By Charly SHELTON
Nearly 800 people were expected on Sunday to Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge for the 13th annual Wine and Gourmet Food Tasting event hosted by the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada. With more than 20 food tastings from restaurants around the area and 17 vintners or retailers pouring over 65 different labels of wine and beer, there were plenty of options to keep guests happy on the cloudy day.
One of the vintners, Dick Keenan of Overland Wines, came from Sonoma County where he owns Kick Ranch vineyard.
“I’ve been growing grapes since 2000, so roughly for 16 years,” said Keenan. “Overland is a family wine that we started to showcase our Kick Ranch grapes, and we’ve been doing this for just three years. Mostly I grow for 18 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties that make wonderful wines from Kick Ranch. We decided we would keep some for us.”
Making the trek from Sonoma is no easy feat, but Keenan said he was happy with the response he got from the community, saying that the reaction to the event and his wines in particular had been very positive.
“So far, the wine people have [liked the most is] our sauvignon blanc, which is delicious and nice on a sunny day; it’s perfect. And then we have a lighter style wine called Ambition and that’s been very well-received, too.”
Among the guests supporting the Kiwanis were Congressman Adam Schiff, members of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council and members of the la Cañada Unified School District Governing Board.
At the end of the afternoon, Keenan said it was great to see an event with so much community support including a nice crowd who seemed really interested in the wines.
“We make very small amounts of wine,” Keenan said, “and I like the scale of this community. We had a wine broker that thought this was a wonderful event to help introduce us so I came down.”
Le Petit Vendome Wine and Spirits in La Cañada was a sponsor of this event and all of the wines that were served at the tasting event are now available for order through their shop on Foothill Boulevard.