How California Pinot Noir Became a Global Phenomenon

in Business

Paul Sloan first fell in love with Pinot Noir as a busboy. It deepened in the early 1990s, when he was an assistant wine buyer at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California.

It was there that Sloan tasted the classics of California Pinot: CaleraJoseph SwanWilliams-SelyemDehlinger and Mount Eden, all passion projects devoted to small-production wines of place, with Burgundy as inspiration.

But when a customer invited Sloan to take a taste of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, considered among the finest Burgundian wines, he decided to make Pinot Noir his life’s work.

“Pinot is the best wine I’ve ever tasted, and also the worst wine,” says Sloan. “There’s not this great middle ground. The iconic California classics aged beautifully and went well with food, but what I noticed about the great French wines from Burgundy was a difference in concentration. The best wines had better concentration.”

Continue Reading on Wine Enthusiast


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