Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's next from the Sierra Pelona Valley?

The Sierra Pelona Valley Vintners Association is holding its Second Annual Wine Festival & Vineyard Jazz Event next month! 
In a few weeks the bud breaks on the vines will be turning green with new growth and wine and jazz will be flowing at Reyes Winery in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the new offerings from the local wineries, food vendors, and boutiques. The weather will probably be very nice with a little sun and light breeze, like last year.
The first annual festival in 2013 drew about 700 people, and according to Robert Reyes, this year they are expecting over 1,000 festival attendees.
View a short video of Robert Reyes and Beth Heiserman talking about the upcoming festival here.

It will be great to re-visit the enthusiastic winemakers from Sierra Pelona AVA, Leona Valley AVA, and the Antelope Valley of the California High Desert AVA. They may not have the distribution of bigger wineries, but they have the passion for wine making and they are only too glad to share all the details with you. And that's what I think a great wine festival is all about!

A preliminary list of the wineries signed up this year include:

  • Agua Dulce Winery
  • Alonso Family Vineyards
  • Antelope Valley Winery
  • Bouquet Vineyards
  • Chavez Vineyards
  • Coruce Vineyards & Winery
  • Golden Star Vineyards
  • Harris Wine Biz
  • High Dessert Cellars
  • Oasis Vineyard
  • Pulchella Winery
  • Reyes Winery   
  • San Antonio Vineyards
Glad to see some of the wineries we enjoyed last year will be there again this year: Antelope Valley Winery, Chavez Cellars, Coruce Vineyards, Harris Wine Biz, High Dessert Cellars, Pulchella Winery and, of course, Reyes Winery. I'm looking forward to tasting the wines I saw bottled last October--Robby's Blend, Julia's Blend, and Renaissance Les Deux Rois, and if there's any still available, the Agua Dulce Delight port. And of course there will be beer and tequila too.
I've heard that this year there will be some Vodka-flavored Truffles available from Truffles n Toffee--now that sounds interesting! And after tasting some of the food from Juan Alonso's Le Chene French Cuisine at the recent press conference, I can't wait to see what Juan conjures up this year.

But wait, there's more! The musical direction of the festival has moved towards a Jazz Event! The live musical artists will include:

  • Quattro, an ensemble that blends Latin + Pop + Jazz + Classical
  • Jazz vocalist, Lauren Koval, and keyboardist and arranger, Paul McDonald, will perform Latin Jazz & Standards.
  • Jon Stephen, Nuevo Flamenco Guitarist, will perform original music with his own genre of Tropical Brazilian Guitar.
  • And the Still Moving Project, will return again this year with their melodic rock-country-folk-jazz music.  
These artist should provide some great jazz in the vineyard!
Proceeds from the festival will benefit College of the Canyons, the Institute for the Culinary Arts, scheduled to open fall 2014. There may be a few VIP tickets left, and those include a winery tour and some other goodies in the VIP area. Check for tickets online at

This will be a great way to start off the 2014 wine festival season! I'll see you there on April 26th.

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