Forty-seven wineries poured, and 1,300 people attended

ATASCADERO — Lovers of wine headed out to Atascadero Lake on Saturday, June 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. to enjoy the 25th Annual Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival. With 47 wineries pouring and around 1,300 community members in attendance, Atascadero’s evening wine fest is back.

“After a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to see the park filled with vendors and happy attendees enjoying the only evening wine festival on the central coast,” said Gail Kudlac, the event’s coordinator.

The festival, which was put on by the Atascadero Chamber along with the festival’s committee members, including Kudlac, Dawn Smith, Rosey Parks, Gina Lutz, Carol Porter, Josh Cross, Julie Mathews, Terrie Banish, Mark Dariz, and Erin Fintan du Fresne, didn’t only feature wine. 


There were also craft beer, distilleries, and cider houses featured. Some of the distillers and wineries present were Ancient Peaks, Ballast Point, BarrelHouse, Eberle, Lone Madrone, Opolo, SLO Cider, Stilson Cellars, Tooth & Nail, Wild Fields Brewery and many more. There was even an art wall timeline for everyone attending to paint that featured the 25-year history of the fest.

Twenty-seven years ago, Atascadero local Barbie Butz helped organize the first Lakeside Wine Festival. Originally named “Cabernet and Cousins,” the inaugural committee’s goal was to put Atascadero on the map with a wine festival that would bring people to the community.

To celebrate the festival’s success this year, Butz created two cocktails using liquors featured at the festival from Willow Creek Distillery. Those recipes can be found in her column on page A12.

“The addition of a live painting by fine artist Patrick Dennis, an art wall, and the opportunity to paint a wine glass as a fun souvenir was well received,” said Josh Cross, Atascadero Chamber of Commerce CEO.

The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival also included live entertainment from Chris Beland, Erin and the Earthquakes, and Déjà Vu.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Charles Paddock Zoo to support its new sloth and alpaca exhibit.

“There were three vibes this year. In the Charles Paddock Zoo, there was a relaxed vibe led by guitarist Chris Beland with a unique experience of tasting beverages amongst the animals after hours. Live music by Erin and the Earthquakes set the perfect atmosphere for sipping and shopping in the serene setting by the lake. From the bandstand, Déjà Vu inspired people to party and dance. There was a vibe for everyone,” added Cross.

The Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival will be back next year and will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2023.

“This extraordinary event was made possible by many sponsors, including Gold Standard Mortgage, Caliber Collision, RE/MAX Success, the City of Atascadero, and the Charles Paddock Zoo, an active and engaged planning committee, and 108 volunteers,” stated Chamber Director of Communications Dawn Smith.

We’ll see you next year.