Downtown La Verne welcomes wine lovers

Christina Garcia
News Editor

Roughly 1,300 visitors toured Old Town La Verne sampling wine and food while listening to live performers for the fifth annual Sip of La Verne wine walk.

Participants in the wine walk went to the 30 available options and saw what the businesses of Old Town La Verne have to offer while tasting wine and local dining options.

“We started with a desire to introduce people that may have never been to Old Town La Verne to what we have to offer,” said Craig Walters, chairman of the Old Town La Verne business district and chairman of the “Sip of La Verne” wine walk. “It’s a very fun event because you look around and see people have smiles on their faces and they’re happy to be here.”

Walters said that this year had the highest attendance in its five year history.

“Each year we have sold out,” Walters said. “This year we sold out two days ago (before the event), and the phone has been ringing off the hook with more people wanting to buy tickets. We set the limit this year at 1,300 because we felt that if we had more than that we would risk having long lines, and it wouldn’t be as good of an experience.”

New business owner Jeremy Jenewein, owner of Cactus Coffee, made his business a stop along the wine walk. As a new business owner on D Street, he said he was happy to try to participate in the event and gain new customers through the event.

“It’s awesome to participate,” Jenewein said. “It’s people in here that would never come in otherwise.”

The wine options served at Cactus Coffee were a Red Blend and Gewürztraminer paired with a variety of toasts that are regular menu items at his business. Jenewein served guests three options of egg salad, avocado and Nutella toasts.

“It’s cool because that’s stuff we serve here everyday, so people who have never gotten to try it get to try it now,” Jenewein said.

Huntington Beach resident Brittany Pearson went to the wine walk to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

“It’s super fun, I’ve never been to a wine walk before so it’s really cool,” Pearson said. “I like trying all the different foods and wines. I like trying new wine because I don’t really get a chance to try everything new. It’s fun to be able to try different things.”

Manuel Berumen, a La Verne resident, said this was his first time participating in the “Sip of La Verne” wine walk.

“I think it’s awesome, you get to get a mixture and be able to pair wines,” Berumen said. “If you’re not too much of a wine aficionado you can just try the different options.”

Berumen said that coming to the wine walk opens up people to try out the various businesses in Old Town La Verne.

“I come here every now and then,” he said.

“You walk around and you’re not sure what’s what or what’s where and when you walk around you’re like, ‘Oh that’d be a nice place to try.’”

University of La Verne employee Jackie Contreras said that she was impressed with the organization of the event and was enjoying trying the various food options available.

Each year the “Sip of La Verne” wine walk donates a portion of the proceeds to charity.

This year the La Verne Fire Department’s K-5 Fire Safety Program was selected, Walters said.

The K-5 Fire Safety Program works with the Bonita Unified School District to provide fire safety education to elementary school students.

“We’re ecstatic to find out that we’re the recipient, and it’ll go to good use,” La Verne Fire Department Chief Pete Jankowski said.

Walters said that the rest of the proceeds will go toward making improvements on D Street and for funding other events.

Christina Garcia can be reached at christina.garcia2@laverne.edu.

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