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About Us

OC Wine School conducts public classes at Giracci Vineyards & Farms and Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery.

Giracci Vineyards & Farms
The grounds are surrounded by jasmine, rose and lavender gardens, and only minutes from the hustle and bustle of central Orange County. The winery is nestled in Santiago Canyon and spans 10 acres, just east of beautiful Lake Irvine. Giracci offers a full variety of services, including wine tasting, a wine club and a special events venue as well as a fully equipped, state-of-the-art equestrian boarding and training facility. With its dramatic, panoramic view and etched canyons, it is the perfect setting for our wine "edutainment" classes.

Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery
Located near John Wayne Airport, on the Back Bay, Newport Beach Winery & Vineyards is is the best kept secret in Newport Beach. Beautiful vines cover this estate as well as an organic garden and a magnificent barrel room located in an underground cave. The award winning wines include Bordeaux style blends as well as an estate produced wine. The property hosts private events year round and you will often find the OC Social Scene gathering here for charitable events.The property is available for private tastings and events upon request.

Peter Smith is a specialist in wine, travel and hospitality, and is an renowned writer and public speaker.
Peter is an acclaimed freelance wine journalist and regular contributor to the Sommelier Journal, as well as other wine and travel publications and his own wine blog.
Peter designs personal and restaurant cellar collections, and educates wine staff in all aspects of wine including presentation, food-pairing and storage. Peter has twice been the keynote speaker at the Winemaker's Association of Argentina's International Conference for Wine Tourism and has conducted numerous educational seminars on wine.

In addition to consulting, Peter and his wife Holly are the owners of the world's leading wine travel company, Avalon Wine Tours. They have been designing custom wine tours for their clients since 1993. Their clients include major wine collectors, professional winemakers, celebrities, wine shops, restaurants and wine enthusiasts.

Peter is also a member of the Institute of Hospitality, the Jurade of St. Emilion and a member of Les Chablisiens.
Peter's affiliations include: The Society of Wine Educators, Wine Educators Worldwide, The American Wine Society, The French Wine Society and the Orange County Wine Society.

Holly Smith got her start in the food and wine business as a chef aboard private and charter yachts in the Caribbean and Europe in the 1980's. She opened her own catering business in 1992 and has been planning events for various organizations and individuals ever since.
As co-owner of Avalon Wine Tours, a wine travel company visiting the wine regions around the globe, Holly is constantly updating her repetoire of fine food and wine
Holly also works as an event specialist for corporate events and meetings worldwide. 
Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery
Founded in 1998, Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery is located on the 1,000-­‐acre Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Estuary. They support the environment with biodynamic activities including: water conservation through drip irrigation, largely organic farming, bottle glass recycling, and Solar Power – for the winery and residence.

The estate has over twelve hundred vines, covering about a third of the property, which produce up to five tons of high quality red wine grapes. Each vintage is a blend, using up to five traditional Bordeaux red wine grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Summer 2012 marks the release of the first Estate wine using one hundred percent grapes from the vineyard, cultivated, vinified, and bottled at the winery called: 2010 OC ESTATE, Unobtainium Meritage Red. 

Nestled within the vines is is the one thousand square foot Underground Wine Cave where the wine ages for two years in imported oak barrels. 

To learn more about this property and their award winning wines, visit their website at:


Giracci Vineyards & Farms
Chad and Linda Kearns rescued Giracci Vineyards & Farms from disrepair several years ago, knowing right away that they had found a diamond in the rough. After three years of modernizing the facilities while carefully maintaining the structural integrity and historical ambiance that makes the property unique, Giracci is now a premeir events venue and home to award winning wines.

Surrounded by plush, scenic landscaping, the newly-renovated grounds offer an abundance of country elegance, with a dash of history and a touch of rustic charm, creating a tranquil, magical environment for all.

To learn more about their property and their award winning wines, visit their website at:

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