Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasting Trips in 2015

Tasting Trips MMXV

Did you make it to all of the 2014 wine events I posted last January? That’s OK, even I didn’t catch them all.  These were almost, but not quite, tasting trips...
  • 22nd Annual Winter WINEland, Healdsburg
  • 3rd Annual Winter Wine Classic / California Wine Festival, Santa Barbara
  • Calabasas Beer Festival, Calabasas
  • Paso Robles Wine Country, Paso Robles
  • Paso Robles 32nd Annual Wine Festival, Paso Robles
  • ZinFest Wine Festival, Lodi
  • The 3rd Annual California Jazz & Wine Fest, Thousand Oaks
  • 11th Annual California Wine Festival, Chase Palm Park, Santa Barbara
  • Paso Robles Wine Country Harvest Wine Weekend, Paso Robles
I did get to the following festivals. If you missed them you can click on each one for the TnT blog post.
Here are a few other wine tasting, beer drinking, and even chocolate tasting trips that were fun in 2014:

Tasting Trips 2015 
The 2015 wine festivals have already begun. I missed the Ventura County Wine Trail’s Local Food & Wine Challenge a few weeks ago, but I hope to catch some of the other local events this year. 

New Trips
The first Wine Fest Los Olivos is scheduled at the end of February. I agree with the festival organizers that if there's one town in the Santa Ynez Valley that should have its own wine festival, it's Los Olivos! With over 30 wineries and tasting rooms Los Olivos is more of an ongoing wine festival than it is a town. You can read my post about the festival here.

The 20th annual Kona Brewers Festival in Kailua-Kona caught my attention and is already on my list for early March. What better way is there to enjoy great beers than on a beach in Kamakahonu Bay overlooking the 200-year-old ʻAhuʻena Heiau temple? You can read my post about the festival here.
Tried & True Tasting Trips
During the last three years of blogging about wine I’ve enjoyed these festivals the most and I hope to go to all of them again this year...

Santa Barbara Spring Weekend/33rd Annual Vintners Festival Grand Tasting 

In the past this festival has moved around to different venues, but it’s back at River View Park in Buellton again this year. It’s definitely worth catching for the great Santa Barbara County wines, gourmet food and live music.

3rd Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival

This is the only wine festival I've been to that's surrounded by vineyards. And it's a great opportunity to check out the wines from these high dessert appellations … Antelope Valley of the California High Desert, Leona Valley, and Sierra Pelona (Agua Dulce and Mint Canyon). The wines are complemented with great food and musical entertainment.

The 22nd Casa Pacifica Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival

California State University's Channel Islands campus in Camarillo is one of the most comfortable venues I’ve ever visited (although I suppose it wasn't that great when it was the “Hotel California”). The assortment of California wineries, gourmet food and craft beer make it a great festival value in my opinion. The Yummies Culinary Competition ensures interesting food and the Best in Fest Beer Competition has some great craft brews participating.  Live music in the VIP tent and on the main stage is always great too.

The 29th Annual Ojai Wine Festival

I think Lake Casitas is one of the most scenic locations in Southern California for a wine festival and the free shuttle from Ojai makes it very accessible. I always enjoy the selection of wineries from all over California, the VIP tent with gourmet food, and the rockin’ live music. 

Meadowlark Service League’s 28th Annual A Taste of Camarillo Wine & Food Festival 

The Camarillo Ranch location is convenient and the festival layout makes it easy to visit all of the wine and food booths. With plenty of places to sit and enjoy the musical entertainment it can be a relaxing event. Last year's theme of the "British Invasion" was a little strange to me, but I did like the pub setting for beer and the Beatles tribute band - not sure it had much to do with the wine though. Since this is right in the back yard of the Ventura County Winery Association you're bound to see many of the local wineries as well as Santa Barbara County and Central Coast wineries.

Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest 2015 Festival Grand Tasting 

Similar to the Santa Barbara Annual Vintners Festival Grand Tasting held in the spring, only warmer and in Solvang. Stay in Solvang and walk to the festival after an early breakfast at Paula’s Pancake House.
So which festivals are you going to in 2015? Send me a note and let me know if I've missed any good ones.

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