Scenes from Slow Wine California and Oregon (taste in Denver this week, Boston and NYC next week)

Registration for Slow Wine tastings in Denver (tomorrow), Boston and New York (next week) is still open. Click here for details.

Here are some highlights from the Slow Wine tastings in San Francisco and Oregon this week. Heartfelt thanks to all the winemakers who participated and all the trade members who came out to taste.

That’s a whole lotta wine right there! Matile Poggi of Le Fraghe (left, one of my wine heroes, for her FIVI leadership) and Andrew Beckham of Beckham Estate Vineyard in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains.

Slow Wine editor-in-chief Giancarlo Gariglio (left) with California wine legend Robert Sinskey. I have to confess to being a bit starstruck when meeting Robert, whose wines were among the first Californians I swooned over as an adolescent wine lover.

Soil samples from the Russian River Valley at the Small Vines table. Slinging dirt is a great way to teach people about your wines, remarked winemaker Paul Sloan.

Mitico! Dan Petroski (left) poured Larkmead Vineyards for Giancarlo. Dan’s Massican wines were also in the guide this year.

Bryan Harrington’s Nebbiolo is the best I’ve ever tasted from California… period. Delicious wine, with fantastic varietal expression. The Italians, no strangers to Nebbiolo, were blown away by how good it was.

The 2010 Stony Hill Chardonnay caused jaws to drop. A bit above my pay grade but man, what an incredible wine! (Note to self: need to save up for a bottle to share with Tra on our anniversary next year.)

Chris Williams of Brooks in Oregon is one of the coolest people in the wine industry I’ve ever met. His Riesling floored me when I tasted it for the first time last year. His Pinot Noir revived me. You gotta love any winemaker who quotes Trotsky.

Giancarlo genuflects before Jason Lett of Eyrie Vineyards. Getting to meet and taste with Jason last year at the winery in McMinnville was one of the biggest thrills of my wine life.

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