Wine Tasting Is Coming to Town of Mojave

French wine village vineyard wine barrels and cart.We were on the way to Bishop in California’s beautiful Eastern Sierras for the 25th annual Millpond Music Festival, and didn’t want to make the drive from Orange County all in the same day. So we headed out after work and after rush hour, and spent the night in the little town of Mojave, near Edwards Air Force Base.

There, on a small table in the hotel lobby, I found a single flier promoting the Mojave Gold Rush Festival. And in the lower left corner of the flier, in lettering almost as large as the festival logo, were two words: WINE TASTING.

I took a closer look to see if I could learn more about the wine component of this small-town event.

I learned that on the Friday evening of October 7, there would be a Kick-off Dinner and Dance at the Mojave Café, described as a “family-friendly event” where the “Golden Queen” would be crowned and “Mr. Whiskerino” would be named.

I noticed that there would be a parade along K Street the following morning, led by the famous 20-mule team and Borax wagons that had helped put the community on the map. After the parade, the fun will move to Mojave East Park for photo-ops with the mules, a horse riding demonstration, a search-and-rescue and safety vehicle show, a petting zoo, a dunk tank, a horseshoe tournament and more. Small Town America at its best.

The flier indicated that the festival would end on Sunday morning, October 9, with a pancake breakfast. What else?

But nowhere on that 8.5-by-11 sheet could I find any information about the wine tasting.

So, I did what any tech-savvy person would do: I Googled “Mojave Gold Rush Festival.” And that provided a link to the event’s Facebook page where, lo and behold, wine information could be found. Well, sort of…

During the main festival hours on October 8, there will be wine tasting at a pop-up venue they’re calling the Dirty Feet Saloon, which will be located near the vets’ building. Quoting a post on the event’s Facebook page: “3-4 wineries coming… woohoo!”

It’s nice to see such enthusiasm for what could barely be called a “wine flight” at some venues. It just goes to show that there is an audience for wine almost anywhere; sometimes, it’s just a matter of looking for it.

Rather than spending the following night in Bishop, we decided to spend the final night before the festival began in nearby Mammoth Lakes, hoping to catch some early fall color.

We didn’t. But we did have a very memorable meal that will help us forget about the disappointing one we’d had in early August in San Diego. I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

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