Wine Tasting Opportunity
It’s that time of year again! No, not the end of winter, but the time to start thinking about attending the Family Winemakers of California event. This year, it will be held in Pasadena, on March 9th. It is your opportunity to taste some of the best wines in California, and meet the winemakers and owner. There will be about 175 wineries, and around 750 different wines, from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez, Temecula....well you get the picture.
This will be the 11th tasting of small, family-owned wineries from across California. The Pasadena Tasting is open to trade and wine media, as well as consumers. Also featured for the first time will be the iSip Lounge for specially ticketed consumer who want to taste wine retailing for $75 or more.
Last year, I attended the event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, in San Diego, and tasted about 130 different wines. Note that I said “tasted”, not “drank”…big difference! These events are normally open only to those in the trade, and mainly meant as a buying opportunity for wine shops and restaurants. BUT... this is the 2nd year that they are open it to the public for a few hours.
The past president of the organization, Paul Kronenberg said, “As the region’s largest tasting of California wines, the event gives members of the trade and wine enthusiasts alike the opportunity to taste hundreds of wines coming from California’s small production, family-owned wineries. It’s a great opportunity to taste and discover exceptional and hard-to-find wines while getting to meet the passion-driven winery owners and winemakers behind it, who are committed to the craft of producing quality wines.”. Kronenberg continued, “The Family Winemakers tasting introduces attendees to California’s small, family-owned wineries, the varietals being produced by California wine growers, and the state’s many rich and diverse wine regions. With such a vast selection of wines, I am positive that each person who attends will discover a new favorite.”
According to their website, the Family Winemakers of California Association was established in 1991 in response to a need for public policy involvement for the small wine producers of California. The Association has become a strong force in the wine industry, lobbying for wine producer rights, and has an active membership of over 550 California wineries. Family Winemakers draws its membership from all the wine producing areas of the state, with the largest concentration coming from Napa and Sonoma Counties.
Doors open for the Trade at 1:00pm, then to the general public at 3:30. The tastings run until 6:00pm. The cost of the event, for the general public, is $70 at the door, but I am going to share a way to get in at a lower cost. If you register before March 8th, you can get in for only $60. Tickets are on sale right now, and can be purchased online at the family winemakers website at the advance ticket prices. This year’s tasting will also offer a new iSip Lounge, only open to consumers. There will be 25 wineries pouring wines that sell for $75.00 or more at retail. Limited tickets for this area. First come first served at $80/person (which includes your general admission). There is also a limited offer for admission during the trade segment plus iSip Lounge Reserve area on Sunday (1:00 on), 100 tickets only, first come first served, $100.
Those of you, who can't make the event, can also look for my recap on this blog site, the week after the event. But, who wants to read about it, when you have the opportunity to attend? If you see me walking around (and most likely tasting and talking) introduce yourself, and say, "hi".