Merry Jo Velasquez won the People’s Choice Award for best booth at the 2022 Winefest
Winefest Supports the Local Symphony, Businesses, and Artists
It’s time to mark your calendars for this year’s annual Lake County Home Wine and Beer Makers’ Festival at Lakeport’s Library Park from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June tenth. General admission is free.
Wine and beer tasters will pay $30 in advance or $35 at the gate to taste samples from home wine and beer makers. There will also be some of Lake County’s finest commercial wines available for tasting this year from Six Sigma, Smiling Dogs and Rosa D’Oro.
As it has over the past several decades, the Winefest features wine and beer tasting, along with a large variety of booths with artwork, crafts, clothing, and agricultural products for folks to wander through. Music will be provided by The Hip Replacements, and several musicians from the Lake County Symphony will also be on hand to entertain during the day.
Attendees to this year’s event can expect a variety of delicious food choices from local vendors: La Catrina Food Truck offers a selection of Mexican favorites; The Noodle Bowl will provide their popular ramen bowls with grilled meat and vegetables; and Bing’s Kitchen again brings their tasty Filipino food (lumpia). Ripe Choice Farm and Catering, Villa’s Snow Cones, and Danae’s Desserts will also be there.
Volunteers of the LCSA Wine Club organize this yearly event to benefit the Lake County Symphony Association (LCSA). Proceeds are used to support LCSA’s activities, including in-school music programs for students, scholarships, concerts, and underwriting of the Lake County Symphony and the Community & Youth Orchestra. John Parkinson, music director and conductor for the last 43 years, will again be manning the symphony’s booth.
Now in its 21st year, the Winefest was started by the late Connel Murray (with other amateur winemakers who were supporters of the symphony) to raise funds for the Lake County Symphony. As the Winefest expanded over the years, amateur and commercial beer makers were included—a welcome addition for beer lovers.
All amateur participants are eligible to win gold, silver and bronze ribbons given for a wide range of varietals and brews in the popular “Peoples’ Choice” awards voted on by attendees. Home winemakers also have the chance to enter their creations for blind judging by experts the evening before the Winefest. Local participating commercial wineries and breweries are not eligible for prizes, which only go to the amateurs.
Visitors to the Winefest who choose not to indulge in wine tasting, can show support for the LCSA by placing bids on Silent Auction items or buying tickets for the Barrel of Wine Raffle. The Silent Auction includes items like original artwork, trips, hotel stays, and gift items donated by local businesses.
Congressman Mike Thompson has regularly donated a U.S. flag from the Capitol, along with products from his Lake County vineyard. The popular “Barrel of Wine” raffle goes on all day long and gives the lucky winner approximately thirty-six bottles of assorted Lake County wines. The actual barrel used for the wines in the raffle will be available for bidders in the Silent Auction.
Winemakers, home brewers, and all non-food vendors have until June 3rd to reserve a spot at the Winefest. There is no booth fee for home wine and beer makers, or commercial wineries who offer their wines for tasting.
More details and applications can be found online at lakecountywinefest.com. Advance tickets are available at several Lakeport locations: Watershed Books, Wine in the Willows, and the Lake County Chamber of Commerce; tickets can also be found at Laujor Estate Winery in Kelseyville, and online through Eventbrite. See Lake County Winefest on Facebook for the latest information.