Many people have come to learn of Idyllwild through the recent “Cranston” Fire. News reports showed flames and smoke and debris. However, Idyllwild still stands with its blue skies, fresh air, evergreen trees and mountain vistas. The town is as it was before the fire. For that the community is grateful.
Idyllwild has played host to many events but none so big and celebratory as the Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s (AAI) Annual Art Walk & Wine Tasting. This year’s event on Saturday, October 13th promises to be even bigger and better.
The genesis of this event began shortly after the AAI was founded over 21 years ago. From its humble beginnings of sticking logos on wine glasses and enticing a few wineries to take part for a few hundred visitors, it is now a sell out event with some 1,200 wine lovers enjoying the cool temperatures that the second Saturday of October promises. This year, twenty of Southern California’s award-winning wineries look forward to serving visitors a selection of whites, reds and many colors in between.
Of course, the perfect “pairing” with wine is art and Idyllwild is renowned for its talented and inspired artists. The “pouring” stations are strategically situated mainly at Idyllwild’s premier art galleries and art hot spots. The “Art Walk” portion of the day begins at 11 am and is free to everyone. There are free shuttle buses that ferry visitors from one end of town to the other. By starting early, you can enjoy a leisurely pace with time to visit each Artist’s booth. They are set up throughout town with a cache of original art created by local artists. Much of their inspiration comes from Nature and the peaceful environment in which they live. From rustic to elegant pieces, nature is entwined in paintings, ceramics, woodcarvings, metal-sculpted wonders and imaginative textiles.
Enjoy lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants dotted throughout town and nestled amongst pine trees with outdoor, pet-friendly seating.
The “Wine Tasting” begins at 2 pm with final sips by 5 pm. As well as catering to visitors’ taste buds, we will also offer another sense of sensation with the sound of some of Idyllwild’s best musicians. You can hear tunes at each pouring station and then along the road, as you amble towards the next pouring station or hop on one of the free shuttle buses that run from 11 am to 6 pm.
This year, the venue where ticket purchasers pick up their gifts bags and wine glasses have changed. “AAI Central” is at a new location. The “Courtyard Gallery” is AAI’s gallery and visitors center at 54240 Ridgeview Drive. Volunteers will be there to greet visitors and hand out maps and steer them to the art galleries and pouring stations. With each ticket, a wine lover receives a keepsake wine glass and is able to nibble on cheese, grapes, and crackers at each pouring station. Most of all, though, visitors have the opportunity to mingle with artists, art lovers, and other wine aficionados. What could be better than wine amongst the pines?
The ticket price to the event has remained steady over the years, particularly if purchased early. AAI members receive a discount. Prices are:
AAI Members – $30 per ticket
Non-AAI Members – $35 per ticket
Groups of 15 or more – $30 per ticket
However, on September 15th, the price increases by $10 per ticket. The cost is $50 if you buy your ticket on the day of the event, providing there are any left.
Non-drinking friends may join the reverie with their wine loving friends within the wine pouring stations without a ticket. They simply won’t get served.
The AAI’s Patron Wineries taking part this year are:
Ascension Cellars (Paso Robles) www.ascensioncellars.com
Baily Vineyard and Winery (Temecula) www.bailywinery.com
Bel Vino Winery (Temecula) www.belvinowinery.com
Cordiano Winery (Escondido) www.cordianowinery.com
Danza del Sol Winery (Temecula) www.danzadelsolwinery.com
Falkner Winery (Temecula) www.falknerwinery.com
Foot Path Winery (Temecula) www.footpathwinery.com
Hart Winery (Temecula) www.hartfamilywinery.com
La Seranissima Vineyards and Winery (Warner Springs) www.vinotiso.com
Maurice Car’rie Winery (Temecula) www.mauricecarriewinery.com
Middle Ridge Winery (Idyllwild) www.middleridge.com
Miramonte Winery (Temecula) www.miramontewinery.com
Orfila Vineyards and Winery (Escondido) www.orfila.com
PMDL & Company (Riverside and San Bernardino) www.pmdlwines.com
Shadow Mountain Vineyards (Warner Springs) www.shadowmountainvineyards.com
South Coast Winery (Temecula) www.southcoastwinery.com
Tranquil Heart Vineyards and Winery www.tranquilheartvineyard.com
Volcan Mountain Winery (Julian) www.volcanmountainwinery.com
Wiens Family Cellars (Temecula) www.wienscellars.com
Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards (Temecula) www.wilsoncreekwinery.com
After the Art Walk & Wine Tasting event, explore the many trails surrounding Idyllwild. Visit the Nature Center, the State and County Parks. Wander through unique boutique shops and one of kind cafes and restaurants. The town has over 45 colorful painted deer. Go on a treasure hunt and find them all.
To purchase tickets for the Art Walk & Wine Tasting, go to www.artinidyllwild.org