IN GOOD TASTE | Lakeside Libations – VC Reporter
ON THE PICTURE : The Ojai Wine Festival will take place on June 18 at beautiful Lake Casitas.
by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer
Ojai Wine Festival
Saturday June 18, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
Casitas Lake Recreation Area, Wadleigh Arm
11093 Santa Ana Road, Ventura
Tickets: $95-$105, includes unlimited tastings and a souvenir crystal wine glass (21+)
$25 general admission for non-drinkers
Ojai has had a busy month! June opened with the Ojai Blues Fest, followed by the contemporary classical music extravaganza of the Ojai Music Festival. The good times keep coming with the return of the Ojai Wine Festival this weekend. Whether you are more red, white, rosé or sparkling, rest assured that there will be something delicious to pour into your glass on June 18th.
Now in its 34th year, the Ojai Wine Festival is Ventura County’s longest running wine festival. The location helps: beautiful Lake Casitas is a fantastic place to sip, eat, mingle, and dance. Santa Barbara band Area 51 will be throwing out old-school funk, disco and other popular dance favorites, and it’ll be hard to sit still once they hit the stage.
“Wine” is right in the name of the festival, and the roster of vendors doesn’t disappoint. Local winemakers like Boccali, Magnavino, Majestic Oak, Topa Mountain and Trois le Fou will rub shoulders with “northern neighbors” Rincon Mountain and Beckmen and eccentric Santa Cruz label Bonny Doon. Most exciting, perhaps, will be the many boutique winemakers and garage owners in attendance – a rare opportunity to sample exceptional, hard-to-find produce from Paso Robles and other locations.
And of course, no party or event in Ventura County would be complete without beer (even at a wine festival). Among the many to be found in the beer garden will be craft outfits like Oak and Otter (San Luis Obispo) and Coronado (San Diego County) and local favorite Ojai Valley Brewing. Big names like Firestone Walker, Dos Equis and Heineken will also be present.
Where there’s beer, there’s also cider and seltzer, and while Ojai’s Flying Embers will be there, other vendors will come from afar, like Seattle’s Elysian and vodka. , seltzer water and fruit juices from Canada Nütrl. The SLO Rod and Hammer Distillery will be on hand for whiskey lovers. Designated drivers, non-drinkers or others who choose not to drink have not been excluded from the Ojai Wine Festival for 2022. These attendees can refill their glasses with flavored sparkling waters, energy drinks and of Jarritos sodas.
No need to drink on an empty stomach, just grab a bite at one of the food stalls hosted by local restaurants or gourmet food trucks that will be visiting for the occasion. Take home a piece of the festival by bidding on items and experiences (like tours and tastings) offered through the silent auction.
Obviously, it’s not all about wine at the Ojai Wine Festival, which is why the event is one of the hottest events of the summer. Four hours of fun, all in service of a good cause (the Rotary Club of Ojai West stages it, raising over $1 million to date for its many charitable programs). Where is our drink?