John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell put wine festivals on the map in 2008 with the infamous Catalina Wine Mixer. In a hilarious attempt to reunite his family, Will Ferrell’s character Brennan volunteers to oversee an event that leads to debauchery, a volatile Billy Joel tribute band, and drunken antics fueled by wine, slapstick comedy, and sarcasm. Nearly ten years after Step Brothers came out, an actual Catalina Wine Mixer exists. Our friendly island to the north embraced the idea of the festival and now hosts a three-day party with live music, booze, and a theatrical presentation of the movie that inspired the whole thing. California has long been known for its ties to the wine world, and even mainstream media can’t dissuade Southern California from wanting to celebrate the wide world of wine, food, and fun. While the Catalina Wine Mixer was less about actual wine than the parody of it, wine festivals are a commonplace in California culture. This year, Carlsbad is the lucky host of the California Wine Festival at the Park Hyatt Aviara.
On June 21st and 22nd, the resort is opening their Palm Courtyard to wine lovers. On the 21st, the space will be reserved solely for the true VIPs of the weekend. Guests will be invited to participate in a fancy celebration of fine wines with an excuse to dress up and enjoy the ambience of the Park Hyatts’ coastal retreat. The Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting will kick off with an elegant champagne reception before providing attendees with tastes of some of the hardest-to-find varietals in the world. Some of the wines being served at this event are no longer in circulation and are so rare that tickets typically sell out very quickly.
On June 22nd, the festival opens up to general admission and VIP guests for the Beachside Festival on the resort’s Tennis Lawn. Unlimited wine tastings, appetizers and food pairings, as well as live music and entertainment will turn the resort into a wine lover’s dream. White topped tents will be scattered throughout the space for shade from the bright June sun, and guests will be able to enjoy everything from artisanal cheeses, shellfish, and chocolate to bread and olive oil. There will be hundreds of wines to try and activities will be set up between sips and bites to benefit causes like the Golden Rule Charity.
Tickets for the California Wine Festival are available for preorder here or at the gate for a higher price. The event usually sells out quickly, so it is recommended to buy tickets online and print them at home. Tickets include unlimited wine tasting privileges, as well as a long stem wine glass and a program outlining all of the food, wine, and entertainment options available at the event. Spit buckets and water will be available so that guests can make the most of all of the different wines. The venue highly recommends using public transportation to and from the event or bringing a designated driver. Valet parking will be available for VIP guests on Friday. On Saturday, guests can park onsite for the Beachside Wine Festival by following signs and instructions by parking attendants.
Embrace your 2008 Step Brothers nostalgia and grab your tickets to the California Wine Festival now before they sell out!