In the balmy weather of spring, wine lovers enjoyed sips of refreshing wines, flavorful bites and live music as they strolled through downtown La Verne at the 8th annual Sip of La Verne Wine Walk on Saturday.
The annual event, hosted by The Old Town La Verne Business Association, returned after a two-year pause due to the pandemic.
Brian Bowcock, Three Valleys Municipal Water District vice president, has been involved since the first La Verne wine walk and said he was excited to see a great turn out for the reinstated event.
“The first one wasn’t as big as this because people weren’t aware, but people have been showing out more every year,” Bowcock said. “I love networking with people and I would like more of the students of the University who are eligible to attend the event to come and let them meet the community they’re involved in.”
The wine walk not only introduced participants to a selection of premium wines – from reds, whites to sparkling – but also celebrated and highlighted the small businesses in the community.
Participants 21 and over were given a lanyard with 12 slots for wine tasting and a commemorative wine glass to use at each pouring location throughout downtown La Verne.
Check-ins began at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at two locations, including Mainiero Square right next to the University.
The downtown district came alive from its usual tranquil state with crowds of people excitedly chattering their way up and down the streets that was echoing live music played by different bands at every corner.
One of the bands, Free Wing, played groovy throwback classic rock hits outside of Mi Cocina Mexican Grill, which offered food for pedestrians passing by.
Friends Val de Leon, Mattea Bertain and Carina Montoya from Pomona said they loved the atmosphere and ambience of the music that followed them along their walking path.
“It’s my first time in Old Town and first time at the wine walk and it has been fun to try the selection of food that was offered from the local businesses,” Bertain said.
Rocking a “Wine All Day” shirt, La Verne resident Wendy Garman was spotted with a glass of rosé to combat the warm weather.
Garman enjoyed the event with her husband Gary and dog Trooper.
“It’s great to see the local store owners and neighbors we haven’t seen for a while because of the pandemic,” Garman said. “It’s kind of like a little reunion really.”
One of the pouring locations was WYLDFLWR Beauty + Boutique, a business that was opened last year next to Warehouse Pizza.
Cryotherapy and spray tan technician Adriane Walker poured Podere del Giuggiolo Rosso, a red wine from Italy, for participants who came into the store.
Walker said she loved meeting new people and seeing how excited people get when they come into the store to taste wine and look around.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity that we have to let people know what we have to offer here,” Walker said. “We want to be involved with the community and offer right back to them so we’re absolutely willing to be available anytime that they need us to.”
Hien Nguyen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.