Exclusive Local Winery Joins 31st Annual Ojai Wine Festival VIP Experience
Southern California's Premier Food & Beverage Tasting Event Returns to the Banks of Lake Casitas
After the opening of a popular local tasting room, one of Ojai’s wine-making favorites has joined the Ojai Wine Festival for the very first time this year, while Ojai’s most exclusive winery celebrates an award-winning first year with a trip to the VIP Lounge.
Topa Mountain Winery will be pouring for the first time ever, after the wildly successful launch of their tasting room in 2016 and End of the Road Winery will be pouring its exclusive boutique varietals as part of the VIP experience line-up.
Dabbling in winemaking since 1975, End of the Road’s owners, husband and wife team Robert Levin and Lisa Solinas, were inspired to bring their own winery to fruition by a trip to visit family in Italy. “Lisa’s uncle said, ‘you need to go back to America and make wine,’” explains Robert. “I was already interested but I think it gave us the extra motivation. I look forward to the day when I can bring a case of wine to them in Italy.”
Since then, they’ve used the “batonnage” process of monthly barrel stirring to create highly sought after, limited-production Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah. End of the Road Winery became bonded in 2012, and Robert says they really started selling just over this past year.
End of the Road wines are only available for purchase in the Ojai tasting room or for shipment within a 30 mile radius, but Ojai Wine Festival VIP ticket holders will have the opportunity to enjoy unlimited access to their wines at the event on Sunday June 11th at Lake Casitas. The hyper-local family winery was the 2016 Ojai Wine Festival’s most award-winning winery, securing one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals for their entries into the festival’s annual sommelier-judged wine contest.
While there are a number of wineries in Ventura County, End of the Road is one of only a few that actually grow their grapes locally. All of their juice is sourced from vines on their property in Ojai, and hand-bottled on the premises.
“We’re really proud and happy to say that if you want a taste of Ojai, you should try End of the Road winery, it captures what Ojai wine is all about,” says Robert. “Ojai is a uniquely suited to growing grapes and make wine, it has a beautiful climate for that, it’s not something that can be done everywhere.”
Topa Mountain Winery also grows some of their own varietals, and sources from other local vineyards. Adding to their five-acre vineyard and winery is the new tasting room just outside downtown Ojai: “I wanted a place in Ojai for people to go and enjoy live music, drink good wine, and sit outdoors. Its what Ojai’s all about – the views, scenery, mountains,” says owner Larry Guerra.
While the winery is new to the festival, Guerra has been in the area for over a decade. “Ojai was initially just my weekend get-away and I enjoyed it so much I didn’t leave.”
For 31 years, the Ojai Wine Festival has served as the primary nonprofit fundraising effort of the Rotary Club of Ojai-West and its numerous philanthropic endeavors that serve to enhance lives both locally and internationally. This year, the 31st Annual Festival will be taking place Sunday, June 11, from noon-4 p.m. on the shores of picturesque Lake Casitas.
For additional information on the Ojai Wine Festival and the impactful causes it supports, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.Ojaiwinefestival.com.
The 31st Annual Ojai Wine Festival is the primary fundraising event for the Rotary Club of Ojai - West Foundation.
Mar 17, 2017