Every year, California offers a bevy of outstanding wine events, including California Wine Festival. The festival takes place at various points throughout the year at four locations: Dana Point, Carlsbad, Santa Barbara, and Huntington Beach.
A number of top wineries from California are represented at each event. As a result, the festival offers oenophiles the opportunity to sample excellent wines in beautiful beach settings at various points along the coast.
Sunset Rare and Reserve Tastings
All four weekends of the festival begin with a Sunset Rare and Reserve Tasting. This portion of the event features a champagne reception and include a number of rare trophy wines.
Given the rarity of these wines, tickets to the tastings sell out fast. Guests can taste hundreds of wines, along with various appetizers, cheeses, fruits, and breads, all in a beautiful setting with ocean views.
The first event takes place at Dana Point Yacht Club on Friday, April 26. The second is scheduled for Friday, June 21, at the Palm Courtyard of the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa. The third Sunset Rare and Reserve Tasting is scheduled for Friday, July 19, at the Chase Palm Park Carousel House in Santa Barbara. The final tasting takes place on Friday, October 25, at the Paséa Hotel & Spa Sapphire Ballroom.
Beachside Wine Festivals
On the second day, each weekend features a Beachside Wine Festival. The first takes place at the Lantern Bay Park in Dana Park on Saturday, April 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. The festival will be set in a beautiful grassy area with palm trees and beach views.
The second Beachside Wine Festival takes place on the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort’s Tennis Lawn in Carlsbad. The final two Beachside Wine Festivals are scheduled for July 20 at Chase Palm Park and October 26 at Paséa Hotel & Spa, respectively.
All Beachside Wine Festivals will feature a white-topped tent village. There, guests can choose from hundreds of wines, as well as craft beers from local breweries.
The events will also include a variety of shellfish, salads, artisanal cheeses, and breads. Guests can sample the food while listening to live music. Each event will also feature a number of top chefs, including Tim Vuong of Bluegold and Randolf Gruspe of Duke’s.
The festival organizers have announced a number of excellent local wineries for these events. These include Ahnfeldt Wines, Trinitas Cellars, Prescription, and Vina Robles Vineyards and Winery.
Ahnfelt Wines is located in Old Town Napa and consistently earns scores over 90 from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. The wines include the 2010 Ahnfeldt Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. It was aged in French oak and earned 91 points from Wine Spectator. Also available is the 2013 Ahnfeldt Quid Pro Quo Napa Valley, which earned a Gold Medal at the 2016 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition.
Trinitas Cellars is also in Napa and produces a number of excellent wines, especially from its single vineyard collection. The collection includes the 2013 Martin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a Coombsville appellation wine that earned 91 points from James Suckling. Another 91-point wine (Wine Enthusiast) is the 2014 Mysteriama. This is Trinitas Cellars’ most popular red wine, and it comes out of the oak barrels with different flavors each year.
The third winery listed so far for this year’s festival is Prescription, which produces an excellent Chardonnay of the Clarksburg appellation. This wine features a variety of flavors, from guava and key lime to papaya and crème brulée. Finally, Vina Robles is located in Paso Robles. It produces a number of unique wines, including the 2017 Albariño. This wine is common in the Spanish region of Galicia and is made with grapes from the Huerhuero Vineyard. With grapes from the same vineyard, Vina Robles also makes a Petit Verdot, a variety of Bordeaux that undergoes aging in French oak barrels for 20 months.
In addition to offering outstanding wines, this year’s festival features a number of breweries. For example, the Dana Point event includes brews from Coronado Brewing Co. and Firestone Walker Brewing Company. The Santa Barbara event is hosting Island Brewing Company, which is located on the Santa Barbara coast. Also present will be Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., which operates six taprooms on the central coast.
Organizations Supported by the Festival
In addition to offering outstanding wine and food, the California Wine Festival gives a portion of its proceeds to a number of organizations. These include the Surfrider Foundation, which works to preserve the world’s oceans and beaches through activism and education. The festival also gives to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and Golden Rule Charity, the latter of which assists individuals who work in the hospitality industry.
For more information on this year’s California Wine Festival, be sure to visit www.californiawinefestival.com. Festival organizers will post updated information on wineries, chefs, and breweries that will be represented at each event. With the abundance of outstanding wines coming from California, you can be sure to find a diverse menu of offerings at all four events at this year’s festival.