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Catalina Wine Mixer® FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Did we just become best friends?

Yes, of course!

What is the Catalina Wine Mixer?

Those familiar with the movie Step Brothers recognize the reference to the Catalina Wine Mixer. The characters in the film, Dale and Brennan, played by John C Reilly and Will Ferrell, become stepbrothers in their 40s after their parents, played by Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins, get married. The families combine households and crazy antics ensue, including planning the "biggest helicopter leasing event in the Western Hemisphere," also known as the "F#$%% Catalina Wine Mixer."

Countless quotable lines in the movie include: "Why are you so sweaty?" "I was watching Cops." "I'm Dale, but you have to call me Dragon." "You don't even look good when you're singing." “Brennan, that is the voice of an angel. Brennan, I can’t even make eye contact with you right now. Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.” “This is going to sound weird, but for a second, I think you took on the shape of a unicorn.”

In 2015, the Catalina Island Company decided to bring the fun to life by creating the Step Brothers-inspired Catalina Wine Mixer. We had Catalina, we just had to add some helicopters, music and wine. The two-day event, held in June, is a fun way to relive the movie, the lines and the antics of the characters.

The weekend starts on Friday with an opening bash and screening of Step Brothers in the Catalina Casino, followed by a late night beach party at Descanso Beach Club. The party continues Saturday with wine tasting and live entertainment on the lawn with additional activities such as a wine pairing lunch, whiskey & spirits tasting, craft beer tasting and the VIP lounge at Catherine’s Terrace. General admission and VIP tickets are available. You can purchase a 2-day pass or tickets to either Friday or Saturday. For more information, visit the Catalina Wine Mixer website.

Is the Catalina Wine Mixer the biggest helicopter leasing event in the Western Hemisphere?

Not exactly, but there will be helicopters. The Catalina Wine Mixer is a fun Step Brothers-inspired weekend of music, food, fun, and of course wine. But there will be helicopters.

When is the Catalina Wine Mixer? 

Every June the Catalina Island Company hosts the Catalina Wine Mixer. The 2023 Catalina Wine Mixer is June 2-3. In past years the event was held in September. 

Where is the Catalina Wine Mixer?

All festivities for the Catalina Wine Mixer are held on Catalina Island. About 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, Catalina Island is the southernmost island of California's Channel Islands. The Island is made up of two towns, the incorporated city of Avalon on the east end, and the unincorporated village Two Harbors on the west end. The island is just 22 miles long and 8 miles across. Outside of the two towns is a rugged wilderness of majestic beauty under the stewardship of the Catalina Island Conservancy.

How to Get to Catalina Island

Those who are true to the cause, arrive via helicopter, of course. Most people come to Catalina aboard Catalina Express or Catalina Flyer. Some fly private planes into Catalina’s Airport in the Sky, while others come by private boat and receive a mooring assignment via the Avalon Harbor Department. The choice is yours.

Are there hotel packages available for the Catalina Wine Mixer?

Yes! Our Catalina Wine Mixer Package offers a choice of accommodations at either Pavilion Hotel, just 14 steps from the beach or the newly-renovated Hotel Atwater in the heart of Avalon. Please call 877.778.8322 for hotel packages. 

Is there a late boat returning to the mainland on Saturday?

There will likely be an 11:58 pm departure from Avalon to Long Beach on Saturday. Or you could book one of our Catalina Wine Mixer Lodging Packages and enjoy an extra day of island fun on Sunday.

What to Wear to the Catalina Wine Mixer Events

While we encourage everyone to find their own island rhythm and style at the Catalina Wine Mixer, keep in mind that it’s a sunny beach setting with warm sand and soft grass, so cool casual clothing and flat comfortable shoes are recommended. If you want to take a dip in the crystal blue waters of Descanso Cove, you’ll need a swimsuit. Kayaks and snorkel gear are also available for rent. Don’t forget the shades and sunscreen.

Will there be wine at the Original Catalina Wine Mixer?

Yes, of course. More than 15 wineries from up and down the West Coast bring their best vintages for you to sample and purchase. VIP tickets include complimentary tastings.

Can I buy a ticket for the movie in the Catalina Casino Theatre Friday?

Yes, individual tickets to Step Brothers will be available on Friday. They can be purchased at the box office at the entrance to the Avalon Theatre in Catalina Casino. 

Do you have to have a VIP Pass to attend the Friday night DJ at Descanso Beach Club?

No, this event is open to the public.

Do you have to be 21 to attend the Catalina Wine Mixer?

Yes. We welcome all guests 21 and over.

Can I bring outside food and beverage into Descanso Beach Club?

There will be food and beverage available to purchase, but no outside food and drink is allowed at Descanso Beach Club.

Can I bring a lawn chair or blanket?

Due to strict fire code regulations, no outside blankets or chairs are allowed on the lawn at Descanso Beach Club. 

Can I bring my pet?

Sorry. Only service animals with proper identification are allowed. 

Are there showers, changing rooms and lockers?

Yes, there are showers and changing rooms. Unfortunately, lockers are not available. 

Can Catalina Island Company gift cards be used to purchase tickets?

No, unfortunately gift cards cannot be used toward Catalina Wine Mixer tickets. However, you can use your gift card to book your hotel for the weekend! Call 877.778.8322 to learn more.