Simply Wine Festival
What started as a dream fairly quickly turned into an amazing reality.
Martha Peretz and her team at Great Festivals Incorporated should be congratulating themselves for putting on a practically perfect extravaganza, the Simply Wine Festival, especially considering it was their inaugural event.
Start with the venue itself, the Four Seasons in Westlake Village – I don’t know if you could find a more elegant place to hold an event. Add a cutting edge sponsor – Tesla Motors – and an outstanding cause – the local Make-A-Wish foundation, and you have the basis for a great festival. Then, bring in some fine restaurants, such as: Mastro’s Steakhouse, Paul Martin’s American Grill, Saddle Peak Lodge, and Café Firenze. With the addition of 5 tequila companies and 5 breweries, what more could you need? Oh yeah, wine!
The website said that over 30 wineries were scheduled to participate. I didn’t count, but it sure looked like they were right. Lots of local wineries, many from the Central Coast, as well as some from farther north.
Some of my favorites…
Patel (Napa Valley) – Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Blend (of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot).
Larner Vineyard & Winery – one of the iconic vineyards in Santa Barbara County, the family is now making wine under their own label. Loved the Syrah and Rhone blends.
Gagnon Cellars – a frequent participant in events here in our Santa Clarita Valley, it was great to see the Gagnons again and taste their stylish wines, including the barrel sample of their reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Lucas & Lewellen – another Santa Barbara County winery, really liked their Cabernet Franc.
Tercero – a wine event doesn’t seem complete these days without seeing Larry Schaffer and tasting his wines from Santa Barbara County. If you asked nicely, you got to taste his Mourvedre, which was pretty rockin’ stuff.
Kenneth Volk Vineyards – the former owner of Wild Horse, Ken Volk has been making wine commercially since 1983. The Touriga Nacional was a real treat.
Cantara Cellars – based in Camarillo, I had just tasted most of Mike and Chris Brown’s lineup at the Family Winemakers event the week prior. The one I hadn’t tasted, the Tempranillo, I got to taste this evening, and it was excellent.
Vinemark Cellars – I was really happy to find this new Paso Robles winery. My faves were the Primitivo and Cabernet Franc.
In addition to the above, there was great entertainment, including two bands and a DJ. Admittedly, the event was crowded [another tribute to the success of the organizers] but very well behaved.
I can’t wait to see what Martha and her team have in store for us next!
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. (2013 Update: Eve and Michael announced Eve Wine 101 Consulting. Info is here: http://evewine101.com/press-releases/) Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.