If you enjoy wine festivals, get ready to enjoy three of them in San Luis Obispo County this summer, with events ranging from tastings and food pairings to dinner at Hearst Castle.
Roll Out the Barrels | June 19-22
The first event for wine enthusiasts is the 24th annual Roll Out the Barrels, set for June 19-22.
The annual festival usually draws about 2,400 participants each year, said Heather Muran, executive director for the San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association, which organizes the event.
Activities include a Barrels in The Plaza grand tasting next to the Mission in San Luis Obispo on Thursday, when wines will be paired with treats from local chefs, and wine and restaurant pairings on Friday.
Ticket holders will also have a two-day passport to more than 20 participating wineries for special deals on wines, food and live entertainment. Roughly 1,400 people buy the passports each year, Muran said, but this year she is hoping to increase that number to 1,500.
The weekend will culminate in the Summer Krush concert featuring Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson and Mary Lambert. Concert tickets are not included in Roll Out the Barrels tickets, though passport holders can get discounted tickets through www.slowine.com.
Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival | June 28, 4-8 p.m.
For those who want a shorter event, the one-day Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival fits the bill.
More than 70 Central Coast wineries will participate in the festival, now in its 19th year, said festival chairman Barbie Butz. About 2,000 people show up each year to participate and enjoy the festivals live music, tastings, culinary pairings and artist showcases.
Because of the location next to the new rotunda and bandstand, Butz describes the festival as an event in a Norman Rockwell painting.
Its very comfortable and laid-back, Butz said. Its a smaller event in comparison with other festivals, but thats nice. The wineries all have time to actually chat with people at the booths about the wines.
Many of the proceeds for the festival go to help the Charles Paddock Zoo with improvements, as well as other projects in Atascadero, such as installing an antique clock in the Sunken Gardens near City Hall, Butz said.
For more information on the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival, visit www.atascaderowinefestival.org.
Central Coast Wine Classic | July 10-13
One of the longest running wine events in the county, the 29th annual Central Coast Wine Classic is set for July 10-13, and will celebrate all the wineries and personalities that have been a part of its three-decade history.
The annual event celebrates the wineries of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey and Sonoma counties and Napa Valley, with many of the proceeds going to local nonprofits.
Founder and chairman Archie McLaren said in the past 10 years, the Wine Classic has raised more than $2 million for nonprofits such as the San Luis Obispo Child Abuse Prevention Council, the Womens Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County and Woods Humane Society (all were 2013 beneficiaries).
The Wine Classics Barrel Tasting in Avila Beach and Hearst Castle Dinner are scheduled for July 10, with several special events July 11.
On July 12, the Wine Classic will hold its live auction, silent auction and luncheon at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, and the Reserve Wine Tasting is scheduled for the same place the next day.