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Santa Barbara "Celebration of Harvest"..Oct 13

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:23 am
by wineguydotcom
The Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association puts on a Spring and Fall festival each year where all of the winery members (over 100 now) pour and dozens of restaurants serve small tidbits. The Fall one this year is Oct 13 at Rancho Sisquoc. This is usually the nicer of the two, since Sisquoc is a lovely venue, tucked in the shadow of the hills, overlooking the Tepesquet valley (you can see Byron on a distant hill across the valley/river). It also has several niches, so it's not like holding a tasting on a football field. If you'd like to explore SB wines--whether you're new to this wine country or whether there are still some wineries you'd like to taste without much trouble--this is a good opportunity. With over a hundred wineries, each pouring an average of 5 wines probably, there is no way you can even make a dent in the offerings. But you could try all the chards or all the pinots. or all the syrahs. pick a varietal. or even all the Italian varietals (an easier task than chads or pinots.) Or you might try just the small producers--which takes a little research beforehand. Or just those with an "R" in their name; heck, I don't know, just pick a strategy. (even if it's trying those that you find yourself in front of when you finish the wine in your glass from the last pour. what I call the serendipity strategy.) with many, you can talk with the winemaker--though we'll be in the middle of harvest and some won't be there, others will be glassey eyed from 12-15 hour days for a month or so.. Anyway, you'll be sure to taste some nice wines, hear some good music, taste some good food. and the road up and back is lovely. (there are bus tickets you can buy with your ticket in case you would rather view the scenery than concentrate on the road.. and if you feel that swallowing wine is more pleasant than spitting it)

Because a lot of people come up to the wine country on this weekend, there are a lot of events happening around the festival. Firestone has a concert on Friday night, there are a number of winemaker dinners, and you can buy a "visa" to visit a lot of wineries during the weekend.

Whichever way you choose--festival or visits to the separate wineries--there is more going on in terms of wine, music and food than other weekends. A good time to visit the Santa Barbara Wine Country. (and if you make it to the festival, I'll be taking photos.. look for me and I'll shoot you with your favorite winemaker.. : )


Re: Santa Barbara "Celebration of Harvest"

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:49 pm
by Steve Anderson

Thank you for the info and the reminder that it is time to start planning the trip. Only 30 days out! My wife and I attended last year and had a fantastic time. I usually get an eye roll from her when I mention yet another wine event, but this one is special. In fact, she has already asked me several time about this to make sure we are going again. As great as the wines were, the food was fabulous. The participating restaurants really put on a great show in the samples they put out.

Totally agree with your comments on having a strategy. The down side of having so much fun (and food) was that we made it to only 14 of the 100 or so booths. We had a lot of superb wines, but certainly missed out on many, many more.

For those that have not been, here is a post of my impressions from the 2011 event.

Hope to see you there Bob!



Re: Santa Barbara "Celebration of Harvest"

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:02 pm
by wineguydotcom
wow, even the wall street journal recommends the Celebration of Harvest.. : ) ... 2012-09-13

though I have some better pics, though a couple years old: ... e80e3d850b