Food, wine, freshly rolled cigars and helping the homeless were all on tap at the first annual Santa Clarita Wine Fest on Saturday afternoon. The event was held from 2-6:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites in Valencia and included 500 different wines and spirits from over 100 wineries.
A portion of the proceeds from the SCV Wine Fest were donated to Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, a non-profit organization which is committed to helping homeless families in Santa Clarita. The newest non-profit group in the valley was also highlighted in The Signal recently.
The estimated 700 people who attended the SCV Wine Fest were treated to a wide variety of venders which went beyond simply wine. There were chocolates, coffees and teas, wine bottle and glass engraving, gift basket designs and even a psychic reader for those who wanted to know which wine they would be trying the following hour.
College of the Canyons Culinary Arts department highlighted the farro grain with their exhibit, billing it as a grain with less starch than rice and can be used in a variety of different ways. The offering provided was farro over a small salad, but it can also be used on crackers, in stuffing and soup and in bread.
SCV Wine Fest Director Gary Choppé got involved in the event approximately four months ago and “wanted Santa Clarita to have a signature wine event.” The previous wine event in Santa Clarita, All Corked Up, was discontinued after last year. Choppé has a background in advertising and marketing and refers to the SCV Wine Fest as “my baby.” He is looking forward to future wine fests and is proud to be a part of it.
Several guests of the SCV Wine Fest could be seen walking around with wine glass holder necklaces, which allows somebody to walk around with their wine in a glass and keeping their hands free to sample the many delectable treats. Thomas Bwarie was on hand for complimentary hand engraving of wine glasses handed out for SCV Wine Fest. Shirley Wolfe of Newhall said, “he engraves glass by hand better than I write on paper.”
Also making an appearance at SCV Wine Fest was the Smokin’ Aces Cigar Club, which secured a patio space at the hotel where guests could sit down and enjoy a freshly rolled cigar with their wine.
The first annual Santa Clarita Wine Fest appeared by all accounts to be a success. Several wineries got to spotlight their most treasured masterpieces and residents from all corners of the Santa Clarita Valley were provided an opportunity to mingle and enjoy an afternoon of spirits and camaraderie.