Mission San Miguel will open its Sacred Garden to wine tasting again May 5.
The Wine Experiencia was created by the Friends of Mission San Miguel. Its first event in September 2010 attracted more than 750 attendees and raised more than $40,000 in cash and improvements for the restoration of the historic church.
Wine was brought to California by the Franciscans, primarily for altar wine, said the Rev. Larry Gosselin, mission guardian. It is a sacred commodity. The mission represents that history.
About 30 wineries, 15 restaurants and Firestone Walker brewery will serve samples in and around the garden, which is usually reserved for friars as a place of prayer and contemplation.
Artisans, music, a silent auction and tours of the mission will also be featured during the 2 to 6 p.m. tasting.
Its interesting to see those wine artifacts, said Zina Miakinkova, marketing manager for Le Vigne in Paso Robles.
She will also have samples from Peacock Cheese. Le Vignes proprietors, Walter and Sylvia Filippini, own the Southern California cheese importer.
The 2010 St. Claire of Assisi Sauvignon Blanc will be released at the event. A cooperative project between the mission and Locatelli Vineyards and Winery, the church receives half of proceeds from each bottle.
Founded in 1797, the mission sustained severe damage in the December 2003 earthquake. While many repairs are finished, two remaining phases are estimated to cost more than $3 million.
Restoration and retrofitting is required to be completed at the mission by 2015.
Organizers hope to make the Wine Experiencia an annual event to support future preservation. Having moved the date from fall to spring, they hope to attract more than 1,000 people this year.
May is a better time for the wineries and the weather in general, said Adrian Heryford, who owns Herydange Vintners in Templeton. Cinco de Mayo, as it turned out, isnt a very busy weekend for events.
Admission is $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Tickets are available by calling 467-3256 or at www.missionsanmiguel.org.
Art and wine in Atascadero
Atascadero Main Street will hold its next Art & Wine Tour from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 23.
Participating stores in the downtown area will host local wineries and artists. Wine tasting bracelets will be sold for $10.
For details, call 462-0177 or go to www.atascaderomainstreet.org.
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