California Wine Festival Returns to Dana Point - April 14-15

March 31, 2023

Southern California’s premier wine festival event producer, California Wine Festival, returns to Dana Point for two days of oceanside tasting events on Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15. Guests will be able to experience offerings from winemaking regions across California, paired with diverse food selections from many of Orange County’s finest dining establishments while experiencing lifestyle exhibitors, live entertainment, and sweeping coastal views. 

Amid panoramic Pacific Ocean vistas at a new location of Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, Friday evening kicks off with a Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting, a special experience for wine connoisseurs. A sparkling wine reception commences the evening of sampling hard-to-find reserve wines and offers tasting room exclusives and limited-edition wines originating from vineyards based in California’s most distinguished wine-producing regions. 

Talented chefs from the Dana Point area will serve delicious hot and cold appetizers to pair with the superb wines, including Chef Rob Wilson of Glasspar Restaurant and Executive Chef Joseph Tripi of Trevor’s at the Tracks.

As the evening progresses, guests will have the ability to partake in a silent auction, bidding on highly-sought items such as exotic wines, tasting tours and dining certificates. Proceeds from this auction will benefit Sandy Feet Initiative, an organization dedicated to recognizing and supporting siblings of children with special needs, through instructional and safe beach days. The festival itself will also benefit The Surfrider Foundation of South Orange County, whose mission is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches for all.

The ultimate wine tasting experience continues with a Beachside Wine Festival taking place at Sea Terrace Park on Saturday, April 15. The sun-soaked afternoon event will advance culinary education and exploration through intimate conversations and tastings with culinary and wine talent descending upon Dana Point from California’s top wineries and local restaurants. Attendees will have access to hundreds of premium California wines and local craft brews. Fine wines can be paired with artisanal cheeses, cured and smoked meat, breads, olive oil, fresh-cut fruit, decadent sweets and more. Notable wine industry talent attending include winemaker Gio Balistreri and Barr Smith, owner of Barlow Vineyards. 

Gourmet food purveyors to be featured in the VIP Pavilion on Saturday will be Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa’s new restaurant, Outer Reef, specializing in coastal seafood, using fresh California produce and seafood sourced exclusively across the West Coast, as well as Arteseans Seafoods Inc. serving scallops, Brio Tuscan Grill offering samples of their signature Northern Italian cuisine, and The Real Empanada, serving freshly baked empanadas. 

Additional top-notch restaurants from South Orange County and beyond will serve delectable appetizers to accompany the festival’s world-class wine selections at the Beachside Wine Festival including: Beachfire Bar & Grill, Crumbl Cookies, Gino Angelini Authentic Italian Sauces, Glasspar Restaurant, Goufrais Southern California, Horizon Sales Corp, Icelandic Glacial, Kelly's Croutons, Kerrygold USA, Lei'd Cookies, Mahogany Smoked Meat, Trevor’s at the Tracks, SiSi Cakes, Smokin’ Crackers and What A Dish Cafe & Catering.

The festival shines a light on rare and reserve vintages, as well as popular bottles from California’s best vineyards based in Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, Temecula and more. Notable wineries attending include: Adobe Road Winery, Barlow Vineyards, Bellante Family Winery, Benovia Winery, Bernardus Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Capriccio Sangria, Carol Shelton Wines, Cuvaison Estate Wines, Dani Gold Wines, Doffo Winery, Ehret Winery, Family Wineries Direct, Goldschmidt Vineyards, Inman Family Wines, King Frosch Wines, Le Vigne Winery, Lloyd Cellars, Locatelli Winery, Mad Lab Wines, MCV Wines, Michael Mondavi Family Wines, Miner Family Wines, Mounts Family Winery, Navarro Vineyards, New Zealand Wine Navigator, Pasmosa Sangria, Prager Winery & Port Works, Quench + Temper, Riboli Family Wines/San Antonio Winery, Russian River Vineyards, Sojourn Cellars, Tara Bella Winery, The Green Wine, Vezer Family Vineyard, Vinera Wine Society, Wild Horse Winery, and Wine Guy & Wine Gal.

Live entertainment will provide the perfect ambiance to a carefree weekend enjoying coastal California vistas. Friday’s Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting will feature live entertainment from Kalina & Kiana, a songwriting pop duo that has opened for Justin Bieber and The Bangles. Saturday’s Beachside Wine Festival will feature Upstream, SoCal’s premier live reggae, calypso, soca and steel drum band.

Icelandic Glacial returns as “Official Water Sponsor” and Lloyd Cellars is the “Official Stage Sponsor.” 

California Wine Festival is a 21+ event. Tickets are available for pre-sale hereFor more information, please visit CaliforniaWineFestival.com

Greer's OC
Blogger | Journalist

Since 1993, Greer has been writing about fashion, dining and trends in Orange County, as a popular columnist for the Los Angeles Time Community Newspapers (Daily Pilot, Coastline Pilot and HB Independent) and now as founder of Greer’s OC.

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