Wine walk shares local taste with community

Generations Antiques co-owner Carrie Leeper and friend Tracy Tyra serve sparkling wine in the back room of the store in downtown La Verne Saturday during Sip of La Verne Old Town Wine Walk. Leeper and Tyra served Spanish Sparkling Cava and Almond Sparkling to complement the 679 strawberries they hand-dipped in chocolate and cheese and crackers. This is the third year in a row they have served sparkling wine and strawberries. / photo by Helen Arase
Generations Antiques co-owner Carrie Leeper and friend Tracy Tyra serve sparkling wine in the back room of the store in downtown La Verne Saturday during Sip of La Verne Old Town Wine Walk. Leeper and Tyra served Spanish Sparkling Cava and Almond Sparkling to complement the 679 strawberries they hand-dipped in chocolate and cheese and crackers. This is the third year in a row they have served sparkling wine and strawberries. / photo by Helen Arase

Liz Ortiz
Health Editor

More than 50 people gathered around the patio of Coffeeberry in Downtown La Verne and danced, with wine glasses in hand, as Club 57 Band performed Saturday during the “Sip of La Verne” wine walk.

Participants went from business to business and sampled a variety of wine during the third annual La Verne wine walk. Twenty-seven downtown businesses participated in the event and more than 1,100 tickets were sold.

This year, La Verne decided to partner with Meals on Wheels and donated $4,000 of the proceeds to the program and the remaining profit will fund improvements in Downtown La Verne.

“This is a great way to expose the community to the businesses in Old Town La Verne,” said Craig Walters, chairman of the old town La Verne business district and chairman of “Sip of La Verne” wine walk.

“I love walking from each business and seeing smiling faces. Everyone is having a great time and enjoying themselves.”

The wine walk is produced on a volunteer basis, which Walters said is a challenge.

The downtown businesses that were interested in participating signed up in October 2014, when the initial planning for the wine walk began.

The wine that was served during the event was donated or purchased.

Walters said the event planning committee regulated the wine that was served and after receiving the wine, it dispersed it among the participating businesses.

He added that more 1,000 bottles of wine were served at the event.

“I like to come back to the town I went to school in and support the local community,” Hannah Gill, a University alumna and wine walk participant, said.

Each participant received 12 wine tastings and appetizers. The majority of the participating businesses were located on D Street.

There were areas roped off outside of participating businesses, so guests could enjoy their wine samples.

Upon check-in, the event’s rules were made clear to guests.

They were to wear their wristbands at all times and were only permitted to drink in designated areas.

They were not permitted to carry a glass of wine on the sidewalks or city streets.

Buckets of bottled water sat on each corner in downtown, so guests could grab complimentary water during the event.

Participants were in good spirits as they walked from business to business.

Pappas Artisanal seemed to be the most popular location during the event.

The business was crowded and guests kept bumping in to each other as they went to receive their wine pour.

People also crowded Pappas’ patio as they listened to Club 57 Band play popular songs from the 60s and 70s.

“I like to support small businesses,” Tamlyn Tarango, University alumna and wine walk participant, said.

“It’s a great atmosphere, and it’s a great event for local businesses to get the word out about their specialty.”

Walters said the “Sip of La Verne” committee will begin meeting in October to start planning next year’s wine walk.

His hope is to continue to expand the wine walk and hopefully increase ticket sales each year.

Liz Ortiz can be reached at elizabeth.ortiz@laverne.edu or on Twitter @lizannortiz.

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