By Michele E. Buttelman
May and June abound with California wine and beer festivals. There is a festival for everyone including those looking for high end, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, or those just hoping to relax and find a new favorite brew or bottle of wine.
May 13 Noon-5 p.m.
10th Central Valley Brewfest
Stanislaus County Fair Grounds
900 N. Broadway Ave.,
Turlock CA 95380
Art, music and more than 150 brews to sample. Back by popular demand is the VIP wine sampling tent. Premier ticket holders will have the opportunity to sample local wineries, local brews and a freshly-baked baguette for $60. General Admission tickets available for $45.
May 13 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Sun, Wind & Wine Festival
Mer Soleil Winery
1290 River Road,
Salinas, CA 93908
The 15th Sun, Wind & Wine Festival offers a strolling wine tasting through the barrel cellar of Mer Soleil Winery, which is not normally open to the public. Enjoy limited-release Santa Lucia Highlands wines plus gourmet small bites and artisan goods. Tickets $135-$165.
May 13 Noon-5 p.m.
Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Enjoy California wine, local eats and nationally-known jazz artists including Paula West, the Marcus Shelby Quintet and the John Santos Sextet. Tickets: $25-$125.
May 20 Noon-4:30 p.m.
Paso Wine Fest Grand Tasting
Paso Robles Event Center
2198 Riverside Ave,
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Toast the acclaimed wine scene in Paso Robles at this long-weekend event with live music, winemaker’s dinners, seminars, and lots of tastings, all highlighting the region’s 100+ wineries.
The centerpiece of the weekend will be the Grand Tasting held at the Paso Robles Event Center on Saturday, May 20, noon to 4:30 p.m. which offers more space to taste as well as dedicated parking, concessions, restrooms, shade and additional outdoor and indoor venues.
The Grand Tasting will feature more than 115 wineries, craft distillers, live entertainment, food for purchase from 10+ food vendors, local artisan vendors, commemorative wine glass and tote bag.
Tickets are $149-$225. General admission tickets are 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. VIP tickets are noon to 4:30 p.m.
Guests are welcome to bring in their own picnics, blankets and low-back chairs to set up under ample shade and misters.
May 20 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience
West Plaza Lot
30 North St.,
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Located in the heart of California wine country, the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience is a weekend-long celebration featuring the best of Sonoma County and world-renowned food and wines. Events feature local growers, winemakers and renowned chefs, which often means Michelin-star experiences.
The festival will showcase the region’s makers, farmers, growers, winemakers and chefs, alongside globally recognized wines from the greatest wine regions of the world.
On Saturday, May 20, the Vintners Plaza Grand Tasting is the highlight of the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience. Experience wines from over 100 of the finest producers from Sonoma, Napa and internationally renowned regions. Local and international chefs will prepare extraordinary bites with Sonoma’s seasonal agricultural bounty, including Matt Horn, Casey Thompson, Ari Weisswasser, Leah Scurto, Kent Rathbun, Crista Luedtke, Jeffrey Lunak and more! Enjoy live music as you mix and mingle with some of your favorite makers throughout the day. Tickets are $250 for general admission entry.
To enjoy the entire four-day event with special dinners from celebrity chefs including Joe Sasto and Maneet Chauhan, you can purchase a special VIP package for $2,700 that offers one-of-a-kind experiences and tastings.
The Ultra VIP ticket package includes a dinner with celebrity chef Stephanie Izard and other exclusive parties, pairings and dinners. The package cost is $3,900.
Celebrity chef demos from Stephanie Izard, Maneet Chauhan, Joe Sasto and Viet Pham will be held throughout the day Saturday, May 20 at The Matheson, 106 Matheson St., Healdsburg, CA 95448. Tickets are $200 for each chef demo.
May 27 1-5 p.m.
Viva La Cerveza
Madonna Inn Meadows
100 Madonna Road,
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
If eating tacos and drinking beer is wrong, I don’t want to be right. This is a Memorial Day Weekend beer festival with unlimited beverage samples, a selection of tasty tacos to sample and vote for the best as well as cornhole boards, bouncy games giant pong, other games and music. Tickets $55.
June 10 Noon-4 p.m.
San Diego Brew Festival
2455 Cushing Road,
San Diego, CA 92106
The 12th annual San Diego Brew Festival finally returns! The event will feature over 70 breweries, 200 beers, 10 of San Diego’s best food trucks as well as cover bands and lawn games.
General Admission $50 – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
General Admission includes unlimited samples from over 70 breweries, plus live music and access to food trucks.
Early Admission $65 – Noon to 4 p.m.
Early Admission includes all the benefits of General Admission, plus an added hour and specialty beers for the first hour.
California Wine Festival
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa
7100 Aviara Resort Drive,
Carlsbad, CA 92011
This two-day festival includes a Friday evening 6:30-9:30 p.m. sunset Rare and Reserve Tasting, tickets $105 and the Saturday Beachside Wine Festival 1-4 p.m. $75 general admission tickets. Early entrance tickets at noon are $95.
This is the quintessential California wine tasting experience with sun, sea, food, wine and music. It all comes together at this sun-splashed wine fest overlooking lush rolling hills and the shimmering Pacific Ocean.
A two-day VIP pass includes the Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting ticket at The Gardens and the Beachside Wine Festival ticket on the Heron Lawn with early entry at noon and exclusive admission to the VIP Pavilion, appetizers, reserve level wines, cheeses, tables, chairs and shade. Price $200.