Oh dear, the ladies stepped it up a notch this year! The ladies, those being the hardworking ladies for the Assistance League Santa Clarita, not only gathered a unique group of non-commercial Santa Clarita Valley-based winemakers (only a small handful are commercial), beer brewers, the DeRobertis Family Artisan cheese makers, the ultra-hidden Speakeasy Bakery and College of the Canyons Culinary Arts students – this year they added more space to the two-house-long event by moving a lively auction to the expansive front yard.
But that didn’t happen until 2 ½ hours into the event. Guests began by tasting with several winemakers, brewers and food artisans while experiencing one of the rarest sites of the Santa Clarita Valley: the local Compa Vineyard owned by Chris, Jeannie and Tim Carpenter.
Many of the wines we tasted came from grapes grown in and around the Santa Clarita Valley and are similar to the Carpenter’s vineyard; while others source grapes or juice from the Central Coast and beyond. The event, now in it’s 8th year, has motivated many wannabe winemakers to plant grapevines and become dedicated winemakers.
There were several wines that struck my fancy at the tasting, a benefit of having a designated driver perhaps (and I liked the musicians that serenaded us both in the front and in the back of the property too) while I enjoyed:
Mystic Hills Vineyard Unforgiven blend, Les Deux Chats Zinfandel, Compa Vineyard Rose, Whistling Vineyard Syrah, Hundred Red Vines Zinfandel/Petit Syrah blend, Golden Star Purple Haze and Viognier, Bellissimo Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Bouquet Vineyard 2014 Merlot (my fave of the day) and Cabernet Sauvignon, Due Nasi Mourvedre, Stephen Hemmert 2012 Zinfandel and 2014 Entwined white blend, Reyes Winery 2013 Quinn’s Zinfandel and many others offered by the Beer Garden, Browne Family, Capuano Winery, CP Iconic Wines, Pagter Brothers, Gagnon Cellars, One Vine Four Branches, Alonso Family Vineyards, Pulchella Winery, Two Hearts Vineyard and Nuggucciet Cellars.
I took a bazillion photos of the wines and the people tasting, and turned it into a YouTube slide show you can see here.
Sunset in the Vineyard Artisans
Alonso Family Vineyards, Bellissimo Cellars, Bobcat Red, Bouquet Vineyard, Browne Family, Capuano Winery, Compa Vineyard, Copper Hill Brewery, CP Iconic Wines, DeRobertis Family Artisan Cheeses, Due Nasi, Gagnon Cellars, Golden Star Vineyards, Les Deux Chats Cellars, VNYBC, Mystic Hills Vineyard, Nuggucciet Cellars, Oasis Vineyard, One Vine Four Branches, Pagter Brothers Winery, Pulchella Winery, Reyes Winery, Speakeasy Bakery, Two Hearts Estate Vineyard, Nanno Brewery, Wheelhouse Band and Whistling Vineyard.
What The Auction and Ticket Prices Do For Our Community (From the Assistance League Website)
We provide over 22,000 hours of community service each year and touch the lives of over 3,500 people in our valley. We provide new school clothes for students, we cook meals for convalescent home residents, we provide teddy bears to people in traumatic situations, we play games with schoolchildren in an after school program and we help students see better with new eyeglasses.
We are a hands-on group of individuals committed to helping others in need. We operate Assistance League Resale, an all-volunteer thrift store in downtown Newhall. We hold two fundraisers each year to help fund our programs. An added bonus is that Assistance League members become life-long friends.
Platinum Partners: Woodward and the Magazine of Santa Clarita.
Gold Partners: SGL Group, KHTS AM 1220, LensCrafters, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Carlson, Mr. and Mrs. John Hamby, C.A.M. Johnson Family Foundation
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column.