Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ojai Wine Festival 2015

I started the Ojai Wine Festival, as I do every year, with a glass of Barefoot Bubbly and a strawberry. It's a festive start after a commute up from Westlake Village.
The VIP Lounge was a great place for wine and food tasting, but I skipped the initial lines and went out to sample some of the other food for sale from caterers and restaurants. I found Feast Bistro and a yummy Pulled Pork Sandwich, which was excellent with a Figueroa Mountain Lizard's Mouth Imperial IPA (9.2% ABV, 90 IBUs).
I also enjoyed tasting these other beers:
TapIt S.N.A.F.U. Double IPA (11.1% ABV, 127 IBUs)
Firestone Walker Easy Jack IPA (4.5% ABV, 40-50 IBUs) 
Elysian Space Dust IPA (8.2% ABV, 73 IBUs)
Ninkasi Total Domination IPA (6.7% ABV, 65 IBUs)
Aldabella/Westlake Brewing Co. K├Âlsch (5.2% ABV)

The VIP Lounge
This is a true wine festival with plenty of wines from Paso Robles and the central cost of California. Wineries included:
  • Gainey Vineyard
  • Falcone Family Vineyards
  • Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyard
  • Ascension Cellars*
Ventura Spirits
Mala Noche Mezcal and Tequila Los Tres Tonos
and the ubiquitous Stella Artois & Hoegaarden beer.
I noticed the wineries from the Ventura County Winery Association were all in one area and they were pouring some of my favorite wines.
  • Strey Cellars
  • Magnavino Cellars
  • Cantara Cellars
  • Plan B Wine Cellars
  • Sunland Vintage Winery
  • Aldabella Winery
  • Panaro Brothers Winery 
I tasted many of my favorites, but didn't catch them all. I was able to enjoy tastes from these wineries during the festival:
  • Derby Wine Estates*
  • Summerland Winery
  • Ranchita Canyon Winery* 
  • Vinemark Cellars (not in the VC Winery Association?)
  • Rancho Sisquoc Winery
  • Midnight Cellars
  • Lone Madrone
  • Tablas Creek Vineyard
  • Nobelle Wines
Although I had tried them in the past (probably at the Ojai Wine Festival), I really enjoyed tasting the wines from Derby Wine Estates and Ranchita Canyon Winery. Excellent wines!
And a new winery to me was Ascension Cellars. They had some great wines (and well balanced). I especially liked their 2014 Halo Viognier, Cass Vineyard, Paso Robles and 2012 Soul Shaker Bordeaux Blend, Cass Vineyard, Paso Robles.
After hearing some oldies from the Sgt. Pepper band, playing Beatles tunes and other British Invasion artists, I headed over to the stage to catch the second act, Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries.  They were jumping around like crazies and playing their vintage tunes to a packed dance floor.  
Watch the Ojai Wine Festival video
from Taste N Trip here.

Photo by Kristy Ellison

Twitter: @TasteNTrip