Summer Solstice in Newport Vineyards and Winery

Community members celebrate theater, wine and sunshine while raising money for the Laguna Playhouse.

More than 50 guests gathered at Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery on Wednesday, the first evening of summer, to raise funds for the Laguna Playhouse and to enjoy the beauty of the winery.

Harp music played, wine flowed, lots of hors d'oeuvres were available for tasting, and a bit of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed by actors from the theater. Proceeds from ticket and wine sales will be used to help the Laguna Playhouse continue to thrive in the community.

“We’re trying to promote theater in the community," said Ann Wareham, the theater's artistic director. "It’s a theater that has a long 90-year history. We would like to keep the Laguna Playhouse thriving and alive.”

Along with fundraising for the theater, the summer soltice was also a time to showcase how Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery is thriving. Justin Myers, the winery's managing director, said on July 7 the winery will be bottling its 2010 estate wine, the first ever estate wine grown and produced in Orange County.

“We’re calling it ‘The O.C. Unobtanium’ because people felt there was no way you could product wine in Newport Beach," Myers said. "It has always been [NBVW owner] Richard Moriarty’s passion and dream to create an estate wine.”

Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery rests on over three beautiful acres overlooking the Upper Newport Bay. Five different varieties of Bordeaux grapes are grown on the property: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The vineyard will produce about 4000 bottles of wine a year.

Moriarty has agriculture in his veins as he is the nephew of Henry Segerstrom, lima bean farmer and developer of South Coast Plaza. According to Myers, Moriarty created wine from pomegranate trees when he was 16 and felt he could create fine wine near the coast of Orange County. 

"Newport Beach is not too hot and it's not too cold and it gets that great coastal influence. What we grow is what we make. Ours is a true field blend," he said.

The Laguna Playhouse season will officially open in July thanks to donations from the winery's summer solstice event and other benefactors, with the Marvelous Wonderettes running July 3-July 29. For more information about the Laguna Playhouse, CLICK HERE.

Visit Newport Beach Winery and Vineyards online at www.nbwine.com.


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