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By Daniel Ritz

Whether a fruity Chardonnay, a crisp Pinot Grigio, a spicy Merlot, a hearty Port or bubbling glass of Rose, every year, the California Wine Festival brings wine aficionados a little closer to the Dana Point vine.

Looking cross the field at Lantern Bay Park, overlooking Dana Point Harbor, it was a sea of females clad in their finest headwear. Danielle Armroust from Torrance and Jessica Cameron, Ladera Ranch, stood out amongst the rest.


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In addition to their twin over-sized headdresses , the pair’s wine festival familiarity was evident in their necklaces, adorned with leather saddles, to hold wine glasses around their necks enabling them to enjoy the 9th Annual California Wine Festival at Dana Point  on April 20 and 21 in hands-free style.

More than 2,300 people across the the state attended the two-day event, the first night, a reserve and rare wine tasting inside Laguna Cliffs Marriott (ballroom), and the second, a beautiful afternoon open-air tasting event full of artisan vendors, local restaraunter offerings and live music from .

Executive Director Emily Kaufmann reported there were over 55 wineries, from all over the state, on hand for this year’s event.

“The whole idea is to showcase California wines. We want to celebrate each region, and we have a fantastic offering for this show,” Kaufmann said. “The City of Dana Point is so supportive and we look forward to coming back here every year. We’re looking forward to our tenth anniversary next year!”

Alicia Donald, Shavonna Holmes and Tiffany Lowery were seen crossing the greens area in front of the live stage where live Caribbean music by Upstream played all day long.

“There’s enough food,” Donald said. “And healthy poors,” Lowery added.

The ladies stated that they enjoy a number of wine festivals in San Diego and Orange County, and they enjoy rekindling their friendship during these events.

Michelle Nierman, from Silver Lake, is the mother of Ashley Chedwick, Santa Monica, and Sasha Mierman, who also lives in Silver Lake. The female trio are originally from Dana Point, and enjoy their family rendezvous each year at the California Winde Festival.

“It’s so nice to be back,” Michelle said. “This is a beautiful town, and it’s just nice to be together.”

The trio remarked that a surprise favorite of the event was the meatballs from Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern.

Next year, the California Wine Festival will celebrate its tenth year in Dana Point. For more information on the California Wine Festival stop by

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