HAYWARD -- Wine is not often served inside a fire station, but it will be during the city's inaugural Walk of Wine on July 27.

Fire Station No. 1 is only one of 14 stops along the walk. Volunteers will be pouring wine and serving appetizers inside clothiers, restaurants, antique shops, a jewelry store, an art gallery and even a wine shop. Each venue will feature live music.

"We're trying to promote every type of business," said Ramona Thomas, project coordinator for the city. "This will be a different, unique experience here in Hayward."

The walk begins at 3 p.m. in the City Hall rotunda for registration, appetizers and the first pour. Groups will then venture out to 13 other "Cork It! Pour It!" stations.

For advice on how to put on a wine walk, city staffers went to Doc's Wine Shop owner Darren Guillaume, a certified sommelier who has a shop on Foothill Boulevard. At his suggestion, different wines will be poured at eachstation.

"There will be some wines you like a lot, and some you may not like," he said.

Wine from local wineries will be featured, including Twining Vine and Westover of Castro Valley and Rock Wall Wine of Alameda. Doc's will be offering wines from Force of Nature of Paso Robles, and some stops will have international wines.

"You have to have a certain quality of wine, or you won't have a second wine walk," Guillaume said. "When you do something like this, the first time it may not be very big. But if Hayward does it right, it will grow and they should be successful."


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City officials say the event is about more than a good libation.

"Our mission is to bring about awareness to downtown Hayward," Thomas said. "What better way to do that than a wine tasting inside businesses?"

Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.

Hayward's walk of wine
When: 3-7 p.m. Saturday, July 27
Tickets: Three ticket packages are offered, ranging from $25 to $45. Tickets can be purchased at bit.ly/haywinewalk. Commemorative wine glasses, sports bottles and tote bags also can be ordered on the site.
Tickets also are available at The Cobblers, New Revelations and Doc's Wine Shop, on Foothill Boulevard; at Hayward Ace Hardware, Vintage Alley and Nina's Bode, on B Street; and at City Hall, at the permit counter, 777 Watkins St.
Proceeds will benefit Hayward Friends of Animals, which funds spaying and neutering of feral cats.