The Santa Cruz area isn’t as lauded as Napa is for its wine, but there will still be a lot of great art to sample — be it on a canvas or in a glass — at the Capitola Art and Wine Festival, this September 14 – 15.
Started in 1982 and run by the Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce, the festival has grown into an extremely popular event, as well as a hugely successful fundraiser for the city. Over 150 painters, sculptors, jewelry crafters, and other types of local artists have tents where they can display and sell their work at Esplanade Park, which overlooks the sea.
Twenty-two wineries will also participate this year. The festival sells tokens for one dollar each, and most tastings cost between two and five tokens, which means you could sample a wide selection of wines without breaking twenty dollars.
Among the wineries participating this year is San Carlos-based Domenico Winery, which uses grapes from Napa and Sonoma as well as the Santa Cruz area, and whose red wines have won over 300 medals. There’s also the amusingly-named Trout Gulch Vineyards, who are proud to produce several different kinds of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, right in the Santa Cruz Mountains. These two wineries are representative of the twenty other ones participating, some being directly tied to Santa Cruz and others from all over Northern California.
Wine and art tours are both acquired tastes, and neither are especially appealing to kids, which is why the festival also mercifully has a supervised Children’s Art Area. Kids can immerse themselves in different craft projects while parents are free to run around in their own adult version of Chuck E. Cheese.
In addition to the fine art and wine tasting, musicians, dancers, and street performers also will showcase their work. The Santa Cruz Dance Academy and the Aptos Academy of Performance Arts will both take the stage on Saturday, while Sunday will feature psychedelic rock band The Mermen. Wacky accordion player The Great Morgani will be entertaining all weekend.
Parking is limited, but you can take a shuttle to and from the Capitola mall each day. Pets aren’t allowed, but kids of all ages are welcome. Admission is free, so come treat all your senses September 14th and 15th, and remember, enjoy responsibly.
Capitola Art and Wine Festival 2013
10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Esplanade Park, Capitola
Photo Credit: Capitola-Soquel Chamber of Commerce