1) Eat, drink and join a good cause. For the fourth year in a row, Willow Creek Winery & Farm is hosting its “Paws & Pinot” event. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, join the fun at this unique holiday event that’s loaded with great shopping, live music, adoptable pets and, naturally, incredible wine.

2) The ‘Paws’ part. Five animal organizations will be there — Beacon Animal Rescue; Humane Society of Ocean City; Sea Turtle Recovery; Kibble Cupboard; National Bathe to Save. Beacon and HSOC will have info and sell merch, but best of all, they will have adorable cats and dogs on hand who are ready and willing to be adopted. If you are looking for your new lifetime companion, come meet these awesome pets who are ready to move into their FURever home. Bathe to Save will wash rescue dogs as well as patrons’ dogs for a fee.

3) The ‘Pinot’ part. Willow Creek Winery is one of the top wineries, not just in Cape May County, but in the state of New Jersey. Each year around this time, they uncork their award-winning pinot noir. The 2015 pinot noir is a French-style red fermented on oak staves and oaked for 24 months. The last barrels from the harvest were blended into stainless steel with oak staves then aged for an additional six months. This wine was double filtered through the bottling process, for a smooth taste. On this day only, there will be a special tasting of this locally grown, produced and bottled-estate pinot that you just won’t want to miss.

4) The shopping part. Numerous and varied vendors including local artists such as Fabrice Allen, jewelers, designers, photographers, authors, bakers, crafters and pet-related vendors like Black Sheep God Treats will be strewn throughout the gorgeous winery selling their wares which make fantastic gifts and stocking stuffers. And of course a bottle of wine from Willow Creek makes for a lovely gift, as well.

5) The music part. Former winner of an Atlantic City Weekly Nightlife Award, singer Nancy Malcun will perform during the event. A huge animal lover, Malcun has been called a “voice for the voiceless.”

6) The charitable part. There is no entry fee, but Willow Creek is asking that guests bring either donations of pet food or much-needed supplies to be distributed to the attending rescues. Supplies can be bleach, paper towels, trash bags, bottled water, disinfectant wipes and more.

7) The Santa part. Santa will be on hand for photos with kids and pets, so be sure to BYOP — Willow Creek is pet friendly.

Willow Creek Winery is located at 160-168 Stevens St., West Cape May; WillowCreekWineryCapeMay.com. Go to BeaconAnimalRescue.org or HSOCNJ.org.

— Pamela Dollak

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