Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Fest 2016


The 4th Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Vintners Association Wine Festival
Last Saturday I took a scenic drive up the Antelope Valley Freeway and through Agua Dulce to the Sierra Highway for the Fourth Annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival. The event at Reyes Winery is always a fun way to get to know local vintners, sample their wines, and taste some authentic local food. There are plenty of handmade crafts and jewelry from  artisans and a stage with live music; all surrounded by vineyards in the early growing season. The visual impact of the mountain vineyards is absolutely stunning.
This year the festival supported the Senior Center of Santa Clarita Valley. The goal was to help the center acquire at least one new bus to serve the Santa Clarita community.  Judging by the good attendance, enthusiastic auction, and the rowdy raffle it seems like they may have achieved it!
The featured wineries included Agua Dulce Winery, Alonso Family Vineyards, AV Winery, Bouquet Vineyard, Chavez Cellars, Charles Wine Company, Coruce Vineyards, CPB Winery, Du Nasi, Golden Star Vineyards & Winery, Hearthstone Vineyard & Winery, Iconic Wines, LA International Wine Competition (featuring California wines from Strey Cellars and Sagebrush Annie’s), Reyes Winery, San Antonio Winery and Stephen Hemmert Wines.
The Rhone-style wines from Paso Robles by Stephen Hemmert were a real treat. The Viognier, Rousanne, and " Entwined," a blend of the two, were all excellent! 
Agua Dulce Winery
I enjoyed the Syrahs from Agua Dulce Winery, Alonso Family Vineyards, Hearthstone and Reyes. Other memorable red wines included the Purple Haze from Golden Star, the Red Blend (50% Barbera, 25% Primitivo, 25% Syrah) from Charles Wine and the Cabernet Sauvignon from Bouquet Vineyard.
Brown Knows Cider
In addition to these fine wines, there was a little something for those not interested in wine. A refreshing cider was available from Brown Knows Cider, AGWA Cocoa Leaf Liquer attracted many tasters, and the popular trio of Belgian beers -- Leffe Blonde, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois -- were on tap.
Best of Belgium
Truffles N Toffee
I enjoyed some of the gourmet food in the VIP area and many of the specialty foods offered by The Broken Bit, Gourmet Blends, Le Chene French Cuisine, Persia Restaurant and Hookah Lounge, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe, Tochigan Farms and Truffles N Toffee. My favorite snacking foods were the Tochigan Farms Hot Salsa (and a little of the Very Hot) and the Truffles N Toffee Almond Praline Bar samples.
Just Us
Throughout the festival you could hear the live entertainment that began around noon. The musical acts were Just Us, Sierra Highway, The Still Moving Project and The Sean Hughes Experience. Nice to hear the original tunes by some of the groups. It was great that they continued playing until 5:00 this year.
Click on this link to view a time lapse video of the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Fest  (in Ultra High Definition / 4K). You can watch the whole event in a few minutes and maybe spot yourself! Music from The Still Moving Project and The Sean Hughes Experience is featured in the video...
And The Crowd Went Wild!
 CHEERS!

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