By Miriam Raftery
May 23, 2018 (Alpine) – Amid the beautiful garden settings at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs, hundreds of guests at Vintage Alpine savored the flavors of foods from around25 local restaurants, over 40 regional wineries and breweries – all to support Alpine Kiwanis Club’s charitable efforts for local children’s causes.
“We raised over $23,000,” says Nancy Kennedy, with Kennedy Marketing and Event Planning. Causes benefitted include school grants/scholarships, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth sports, Bike Rewards for perfect attendance students, and other program benefitting local youths.
Richard Higgins, Chairman of the event, told East County Magazine, “This is our 28th year. It keeps getting bigger.”
Originally started at a small venue in Alpine, the event is now held under the shade of a 10,000 square foot tent at Summers Past Farms.
In bygone years, wineries came from as far away as Napa Valley, Higgins recalls. But he adds, “San Diego wineries have gotten so prolific – we’re pretty proud that now we can get so many that are local.”
I started by visit by savoring the award-winning chili served up at the Kiwanis booth. Each year, the Kiwanis also sponsor a car show and chili cook-off (coming up Sept. 22). Delicious!
Other food options ranged from Italian pastas to fresh berries from Baron’s Market to sumptuous cupcakes at the Amore Cheesecakes booth.
Many of the wine labels reflect the character and passions of the winemakers and winery owners.
Alpine’s own Rock Canyon Vineyards was on hand pouring samples of rich zinfandel blends and a port-like wine, all with donkeys on the label reflecting rescued donkeys on their property. Campo Creek, which also runs a cattle ranch, has images of cattle on labels of wines such as an estate viognier, an award-winning white wine.
La Serenissima from Warner Springs makes Old World style wines as the owners’ ancestors in Italy have long done, sampling reds, whites and a rosé. Coyote Oaks Vineyards from Escondido served up samples of Doggone It, a red blend that earned a top medal at the San Diego County Fair at Del Mar.
Guests also enjoyed the music of renown musician Jim Earp, a two-time finalist at the International Fingerstyle Guitar competition. Plus guests bid on a variety of silent auction items.
Known as a “wine experience in the country,” Vintage Alpine is a great event for sampling a wide ragne of specialty foods, wines, and beers—finding new favorites all while benefitting the young people in our region.
If you go next year, be sure to allow time to stop and smell the flowers -- literally -- in the beautiful gardens at Summers Past Farms, where you can also shop for flowers, herbs, and other plants to take home, browse the gift shop or simply stroll through blooms ranging from sweet peas to sunflowers on a beautiful spring day.