Monday, March 13, 2017

Sip and Stroll at the Montrose Spring Wine Walk

Imagine walking along Honolulu Avenue, a glass of wine in hand, taking the air in on a cool spring evening, stopping into the local shops to peruse their selections – and refill your glass. This is the exact scenario of a wine walk. And next Saturday, March 18, the merchants of the Montrose Shopping Park are hosting the first annual Montrose Wine Walk, inviting guests from the community and Southern California at-large to come and take a sip and a stroll.

Dale Dawson, event coordinator for the Montrose Shopping Park Association, explains how the event came into being here in Montrose.
“Well, I got jealous. As the event coordinator, we were on a bus trip [for research for the Montrose Vision 2020 plan], and we toured some towns. The first town we hit was Claremont as an example for us to see,” Dawson said. “Claremont has been doing, in fact I think they originated it up here, a wine walk for like 19 years. So I picked the brain of the guy who led the tour over there and asked him to put me in touch with somebody that [could] help [us host one].”
This curiosity evolved into a full-fledged wine walk event that will see guests flood the sidewalks of the town, going into a minimum of 31 retail shops that have signed up as pouring locations. Unlike most events in Montrose, including the Kids ‘n’ Kritters, Oktoberfest and Montrose Brewfest events, the streets will not be closed.
“So many towns do [a wine walk] successfully. I know Ventura has a large one out there, lots of places [host] them and we are one of the few that hasn’t. I don’t know what we were doing, we were asleep at the switch,” Dawson said. “So we’re catching up. This is our first annual coming up, and it’s exciting because it’s a sophisticated kind of an event. It gets people to go inside the stores, and that’s where they’re going to taste. It’s a ‘come and meet our businesses’ event.’”
Tickets are $45 and are available at, at many locations in the Shopping Park and at the Sunday Harvest Market. And the co-sponsor organization, the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, will receive a donation of 15% of the ticket sales.
Ticket holders will receive 15 tickets, each good for a 1 oz. pour at any of the tasting locations, as well as a Montrose Shopping Park logo wineglass and $10 in Montrose scrip, which is accepted at most of the stores in the Montrose Shopping Park. During the event, live bands will line the avenue and each of the stores has chosen its own selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres, so a variety of flavors will abound.

“[Merchants are] really getting creative with what they’re choosing,” Dawson said.
He also suggested that, after an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres and shopping, any of the numerous restaurants in Montrose are a great way to finish the evening.
One caveat about this year’s event is that it has never been done before. Though the wine walk planners have done everything they can to make it run smoothly there is always room for an unforeseen hiccup.
“Let me put it this way – we don’t know how this one’s going to go because we have no track record, we have no history and we have no following, per se,” Dawson said, “but I’m thinking this is going to be really a lot of fun. It’s going to build to the point where it might actually create some funds for us, but at this point we’re looking at it as a wash.”
The event will be held on Saturday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. along Honolulu Avenue in the Montrose Shopping Park. For more information, online tickets and a list of shops in Montrose selling physical tickets, visit