeses and assorted other tastes.
Just a truly lovely dinner. Great dinner companions, wonderful wines and food, and the opportunity to hear a noted winemaker and grower talk about wine, philosophy and the joy of working at something you love.
Thanks to all at Noir for a great evening. We'll be back soon!