Why participate in downtown Benicia’s Wine Walk three times a year? Well, for starters it’s a fun event, said Christine Mayall, owner of Bookshop Benicia, one of 22 First Street business that open their doors for the Benicia Main Street Program activity. An added bonus, of course, is an increase in book sales. Three times each year, stores and sidewalks are filled as people come downtown to sip, stroll and shop. The next Wine Walk takes place 1-5pm on Saturday, Sept. 23, in celebration of the fall season. “We get a lot of different people coming to the store. It’s nice that they get to know that we’re here. It’s fun having a lot of people on First Street,” Mayall said. Nearby, Susan Steffen of The Steffen Collection said she takes part because she loves the people who come in. She enjoys bringing homemade goodies to serve.
The Wine Walk got started in 2012 after finding that similar events in nearby towns met Benicia Main Street goals of drawing people downtown and into businesses, said Deborah Houseman, event coordinator. Wine Walks are also held in February near Valentine’s Day and in June to mark summer. A ticket gives a person 15 one-ounce tastes of wine, plus a complimentary, commemorative wine glass. Participants must be at least 21 years old. With 22 different wines to choose from, people can stick to white or red or mix it up and try some champagne, too. During the event, merchants offer appetizers and nibbles. Wine selections come from Henry Wine Group, a Benicia distributor. These typically include wines from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Monterey, among other places.
Tickets are $30 in advance for a single ticket and $55 in advance for a pair. On the day of the event, tickets are $35 each. Tickets can be purchased online at beniciamainstreet.org, or in person at 90 First Street. For a complete listing of participating merchants, or more information about the Wine Walk, visit beniciamainstreet.org, call 707.745.9791 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.