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Residents walk for wine in Claremont

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Bert and Rocky’s Cream Company employee Janelle Henry gives Compton resident Letrice Charles a scoop of sparkling almond champagne sorbet in her wine glass at the Claremont Village’s sold out 17th annual Wine Walk Saturday. Bert and Rocky’s served four flavors of alcoholic ice cream including a Cabernet sorbet, Mai Tai sorbet, sparkling almond champagne sorbet and vanilla bean affogato with an espresso drizzle. Owner Jolene Gonzales made 12 tubs of the alcoholic ice cream, each serving approximately 200 scoops, for the event. / photo by Natasha Brennan

Maydeen Merino
Staff Writer

The 17th annual Claremont Wine Walk took place Saturday in the Claremont Village with a sold-out crowd of 1,700 people in the small, lively downtown area.

Wine pouring stations were within many of the small independent shops scattered throughout the Village, including clothing stores, bookstores, museums and ice cream shops.

Participants were each given 10 tickets to taste 10 different wines of their choice, along with a small wine glass and a map of the village.

Groups of people strolled through the downtown looking for businesses with a neon green paper sign in the windows that said, “tasting site, wine walk.”

There was live music from 17 bands playing genres such as jazz, alternative, rock and cover songs.

Sonja Stump, an event coordinator, said the wine walk helps promote the Village and attract people to the small shops.

“Most of us are mom and pop stores, we are not big stores that have a lot of money to spend on marketing,” Stump said.

The money raised from the wine walk is donated to non-profits that focus on projects for the youth and education funds, such as the hospital assistance funds at the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

A local Los Angeles jazz band called Amanda Castro played at the Gould booth. Gould Asset Management booth served four different wines such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, and pinot noir. They also served beer from Last Name Brewery.

Violet Cains, an eighth-grade teacher at Serrano Middle school, was a first-year participant in the walk. Cains said it was neat to see the stores around the village that she has not seen before.

Hairstylist at the Claremont Ambiance Salon and Spa, Michelle Hanka, was a second year participant. Violet Cains and her longtime friend from high school, Michelle Hanka, enjoyed participating in the wine walk this year.

Hanka said she bought her tickets three weeks before the event. Hanka and Cains went to pouring stations at the Grove Vintage store and the Casa Moreno restaurant.

“I just started becoming a wine drinker so it’s nice to have the opportunity to try different wines,” Cains said.

Hanka and Cains both agreed they would come back to the event next year because they enjoyed the environment and being able to hang out with friends.

The Claremont Wine Walk has been growing in popularity. Within the past few years they have sold out of tickets the day of the event. This is the first year they have sold out of tickets several days before the event.

“We have sold tickets to people in Los Angeles, Glendora, Covina and Rancho Cucamonga,” Stump said. “The Claremont Wine Walk provides people with a new experience of the Claremont Village.”

Maydeen Merino can be reached at maydeen.merino@laverne.edu.

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