Growing up in Agua Dulce was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was peaceful, tranquil, and since I moved to Valencia, I haven’t really been back other than passing through on the way to the Antelope Valley. That was until today, when I attended the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival that took place at Reyes Winery.
My pass allowed me early access, so starting at around 11am, I checked out the various wine and food vendors that had set up. Reyes Winery is a family run boutique vineyard that is located on the outskirts of the Santa Clarita Valley. The land is vast, and the scenery is wonderful.
Now, its one thing to own a winery, land, and a vineyard. but its another to be an award winning winemaker and Robert Reyes is all of the above. Just the other day they won three medals at the Critics Challenge International Wine Competition.
Among the many vendors there were wine makers and small bites from well known businesses and some up and comers. Here is a sampling of what I saw. Starting with California Bakery and Cafe, which is located in Saugus in the shopping center behind ChiChi’s Pizza.
California Bakery & Cafe is a donut shop, and while it was under different ownership many many years ago, it was my go-to place for a breakfast croissant on the way to class when I was an undergrad. At some point in the last couple of years, new owners took over and it is now a donut shop and a Mexican bakery. It happens to be a fantastic bakery that serves a breakfast torta that I’m a huge fan of. I’ve been meaning to blog about it, and seeing them at this event has put them back on my radar, so look for a post soon.
The owner’s son was there, and was very nice and polite to everyone. They also had salsas, guacamole, and aguas frescas. This was one vendor that made a lasting impression. Thanks guys!
There was a Dove Discoveries booth, which is a new thing I had never heard of before. Essentially you can have chocolate parties at your house, like Pampered Chef style. Something different, I suppose.
I didn’t try any of the wines, but many people were enjoying pours from the different vendors. At the entrance everyone got a commemorative wine glass, and there was plenty of wine to go around. Agua Dulce Winery was also at the event!
Portos Bakery is one of my favorites, and it was so lovely to see them at the event. If you have never been to Porto’s, the closest one is either Glendale or Burbank. It is essential for anyone living in SoCal to head on over. They are a cuban bakery that has amazing pastries, meat pies, potato balls (best), and cakes. Whenever I head to a party in LA, I pick up a cake from Portos. In fact I was just at the Burbank location last week.
Portos had a variety of pastries. I had the chocolate tart and the flan. Phenomenal, of course. The ladies working the event were so kind, polite, professional, and welcoming! Fantastic all around.
An Agua Dulce staple, Le Chene was also at the event offering up some meats.
Sidenote, when I was in high school, our French class had a special lunch at Le Chene organized by yours truly. Since I lived just a mile or two away, my French teacher put me in charge of getting the details in order. I was 16 and already organizing group dinners. I guess long before “Lady Ducayne” I already had it in me, brewing. Anyway, that is my one and only Le Chene experience.
I don’t eat chocolate too often, but I do love love love toffee, so this next vendor was wonderful. It is called Truffles n’ Toffee and they set up shop at Reyes Winery on the weekends, or you can do a direct order. Their toffee was FANTASTIC! They also infuse their other chocolates with wine.
The ladies from Truffles n’ Toffee were super sweet! Such a great local business.
Thelma’s Morning Cafe was also at the event, promoting their new restaurant named Thelma’s and Luis which took over the old Maru Sushi spot on Town Center Drive. It is currently in the soft opening stage (open to the public), and will have a grand opening next week. I’ll be checking it out soon and reporting back.
For the non wine drinkers (like myself) towards the back, the Naked Juice truck was set up offering samples. This is just a truck to promote the drinks, so you wont find it slanging along the sidewalk, but it was nice to see them at the event.
They were handing out coconut water, which is how I found out that I don’t like coconut water. Their pomegranate juice is my favorite though.
Since I had a VIP pass, I got to go on a small group private tour led by the owner, Robert Reyes. I learned so much about wine from this tour, it was really enlightening. And although I don’t drink wine, I can certainly appreciate all of the effort that goes into producing it.
We got to go into the barrel room where we learned about the process of bottling the wine.
Robert Reyes is also an artist and told us an anecdote about the Corvette painting.
As the tour concluded, we were led to a VIP area with shade and tables, as well as catered food.
People could also try a variety of wine and drinks in the VIP area.
By noon the event was in full swing. Many people came in from out of town like Santa Monica and Los Angeles for this event, which was nice to hear. I like to see my hometown Agua Dulce flourishing and to see what people have done with the land out there. This winery is open to the public, so if you are hanging out in Awesometown (shout out to my girl Marlee) and feel like taking a drive without going too far, this is only about 20-30 minutes away from SCV. Thanks to the Reyes family for hosting this event, it was fun.
Santa Clarita, CA 91390