It’s been exactly 24 hours since I was transformed, since I had a VIP pass around my neck and I still feel every second my hand is no longer clinging to the huge wine goblet emblazoned with four simple words: Loose Goose Wine Festival.
Southern California’s largest wine festival is right here in Santa Clarita. Now in it’s forth incarnation, the festival has increased exponentially in size with each year. The number of guests, wineries, restaurants, vendors and entertainment only continues to serve as the premier wine event for the Santa Clarita Valley. No other wine event in Santa Clarita runs for as many days or boasts as many visitors from inside and outside of our town, 30 minutes north of Los Angeles, as our Goose.
Peter “The Goose” Goosens, Founder of the Loose Goose, always attends every detail of the festival. Planning the 4 day “Journey of Discovery” wine pairing dinners, Golf Classic, Golden Goose Gala and the After Dark and After Noon Festivals should have been plenty of an excuse to take a much needed snooze. Not for Peter. He was easily spotted standing near a street sign that had a special meaning for him, “Sint Jorisgilde.”
“My staff did the signs, of streets in Belgium, as a tribute to the Belgium Beer Café Pavilion we have here for the first time serving Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe Blonde,” He began. “But they did a little extra research in finding the street I lived on and surprising me with it here.”
I asked Peter what else was new this year. “Well, we’ve hit a new high with what I think is a total of about 7500 guests,” He calculated. “The Belgium beer sommelier, Mark Stroobandt, flew in here for the festival to go along with the 90 wineries represented. Also my own wine is being poured, 1667 Army of Geese, the grapes are from Modesto and a blend of Syrah and Petite Syrah.”
“Most people will learn today what Members already know: That it doesn’t begin and end with this event. I do about 80 events a year. The next is Our ‘All Aboard’ at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles on November 23.”
The Loose Goose Wine Festival benefits Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation and the Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund. The former raises funds for the capital needs of our only full service hospital while the latter supports patients undergoing cancer treatment.
“It’s not about the wine it’s about wine enjoyment which includes friends, food and dancing to our bands.”
An Asti Monferrato, Brachetto Piemonte, that was poured for VIPs upon entry (from the Grape Crusader) may soon be purchased at the Loose Goose Cellar at the special price of $18 for members. A wonderful refreshment; something sparkling in our glasses set the stage for joining not only the fest but teased us into the rewards of exclusive membership.
Membership to the Loose Goose Wine Society is open to all. No obligatory wine purchases but instead Members receive special privileges at partner wineries, restaurants, wine events and exclusive access to the Society’s private cellar and tasting rooms in Old Town Newhall. You can get two Member tickets to next year’s festival for an upgraded experience package for $154. Join soon as the next opportunity to enjoy a truly special wine experience is at Union Station, reserved for members only: November 23.
(Closing line for this year: Reserve these dates now in your calendar: October 3-4, 2009, for the next Loose Goose Wine Festival. More information may be found at www.loosegoosewinefestival.com. Next Year: Reserve these dates now in your calendar: October – , 2010, for the next Loose Goose Wine Festival. More information may be found at www.loosegoosewinefestival.com.)
Yours, in wine and out,