The seventh annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival on Saturday drew one of the best turnouts yet to the Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce, winery owner Robert Reyes said. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Seventh annual Sierra Pelona Wine Festival benefits SCV Zonta Club

The warm, sunny weather made for the perfect wine-sipping vibe at the 7th annual Sierra Pelona Wine Festival on Saturday at the Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce.

The festival was held to benefit the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, a local nonprofit organization that strives to not only empower women locally and internationally but also ensure women have access to every resource necessary to reach their full potential.

“We chose Zonta because they do a fantastic job for women in the valley and it’s a great cause,” winery owner Robert Reyes said. “They have all their volunteers here and their heart is in it, which motivates me to continue to want to be a part of that.”

Olga Barrett, right, pours John Barrett, left, a glass of wine at the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival on Saturday at the Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

Local wineries and wine makers offered tastings of their best wines while local breweries did the same of their best beers and ciders. There were also local chefs and bakers who shared samples of some of their gourmet food and specialty items.

In addition to the food and drinks, there were handmade crafts made by local artisans, live music, a live auction and a raffle.

Everything from the festival was handmade locally, and guests had the opportunity to meet the creators.

Reyes, who purchased the vineyard in 2002, said this year’s was one of the best turnouts yet.

Live band Ignition plays at the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival on Saturday at the Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

“It’s a beautiful day out for a such a fun event,” local resident Fiona Reese said. “And it’s for such a great cause, as well.”

All proceeds from the festival will go toward funding Zonta’s service projects and scholarships for girls and women in the SCV, according to local Zonta President Debbie Blakely.

“We raise money for girls and women’s issues all over the world,” Blakely said. “We just are concerned that girls get a fair shake and that the glass ceiling remains broken.”

The Zonta Club has various workshops, scholarships, community grants and advocacy programs including “LifeForward” workshops to promote self-sufficiency, a “Girls’ Robotics” team to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math, and their “Zonta says NO to Violence Against Women” campaign where they put seven red dresses on display at locations across the city to represent the women’s lives who were lost to domestic violence in the SCV in one year.

Debbie Blakely, left, helps Rosa Reyes, center, pick the winner of the raffle at the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival on Saturday at the Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

“We’re on a broad spectrum, so we do a wide variety of things that we feel are needed by different groups in this community,” Blakely said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to help others, and we all bring our talents together to make that happen.”

The Zonta Club’s next scheduled event will be Lunafest, a short-film festival by, for and about women, which will be held on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Canyon Theatre Guild in Newhall. For more information on the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley or Lunafest, visit scvzonta.org/ or call 661-252-9351.

Reyes Winery is located at 10262 Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce. For more information about their vineyard, visit reyeswinery.com/ or call 661-268-1865.

The seventh annual Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival was held at the Reyes Winery on Saturday in Agua Dulce. Emily Alvarenga/The Signal

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