‘Bubblyfest’ Brings Central Coast Sparkling Wine Scene to the Surface

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Look out for flying corks; sparkling wine is experiencing a cultural explosion, evidenced most recently by the upcoming BUBBLYFEST by the Sea, the nation’s only dedicated sparkling wine celebration, to be held in Pismo Beach, CA, from October 24 to 26, 2014.

According to the Wine Institute, U.S. sales of sparkling wine and Champagne from worldwide producers reached 17.7 million cases in 2012, representing a 2% increase from 2011. Within that growth curve, California generated a 3% increase in sparkling wine production.

The statistics are no surprise to Central Coast winemakers and consumers. The wine regions from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles have seen a noticeable boom in sparkling production in recent years. According to influential wine blogger Richard Jennings (RJonWine.com), there were just two sparkling wine makers in Santa Barbara County 20 years ago; today there are 29. PasoWine.com currently tallies 14 producers in Paso Robles. And Liz Dodder, blogger at CaliCoastWineCountry.com, says even more are coming to the region, a trend which inspired her to create the Santa Barbara Sparkling Wine Guide map last year.

“The wine industry at large is really seeing a resurgence of sparkling wine—and that’s especially true on the Central Coast, where there is a comparatively larger percentage of artisan winemakers taking risks with new sparkling programs,” says BUBBLYFEST organizer Holly Holliday of Create Promotions. “Wineries are delving into new and lesser known sparkling varietals like the Italian Prosecca and Spanish Cava, and restaurants and bars are putting a greater emphasis on mixology and on offering creative Champagne cocktails. Sparkling is on a vogue streak.”

Holliday anticipates 40 producers of sparkling wine from around the world to participate in BUBBLYFEST, with nearly 60 percent of those coming from Central Coast wine country. Confirmed local brands in attendance will include Arroyo Robles, Brewer-Clifton, Cass Winery, Clavo Cellars, Domaine Le Mieux, Flying Goat, Fontes Phillips, Laetitia, Mosby, Palmina Winery, Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery, Solminer, Weibel Vineyards, and William James, where many will debut their new sparkling wines at the event.

The three-day, ocean-view event kicks off on Friday, October 24 with a Gatsby-themed, live-jazz Cocktail Mixer at the patio of Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, from 6 – 8 p.m. Saturday, October 25 brings the BUBBLYFEST Grand Tasting event, from 12 – 4 p.m. at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel, where sparkling wine pours will be paired with samplings of Field to Table Catering’s artisan cheeses, chocolates, oysters, bread and other bites. On Sunday, October 26, BUBBLYFEST returns to Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa for a Sunday Funday Champagne Brunch from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Lido Restaurant.

Event hotel packages are available at SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel and Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, as well as at other local hotels. BUBBLYFEST all-inclusive three day VIP Package tickets ($160 plus tax) or individual event tickets ($45-$65) can be purchased online at www.bubblyfest.com.

The SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel is the official sponsor of BUBBLYFEST. Other sponsors include Taste of the Valleys and Cali Coast Wine Country.

For more information about BUBBLYFEST visit www.bubblyfest.com.