The 29th annual Ojai Wine Festival takes place Sunday, June 14, 2015 from 12–4 pm on the shores of Lake Casitas, northwest of Los Angeles, California.
The wine tasting offers an excellent selection from 60 award-winning wineries. But the Ojai Wine festival features more than sampling vintages — there is a selection of 30 craft beers, for example, and two popular bands are playing. “Sgt. Pepper and Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries will get you moving on the dance floor and they put on a fantastic show,” says Angela May, executive director of the Ojai Wine Festival.
Visitors can also shop the arts and craft vendors or take in the beauty of the lake on a free 15-minute boat ride on the Rotary Boat.
“There is a wonderful selection of food vendors to choose from to buy a snack or yummy lunch,” May continues. “There is a huge silent auction that you can bid on to win a prized bottle of wine or winery tour and tasting.”
You can bring a picnic and a blanket from home and spread out on the grass to soak in the sun and the lovely scenic surroundings at Lake Casitas Recreation Area. “And … it’s all for a good cause, because 100% of the proceeds go to aid Rotary charitable projects in the local community and internationally,” explains May. The price of a general admission ticket is $60, the pre-sale price is $50 until June 12.
For the executive director personally, it is the Lake Casitas Recreation Area site that makes the event very special. “It is so beautiful there, and the setting is the perfect place to spend an afternoon taking wine and beer tasting or just having a fun, relaxing day.”
The VIP Lounge, a major highlight of the event, attracts spirits, wine and beer connoisseurs and foodies alike. “The grand canopy tent is set back on the lakefront with an open view to take in the natural beauty of the lake where patrons can unwind and relax,” May raves. VIPs are greeted with a sparkling glass of Barefoot Bubbly and enjoy a delectable selection of hors d’oeuvres served by Sakura Ojai Japanese, La Piu Bella Tavola Italian Catering and Whole Foods Market Oxnard. May recommends to pair your choice hors d’oeuvres with a wonderful selection of fine wines served by the glass by Ascension Cellars, Gainey Vineyard, Falcone Family Winery and Zaca Mesa Winery. If you prefer beer, try an ice-cold glass of Belgian style draft Stella Artois, Leffe or Hoegaarden served in a specially designed souvenir beer glass that brings out the unique character of each beer. For cider lovers, try a refreshing Stella Cidré. After all that food, wine or beer you can quench your thirst with Sparkling ICE waters, Hubert’s Lemonade or Jarritos sodas. And lastly, “For the ‘pièce de résistance’, sample a first-rate selection of tequilas from Tequila Los Tres Toños,” May suggests. VIP tickets are $150 on Event Day and $130 before June 12.
The Ojai Wine Festival is the annual fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Ojai West Foundation, which has raised over one-million US dollars to help fund local Rotary Ojai West projects, including supporting local schools, youth programs, a food bank, a CERT program, a student exchange program and so much more. Internationally, Rotary helps develop clean drinking water projects; fight illiteracy and polio worldwide.