The Inaugural Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival launched on a beautiful April day, proving the heaven’s love delicious culinary offerings. Sun shining, blue skies, albeit a little windy, and warm enough for ladies in their sun dresses.
Arriving at festival host Reyes Winery’s estate, it feels like a new world. Less than an hour north of Los Angeles, yet the city’s stresses melt away into vineyard rows and canyon vistas. The quaint charm of the area inspires many smiles. And this is before your first sip or bite.
Over 700 attendees agreed as the area filled up quickly and remained bustling throughout the day. Yes, for foodies and beverage enthusiasts the festival offered many varieties of bites and tastes. What made the event not just unique but likely the first of it’s kind, was the local theme. Every booth at the festival was local to the Sierra Pelona Valley. This allowed for new discoveries and the ability for small vendors and hobbyists to proudly share their wares alongside local brands with a larger reach.
Keeping with the local theme, several wines being poured aren’t available for sale. Simply put, passionate winemakers looking to share their small batch, participate in the event and support their community. Major theme of conversation for the day was on community spirit.
Wineries included: Agua Dulce Winery, Alonso Family Vineyards, Antelope Valley Winery, Bacelar Wines, Coruce Vineyards, Chavez Vineyards, Diosa Tequila, Donna Harris Wine Biz, Golden Star Vineyards, High Desert Cellars, Mike Rinn Wines, Mascari Vineyard in Bouquet Canyon, Montalvo Tequila, Naked Rebel Winery, Oreana Winery, Pulchella Winery, Reyes Winery, Soaring Hawk Vineyard, Steve Hemmert Vineyards, Two Hearts Vineyards, Vampire Winery, Vindeos Malagon Vineyard, Winehouse Vineyards, 88 Tequila Co.
Food from California Bakery, Cheers At All Corked Up, Gourmet Blends, Dove Chocolate Discoveries,Gourmet Tamale Factory, Le Chene French Cuisine, Naked Juice, Natcheryl Organic Café, Porto’s Bakery, Roman Holiday Wine Lounge, Sweetwater Café, Thelma’s Gourmet Café , Truffles n Toffee, The Whole Wheatery.
Robert Reyes, award-winning winemaker and the host of the festival was pleased with their first year and is already preparing for their second year. “There’s a lot to do to make it bigger and better. We’re expecting over 1000 next year — which is exciting!”
Plans currently for 2014 include expanding to include many more booths, expanding the VIP area, additional volunteers, implementing a shuttle between the parking area and the festival for convenience.
Looking back on the festival, Sierra Pelona Valley is in very good hands with Robert Reyes. Let’s hope he continues his vision and many more follow along on his path.