The California Wine Festival events feature live music, food, and unlimited wine tastings of nearly 250 wines from over 70 wineries, 30 fine dining restaurants, and gourmet food companies. There are four coastal events that take place annually in Dana Point, Huntington Beach, Santa Barbara, and Carlsbad.
Scroll down for a list of some of the biggest California wine festivals in California throughout the year.
California Wine Festival
California Wine Festival Locations
CA Wine Festival Dana Point
Where: Sea Terrace Park
Address: Pacific Coast Hwy & Niguel Rd, Dana Point, CA 92629
Date: April 14-15, 2023
Note: The Sunset Rare and Reserve Testing will be at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott
CA Wine Festival Carlsbad
Where: Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa
Address: 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Date: June 23-24, 2023
CA Wine Festival Santa Barbara
Where: Chase Palm Park Carousel House & Oceanside
Address: 223 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Date: July 14-15, 2023
CA Wine Festival Huntington Beach
Where: Paséa Hotel & Spa
Address: 21080 CA-1, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Date: November 10-11, 2023
Beachside Wine Festival (General Admission): Sun, sea, food, wine and music – all come together at this sun-splashed wine fest.
Beachside Wine Festival (VIP): VIPs can enter an hour earlier plus get access to a VIP only area.
Sunset Rare and Reserve Tasting: This is a VIP event for true fine wine lovers.
It is recommended to buy tickets in advance and online (print-at-home). Tickets are available at the gate at higher prices.
Admission tickets are for unlimited wine tastings from hundreds of wines. You will also be given a long stem wine glass and spit buckets are provided along with lots of water to drink.
Things to do at the California Wine Festival
Here are some the things to do at the California Wine Festival events. Please note, while all events offer live music and wine, beer and food tastings, the activities and purveyors at each event may differ.
These epicurean festivals shine a light on rare and reserve vintages, as well as popular pours from California’s best wineries. Guests can sip and enjoy hundreds of vintage red and white wines while enjoying ocean views. Guests can also meet and talk to winemakers and industry experts and sample nearly 250 wines from over 70 California wineries. Wine and Wine-related products from exhibitors are also available to purchase.
Enjoy live music and entertainment while sipping wine and beer, sampling delicious bites while overlooking scenic beach views.
Food Purveyors & Chefs
Guests can experience culinary offerings of California with complimentary small bite appetizers like artisan breads, fresh cut fruits, cheeses, olive oils and so much more. There are over 30 fine dining restaurants and gourmet food companies at each coastal location. Guests also have direct one-on-one access to world class culinary professionals.
The ocean views aren’t the only only things to see at these events. Beer, wine and a diverse group makes for some fun people watching.
Best Wine Festivals in California
Here are some of the best wine festivals in California along with the month these events take place.
- Uncorked LA Wine Festival (Los Angeles, CA) – January
- The Garagiste Wine Festival ( Solvang, CA) – February
- San Francisco Chronicle Public Tasting (San Francisco, CA) – February
- Taste of Yountville (Yountville, CA) – March
- Palm Desert Food & Wine (Palm Desert, CA) – March
- Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival (Anaheim, CA) – March
- Uncorked San Diego Wine Festival (San Diego, CA) – April
- Lodi Wine Grape Festival (Lodi, CA) – April
- Paso Wine Fest (Paso Robles) – May
- Taste of Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA) – May
- BottleRock Napa Valley (Napa, CA) – May
- Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival (Winchester, CA) – May
- LA WineFest (Long Beach, CA) – June
- Ojai Wine Festival (Ojai, CA) – June
- Taste of Sonoma (Santa Rosa, CA) – June
- Savor the Central Coast (San Luis Obispo, CA) – September
- La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (La Jolla, CA) – October
- Big Sur Food & Wine Festival (Big Sur, CA) – November
Tips for Attending a Wine Festival
- Research the festival before buying tickets. Some are well run, have great wines and foods, and others not so much.
- Consider a VIP ticket for perks like vintage wines, early and expedited access and VIP areas.
- Encourage friends and other couples to attend.
- Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, hat, and an easy to carry bag.
- Bring a notebook and pen, or use the notepad or wine app on your phone, to keep track of what you like.
- Factor in time to park, traffic and entering the venue.
- Walk around first and get an idea for everything you want to see and sample.
- Carry water and cleanse your palate or glass and use the spit bucket, if you wish.
- Talk to the winemakers and learn about their wines and the varietals they offer.
- Step out of your comfort zone and try new wines you haven’t tried.
- Consider shipping your wine or purchasing at the end of the day so you’re not carrying wine bottles around all day.
- Have a designated driver or take an uber to and from the event.
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Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, and creator of delicious recipes. In her spare time she enjoys exploring all that Orange County has to offer, traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.