June brings the last of the outdoor wine festivals in the Los Angeles area, at least the last until the weather starts to cool off again upon the end of summer.
The Ojai Wine Festival was held Sunday, June 8th. Now in its 28th year, this event offers an amazing array of wines to taste, along with great beers, delicious food samples and live entertainment. An added bonus is that the festival takes place on the shore of beautiful Lake Casitas in Ojai.
Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery
August Ridge Vineyards
Boccali Vineyards and Winery
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Christian Lazo Wines
Classic Wines of California
Fat Cat Cellars
Rancho Sisquoc Winery
Robert Hall Winery
Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard & Winery
Frolicking Frog Cellars
Kobrand Fine Wine and Spirits
Le Vigne Winery
Mosby Winery & Vineyards
Oak Ridge Winery
Maggio Family Vineyards
Ousterhout Wine & Vineyard
Ranchita Canyon Vineyard
Sagebrush Annies and Stone Pine Estate
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Ventura County Winery Association
Herzog Wine Cellars
Panaro Brothers Winery
Plan B Wine Cellars
San Vicente Cellars
Sunland Vintage Cellars
Vinemark Cellars LLC
And if that list isn’t long enough, there were three beer tasting areas, pouring samples of:
Red Hook IPA
Shock Top Belgian White
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Golden Road Brewing
Anchor Steam India Pale Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale
San Luis Obispo Brewing Company India Pale Ale
In all, 23 different beers were being poured.
The festival sells a limited number of VIP tickets. These tickets offer some pretty good benefits:
Early entry, and while you are waiting to get in you get generous pours of some Barefoot Bubbly to get you in the mood.
Entry into the VIP Lounge with seating right at the lake, wine being poured by Bianchi Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Nobelle Wines, Vino Vargas, as well as a selection from Whole Foods Market. An added bonus was the pouring of tequila samples from Tequila Los Tres Toños Reposado and Tequila El TrueQue as well as the following premium beers:
And Stella Artois was also pouring their refreshing apple cider.
Complimentary Hor d’Oeuvres from Sakura Ojai, La Piu Bella Tavola and Whole Foods only being served in the VIP Lounge helped to round out the benefits. [Non VIP ticket holders had a selection of food trucks from which to purchase food to go with their wine and beer samples.]
Before wrapping this up, I just want to mention some of my favorite wines of the many I tasted:
Alta Colina Vineyard & Winery 2010 Old 900 Syrah, Paso Robles
Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 Le Cigar Volant, Central Coast, California
Jettlynn Winery 2009 Zinfandel, Paso Robles
Nobelle Wines 2012 Marsanne, Monterey County
Ousterhout Wine & Vineyard 2011 Zinfandel Grist Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley
Tablas Creek Vineyard 2010 Espirit de Beaucastel, Paso Robles
Toucan Wines 2011 Old Vine Carignane, Contra Costa
Zaca Mesa Winery 2010 Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley
Last but not least, I need to mention the free boat rides and the great entertainment by Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries as well as Beatles tribute bank Sgt. Pepper. This is an outstanding, well-run event. There’s a good reason it has been around 28 years. And, the net proceeds go to aid local Rotary community service projects.
(All photographs courtesy Stephen Adams.)
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. Michael is also Vice President of Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting (http://evewine101.com/eveswine101consulting/). Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.