I know it’s been a long time since my last post. I apologize! We recently relocated (still in Valencia) to a new house. I always forget how nerve racking moving is! Even though the move is technically only one day with the movers, it consumes almost a month of your time. We’re so glad it’s over, and we’ve settled in quite nicely to the new digs! The beautiful backyard and jacuzzi alone was worth the move!
I’ve recently checked on my website stats, and I see that nearly 500 of you having been reading my blogs. I want to say “THANK YOU” and “I’M SORRY” all at the same time. Thank you for your support and amazing encouragement and I’m sorry if some of my content bores you to tears. LOL. I’ve been especially absent because of my move, but I promise to pick up the pace from this point forward.
On a bit of a different note, we DID take the time to enjoy a day in Ojai, CA a couple of weeks ago. After being surrounded by boxes and unpacked bags, we knew it was time for a little vino therapy.
We attended the Ojai Wine Festival which was held on the beautiful Lake Casitas. I can’t say that I have a lot of photos from the event because it was one of those days where I wanted to simply be instead of documenting. I can, however, give you a little taste of what it was like in case anyone from the SoCal area wants to attend next year.
There were roughly 50 wineries represented, all of which are the smaller, boutique operations predominantly based in the central to southern areas of Cali. These included Barefoot, Robert Hall, Hug, Toucan, Allure, Summerland, Midnight Cellars etc.
Because most of the vintages offered were in the 2010-2011 arena, I stayed with the whites. I can’t help it. My name is Genesis, and I am a wine snob. At least I admit it. I have a very challenging time liking young reds. Young whites, on the other hand, can rock my world.
One white wine in particular stood out. Everyone seemed to be presenting amazing Viogniers (vee-on-yay). For those of you not familiar with Viognier – you’re in the majority. I’m only familiar with it because I sought it out after reading a book by my favorite Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson. It’s a tough grape to grow, but it seems to be getting more and more attention lately. If you like Riesling, you’re most likely going to like Viognier and Robert Hall Winery was serving up some of the yummiest offerings.
In addition to the wines were spectacular beer tastings (20 to choose from), great food from local restaurants, clothing/jewelry vendors and of course the beautiful lake.
It’s a low-key, laid back California atmosphere. Kids are welcome, you get a free boat ride around the lake (they serve wine on the boat) and there was a live band playing non-stop music. Overall I would say it was a great day to kick back, be casual and enjoy wine and food.
On the flip side, if you plan on attending next year, I would encourage you to spring for the VIP tickets if you can spare the extra $$$. We had general admission tickets because we wanted to scope out the situation before possibly spending the money on the VIP tickets next year. We definitely determined it would be well worth it. And here’s why:
• General admission only gets festival entry from 1-5. That seems like plenty of time, but by the time you take the boat ride (around 30 minutes total) and stand in line for food and wine, those 4 hours fly by.
• General Admission also means that you have to share the same limited number of picnic tables with 3000 other people also looking to sit down. Most of the tables are in direct sunlight which means it gets hot, hot, hot! We saw a lot of people bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on the ground. They were the smart ones!
• VIP admission gets you entry from 12-5. You also get to sit in the private, covered area with umbrellas, formal dining tables, an unlimited food buffet and complimentary full glasses of wine (general admission only gets you tastes of wine – less than 2 oz. each time). Because you get to arrive earlier, you get parking that is much closer. We literally had to hike back to our car in the beating sun.
So if you can spring for it – go for the VIP tickets!
We may or may not attend next year. Both the Los Angeles Wine Festival and Ojai Wine Festival fell on the same weekend this year. If we have to choose again next year, we will most likely attend the LA Wine Festival in lieu of Ojai just for the experience.
Terri and I will be taking a mini-vacation in the Solvang/Los Olivos area within the next 2 weeks. Be sure and check back to see photos and hear reviews about Santa Barbara County vineyards and wineries.
Have a great weekend!