I always feel sad when the wine harvest ends. The wine atmosphere changes from active and festive to the more mundane barrage of holiday pairings. However, Bacchus must have heard my call and gifted me the newly expanded California Wine Festival Nov. 9-10 in Huntington Beach.
The California Wine Festival has been successful for 15 years in Santa Barbara, Dana Point, Carlsbad, and even at sea via Western Caribbean. I’ve attended the spring event in Dana Point and had a ball, but sadly missed it this year.
I am giddy there is a new fall event at Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach as one more ode to autumn and the California wine harvest.
I jumped on the opportunity to ask Emily Kaufmann, executive director of the California Wine Festival, the scoop on this new event in their successful festival lineup.
Why the expansion to a fall wine festival given the existing events throughout the spring and summer?
“Huntington Beach has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, and we have always been interested in hosting an event in Huntington Beach,” Kaufmann said. “With the amazing support of Visit Huntington Beach and Paséa Hotel & Spa, we are about to make that a reality”
If guests attended the California Wine Festival in Dana Point in April, what new wineries will they experience at Huntington Beach in November?
“We have some crossover from our Dana Point events,” Kaufmann said, “but a few new names for Huntington Beach include St. Supery, Trinitas, Thomas George Estate, Vina Robles and Europa Village.”
What does the VIP pass garner festival attendees?
“VIP gives you an hour early access (noon vs. 1 p.m. for general admission) to the wineries and winemakers as well as an amazing oceanfront area exclusive to VIP ticketholders,” Kaufmann said. “Here, VIP ticketholders will enjoy appetizers, reserve level wines, and coveted seating.”
What wines are different at the Nov. 9 Sunset Tasting vs. the Nov. 10 Beachside Festival?
“The Sunset Rare & Reserve Wine Tasting on Friday evening will feature rare and reserve-level bottles that will only be poured at this event,” Kaufmann said. “Top regional chefs will serve hot and cold appetizers, including local favorites like Blue Gold Dukes, Sea Legs Wine Bar, and more.
“However, at the Beachside Wine Festival, ticketholders can enjoy a larger variety of wines as well as appetizers and beer from a few top area breweries. The ticket to either event includes all wine, food samples and a 19-ounce keepsake wine glass.”
California Wine Festival, Huntington Beach
Sunset Rare and Reserve Wine Tasting: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 9, $110
Beachside Wine Festival: 1-4 p.m. Nov. 10, $70
You can also purchase VIP multi-day passes, early entrance, and designated driver tickets.