The Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal & The Clever Root Named Official Media Partners for the World of Pinot Noir


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The annual event is the industry’s marquee celebration of Pinot Noir and its acclaimed winemakers

The much-anticipated annual global summit and celebration of Pinot Noir will be held at the Bacara Resort & Spa March 3-4 in Santa Barbara, California, and will feature nearly 200 wineries. ( Tickets ) 

“This is one of the premier wine events in the world, and it comes at a time when Pinot Noir’s popularity is at an all-time high and significant innovations are occurring with every vintage,” says Meridith May, publisher and editorial director of The SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel Magazine, and The Clever Root. “We are proud to sponsor and report on this gathering of the best Pinot Noir producers on the planet.”

Photo / Bacara Resort

In addition to covering the emerging trends and innovations occurring with the ever-popular grape, The Tasting Panel Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Anthony Dias Blue, and The SOMM Journal Contributing Editor, Randy Caparoso will be participating in panel discussions that explore the characteristics certain terroirs have on Pinot Noir. Additionally, Master Sommelier Fred Dame will serve as one of the moderators.

The aim of WOPN is to bring Pinot Noir producers from the most exceptional and unique regions in the world together with Pinot Noir enthusiasts for a weekend of celebration and education on the shores of California’s beautiful Central Coast.

For tickets and additional information about WOPN, please visit or call (805) 489-1758.

For a list of Participating Wineries ~ Moderators  ~  Sommeliers ~ Panelists

Participating Chefs


lesageAt the age of 30, Chef Vincent Lesage’s impressive career already includes 3-Star Michelin restaurants in Paris as well as experience at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.Born and raised in Paris at the center of the food universe, Lesage was surrounded by the rich flavors and techniques that define French gastronomy. But it was actually art that inspired him to become a chef. An avid art lover, he spent his spare time at the Louvre, studying the beautiful paintings and color palates that would later influence his artistic presentations.

After graduating from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Ecully, France, Lesage trained at some of the world’s most celebrated establishments, including The Ritz Paris, the Michelin three-star restaurant, L’Astrance, and Michelin three-star restaurant, Bras. Most recently, Lesage served as Executive Chef of Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach where he opened two of the city’s only waterfront restaurants, Waterline and A&O Kitchen + Bar. Prior to that, he served as Executive Sous Chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach, managing a culinary team of more than 60.

Today, as Executive Chef of Bacara’s renowned culinary program, Lesage oversees the resort’s six dining experiences, including a new signature restaurant opening spring 2017. When asked about his vision for Bacara, Lesage says “I approach every outlet as its own distinct concept. From a healthy breakfast at Spa Café to a casual family meal at The Bistro, each experience is unique, and each experience is exceptional.


ostiniFrank Ostini grew up in and around the Casmalia Hitching Post, his family’s steakhouse in central California since 1952. Specializing in traditional wood fire barbecue, Frank has expanded his menu to cook most anything over the embers at his Hitching Post II restaurant in Buellton, California. With high acclaim from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Gourmet and Sunset magazines and enthusiastic support from Chefs Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay, Frank has become the regional spokesman for what is popularly known as “Santa Maria Style BBQ”, a feast that features meats grilled over a red oak fire.


grahamFounded 10 years ago, C’est Cheese has grown from a small specialty cheese shop into a gourmet food store and lunch café offering over 120 cheeses, 2 dozen fine cured meats and an array of artisan food products as well as hand made chocolates and wine.  Their lunch menu is served daily and includes grilled cheese sandwiches, salads and soups.  In addition, C’est Cheese offers year-round catering services, ships cheese gift boxes all over the country, and monthly tastings, and supplies Santa Barbara’s top restaurants with gourmet cheese. C’est Cheese Marketplace & Café is slated to open in early 2014, utilizing all the excellent ingredients that have been cultivated in the cheese shop over the years as well as all the delicious ingredients available locally.  The Marketplace will feature an expanded cheese, meat & wine selection as well as offer an array of house-made items

“Our commitment to quality artisan foods, exceptional personal service and continual community
involvement will continue to fuel us for another 10 years (or more!) here in beautiful Santa Barbara.”

M Dash Publishing is pleased to announce The Tasting Panel Magazine (, The SOMM Journal ( and The Clever Root ( will be active media partners at the 2017 annual World of Pinot Noir (WOPN).

About The SOMM Journal
Formerly Sommelier Journal, The SOMM Journal is written by and for wine and beverage industry professionals. Owned by Meridith May, Publisher and Editorial Director, The SOMM Journal boasts a distribution of 67K, and broadens both emerging and veteran industry professionals’ understanding of the business. Departments cover top restaurants’ wine and mixology programs; in-depth profiles of the world’s wine regions; industry trends and technology; and exploration of current issues that most concern sommeliers.

About The Tasting Panel Magazine
The Tasting Panel Magazine is the most widely circulated trade publication in the beverage industry, reaching an audience of thousands of key decision-makers every month and growing on an international scale. Manning the ship is renowned wine & spirits veteran Anthony Dias Blue as Editor-in-Chief and longtime wine & spirits publisher and executive editor Meridith May. With their expertise, experience and esteem, they collectively have their finger on the pulse of the beverage industry, making for one of the most informative and cutting edge publications focusing on beverages, the beverage trade and the people who make the industry tick. Regular features include: “Blue Reviews,” authoritative scores and reviews of wines and spirits; “Industry Spotlight,” highlighting innovators and leaders, and “Brief Encounters.”

About The Clever Root
The Clever Root is a national quarterly publication with a focus on ingredients, chefs, ranchers and growers. Each beautiful issue brings the farm-to-table movement to life in new ways, and will highlight the chefs and food innovators who are shaping the future of our industry. The Clever Root brings an industry-insider’s look at modern cuisine, trends and tools of the trade and unique ingredients and the people who grow them, including offering a smart look at the booming cannabis industry. The Clever Root is the third publication from M Dash Publishing.

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