The Wine Ghetto’s Locals’ Day was begun in 2011 to honor local residents and the Lompoc community.
Wine Tasting “passports” will be available for $30 to Lompoc/Village/VAFB Residents. Each passport entitles its bearer to a souvenir glass and special Locals’ Day tastings between noon and 4 pm at all of the tasting rooms in the Wine Ghetto: Ampelos, Arcadian, Black Sheep Finds, Bratcher, Evening Land, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat, Jalama Wines, Joseph Blair, La Vie, Longoria, Loring Wine Co., Piedrasassi, Palmina, Samsara, Stolpman, Taste of Sta. Rita Hills, and Zotovich.
For the first time, a percentage of the proceeds from this event will benefit a local charity: the Lompoc District Libraries Foundation, which supports special projects, programs, and collection needs of the Lompoc Public Library System. Event sponsors are Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce, Graphic Systems, and Jason Reynolds State Farm. The event will feature local musicians and food vendors. As in 2011, discounted taxicabs will be on hand to transport people locally.
“If the price of a wine tasting is usually $10, an afternoon visiting wineries can get expensive very fast,” says Ashley Costa, who manages the Loring Wine Company tasting room. “This is a great way to give locals—both novices and seasoned wine aficionados—a more affordable opportunity to discover the great wine being made in their town.”
There has never been a better time to take advantage of an event like this, say some business owners. “Every single tasting room has agreed to participate,” says Antonio Moretti, owner of Taste of Sta. Rita Hills, a Wine Ghetto tasting room/retailer. “The quality and variety of wines represented are fabulous. Everyone will be able to find something they like. Even if you visit just four tasting rooms, it’s a great deal.”
Some of the winery owners see this as an opportunity to meet more people who live in the town their business calls home. “We’ve been making wine here for more than ten years, and we still meet Lompoc folks who have never visited the Wine Ghetto,” says Peter Stolpman, General Manager of Stolpman Vineyards, which opened their Lompoc tasting room in October. “Our local customer base grows each year, but Locals’ Day gives us a great chance to touch base with more of our neighbors and give back to the community.”
The wine tasting passport will be available at a slightly higher price ($40) to non-locals. Locals’ Day advance tickets can be purchased via credit card online at www.lompocghetto.com and with cash at Longoria’s Lompoc tasting room. Tickets will also be available onsite on the day of the event.
The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is a loose collection of wineries in the Sobhani Industrial Park, boasting many production facilities and eighteen tasting rooms. The wine industry here has almost completely taken over the entire two-block industrial complex. You won’t find great estates with rolling hills here, nor opulent tasting rooms with soaring ceilings. What you will find is world-class wine, presented in a laid back atmosphere. Often the tasting rooms are inside production facilities, so don’t be surprised if the person pouring the wine is also the person that made it. For more information, visit www.lompocghetto.com.