Ryan Chartrand

There will be over 100 wineries from all over California offering wine tasting, appetizers, cheese and dessert at the fifth annual Cal Poly Wine Festival, which will be held April 28 at Santa Margarita Ranch from 1 to 4 p.m.

In addition to the food and drinks, there will be a silent auction and live music by Pipe Dream, a classic rock band from Atascadero, at the event. There is also a golf tournament the day before at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande.

The Wine Festival is organized and run each year by the Vines to Wines Club and the wine and viticulture department as a fundraiser to benefit the department. Last year it raised more than $5,000.

“Vines to Wines is a learning environment for students interested in getting involved in the wine industry,” said Amanda Burbridge, an agribusiness senior and the event coordinator of the Wine Festival.

While many of the students involved are wine and viticulture majors, students from all majors are welcome.

The planning committee is made up of six current students from a variety of majors, as well as two alumni and one professor who have been meeting every week since November. There will also be about 50 volunteers at the event.

More than 700 people attended last year’s Wine Festival, and Burbridge said they are expecting up to 1,000 this year. The golf tournament is expected to have a smaller turnout of about 100 people.

Many of the festival’s attendees are Cal Poly students, staff and alumni, but the planning committee expects a more diver crowd this year.

“The makeup of the people who come to the event is changing every year,” said Andrew Parr, a Cal Poly graduate who is in charge of marketing and public relations for the Wine Festival.

“As the event grows in popularity, more and more people from other backgrounds are showing up consisting of locals who are looking to taste wine as well as wine growers from all over the state who are looking to enjoy a weekend in the sun.”

The silent auction will sell donated items such as bottles of wine and hotel stays.

“Somebody’s donating a plane flight to Napa for dinner and back,” Burbridge said.

The golf tournament will be the kickoff for the event, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Friday with a shotgun start and a barbecue to finish it off.

“The event is a very relaxed one where there is less business and more fun,” Parr said.

Tickets cost $30 for students, faculty and staff and $50 for the public. Designated driver tickets are also available for $15.

A golf tournament ticket on its own is $135, or you can purchase a package. Two Wine Festival tickets and one golf tournament ticket is $195 and one Wine Festival ticket and one golf tournament ticket is $165.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Mustang Ticket Office.

More information is available at the Wine Festival’s Web site, www.calpolywinefestival.com.

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