Dana Wharf is a company in the Dana Point Harbor that offers an extensive fleet of varied-size boats for every imaginable harbor and ocean adventure.
Most people think that Dana Wharf is primarily a fishing and whale-watching entity. Indeed, the company offers a multitude of fishing charters and adventures that range from just a few hours in length (even for kids) to overnight journeys for dedicated sport fishermen. And, Dana Wharf’s whale watching cruises (also offered year-round) have put Dana Point on the map for its whale-centric activity. See their website for schedules and ticketing information.
But, while these daily excursions are always happening, Dana Wharf also offers a number of fun educational events, Kids’ Clubs and boating escapades such as its Live Music Cruise and its twice-weekly Dana Wharf OC Wine Cruise. The Live Music Cruise is available from early spring through October, while the OC Wine Cruise is available to the end of September.
Last Sunday, my girlfriends and I decided to try a Dana Wharf OC Wine Cruise, and even as residents right here in Dana Point, we had a blast. Each Wine Cruise is hosted by a specific wine grower or distributor, so expect to taste from at least eight great wines. The 90-minute event offers a wine host who starts the event with an overview of the wines you’ll be tasting, and doles out Tasting Notes for your own scribbles. On our cruise, Organic Cellars was hosting the event, offering 4 rosé and white options, and 4 reds. (How much fun is that?)
As the Dana Wharf catamaran got underway and began to ply the mellow harbor waters, Nicole (our wine host) introduced herself and gave us an overview of the 8 options for the evening’s party. Then, wine cruise attendees had options of sitting or walking inside, or heading up to the boat’s deck to view the pending sunset as they tried different wine options. With each option, Nicole explained the grapes, their source, and even explained soil minerality and usual ph balance of the air as the grapes grew if you were so inclined to pursue that line of questioning.
As we propelled through the harbor, large platters of cheese, crackers and fruit were unveiled and our own Dana Wharf boatman serenaded us with Hawaiian-themed songs (he was on his way to the Islands the following morning, and seemed well prepared!). And, in addition to a most magnificent sunset, we were greeted by sea lions, seals, SUP paddlers and kayakers plying the same waters.
What a great, mellow ending to a great summer evening in Dana Point. Tickets are still available through the end of September at $49/adults. Purchase well in advance as each of these tours sells out quickly: OC Wine Cruise Tickets