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2nd annual Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival scheduled for January

Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival,

The second annual Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival will be held in January, organizers said today.

The festival, themed "A Passion 4 Pinot," will be held Jan. 8 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, 74-855 Country Club Drive in Palm Desert.

According to event organizers, the gathering is the largest Pinot Noir tasting event in Southern California, and will feature more than 60 top- rated Pinot Noir-producing wineries. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with winery owners and winemakers while learning about the winemaking process and philosophies.

"This event is a celebration of everything Pinot Noir and its brilliant and talented winemakers, vineyards, grapes and the often-bewitching process of urging the noble Pinot grape into great wine," David Fraschetti, Palm Springs Pinot Noir Festival producer, said in a statement. "These wineries have achieved a stellar reputation for producing truly outstanding and highly sought-after Pinot Noir, and they will be pouring their amazing cult classic collectible wines and educating attendees -- from wine lover to oenophile alike -- about the labor of love that is winemaking."

A silent auction benefiting the nonprofit Les Dames d'Escoffier International Palm Springs, which provides scholarships to women pursuing careers in the hospitality and culinary arts and related fields, will be held at the event.

Ticket pricing begins at $125 and sophisticated casual dress is suggested. To learn more, visit palmspringspinotfest.com.

City News Service

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