Mom and I haven't been to the Atascadero Wine Festival in a couple years, so we were shocked when we went today and saw how ginormous the event has become!
Or, how big the glasses have gotten! Check out the difference between the previous Atascadero Wine Festival glass and the one we got today:
Dang! That's a BIG GLASS!!!
Anyway, there were 80 wineries scheduled to be here - and I think they all made it; I didn't see a single empty table like I have at other wine tasting events! - as well as food vendors and artists and, as usual, The Mighty Croon Dogs provided the rockin' entertainment. The weather was perfect: sunny and warm, but not too hot. I think it helped they moved the festival to the late afternoon/early evening instead of the middle of the day when it's 110 degrees!
Mom and I decided to only try wines from wineries we'd never heard of, and luckily there were plenty of new wineries to choose from. We hit Aron Hill, Bargetto Winery, Rockin' R Winery, Laraneta and Carriage Vineyards (who also had olive oil and vinegars that were quite good, too!), Tarrica, Le Vigne Winery, Blue Belly Estate, Still Water Vineyards, Althea Estates, Ambyth Estate, Edward Sellers, and Graveyard Vineyards, and in the end we did end up visiting old favourites Peachy Canyon and Ranchita Canyon.
For lunch we had the ahi tacos from Pier 46 (yummy, but I really wasn't expecting the ahi to be, um, raw, or the tacos to be so wee), a tri tip sandwich from Cal Terra, and dessert was an amazingly delicious chocolate fudge cake pop from SallyFace Cakepops.
Later we walked around the lake and waited for all the drunk idiots other festival-goers to leave before heading home. In the past the festival has allowed free admission to the Charles Paddock Zoo, which is something I always look forward to, however, this year the zoo was closed, so I didn't get to do that. I don't know if it was because the festival was held later, or because it's gotten so big they didn't want all the loud, obnoxious drunks the large crowds bothering the animals, but it was a disappointment. I'll just have to go another time.