Three upcoming wine festivals celebrate the approach of summer in San Diego
The California Wine Festival, Toast of the Coast and Nat Diego events are all coming up in the next month
After a two-year pandemic-related break, large-scale outdoor wine festivals are returning to San Diego County in the coming weeks. Here’s a look at three wine festivals that will be uncorked in the next month. All events are for ages 21 and up only.
May 20 and 21: California Wine Festival
The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad once again hosts this large two-day festival, which was last held in 2019. Founded in 2004 in Santa Barbara, the California Wine Festival is one of the largest outdoor wine festivals in the state. This year’s fest will feature nearly 200 wines from more than 50 California wineries. The weekend begins with a Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. May 20, with specialty wines and food prepared by Park Hyatt’s Ponto Lago restaurant, along with a silent auction to raise money for the Golden Rule Charity. The Beachside Wine Festival, from 1 to 4 p.m. May 21, is an outdoor afternoon tasting at the resort’s Heron Lawn. Besides wines and local craft beers, ticket-buyers can sample cheeses, breads, olive oils, seafood, salads and desserts prepared by North County shops and restaurants, including Senor Grubby’s, Miller’s Table, Mahogany Smoked Meats and Butterfly Brittles. Live entertainment will be provided at both events. Sunset reserve tasting is $99 in advance or $140 at the gate. Beachside Wine Festival is $119 in advance or $140 at the gate. 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad. californiawinefestival.com
June 11: Toast of the Coast Wine Competition
Produced by the San Diego County Fair, this event is both an annual medal competition for the nation’s best wineries as well as a tasting event for fair and non-fair visitors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Although the fair hasn’t been held in its full form since 2019, the medal competition carried on in 2020 and 2021. As a result, this year’s Toast of the Coast tasting sessions will feature award-winning wines from both of those years as well as the winners from this year’s competition, which was held in late March. Two wine-tasting sessions for up to 125 ticketholders will be held on the afternoon of June 11. Session times and prices have not been announced yet. Tickets include unlimited wine tastings, a four-course food pairing menu and a souvenir wine glass. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. thetoastofthecoast.com
June 17 and 18: Nat Diego: Natural Wine Festival
Billed as San Diego’s only natural wine festival, the fourth Nat Diego event will feature two days of events at three locations. Natural or biodynamic wine is wine that is made without any additives or chemicals. The opening party, from 7 to 10 p.m. June 17 at Secret Sister at The Rose, 2215 30th St. in South Park, will feature wines by five newer natural winemakers who are newcomers to the festival, along with snacks. Tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door. The Grand Tasting, from 1 to 5 p.m. June 18 at Bread and Salt, 1955 Julian Ave. in Logan Heights, will feature wine tastings, food and caffeinated beverages. Tickets are $60 in advance, $70 at the door. A closing party, from 8 p.m. to midnight June 18 at Vino Carta, 2161 India St. in Little Italy, is free to festivalgoers. Tickets at natdiego.com
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