Select April Events in Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties



April always explodes not only with wildflowers around here, but with wine events too. Here on the central coast, it’s a great time to get out and about, see the green hillsides brimming with colorful orange poppies, purple lupine, yellow daisies of different kinds, and mustard.  Read on to learn more about where you should go: Hospice du Rhone in Paso Robles, Champagne on Main in Ventura, California Wine and Jazz Fest at the Four Seasons Westlake, and the 34th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Grand Tasting.


The BIG one this weekend is Hospice du Rhone. I am certainly a fan of Rhone wines, red and white, blends or not, as you can tell from my recent posts about Rhone specialist Larry Schaffer (reviews of his tercero Rhone white wines here and tercero red Rhone’s wines here) as well as my frequent posts about Ojai Vineyard wines and other Rhones!

After a brief hiatus, Hospice du Rhone has returned to thrill Rhone lovers April 14-16, 2016 in Paso Robles, California, and I really thought this would be the year for me to attend; after all, Paso is only a bit more than two hours away! But not so; it will have to be next year. Larry Schaffer will be there however, as will Rhone enthusiasts and winemakers from all over the world to taste and pour yes (see the list here), but also to learn from the masters in a series of exciting and enticing seminars. Online tickets sales are closed and they say don’t even bother to email them; you can show up and see if there’s anything available… The Hospice du Rhône® (HdR) is a non-profit organization based in the central coast that seeks to improve the business conditions of the grape growers and wine producers of Rhône variety wines and grapes throughout the world. Serving as an international vintners association, HdR provides promotional and educational opportunities. Let’s hope they do it again next year– or maybe the year after and let’s meet up!


Saturday April 16 is Ventura’s Spring Street Fair and Champagne on Main… which offers sparkling wine and craft beer and possibly a Champagne or two; I guess they couldn’t pass up the rhyme even if it is a misnomer…

Get off at California Street in Downtown Ventura and you’ll find the Spring Street Fair on the 300, 400 & 500 block of Main Street with vendors starting at 11am and live entertainment until 630pm. At 3pm, the Champagne on Main Wine Walk gets started where you can sample Champagne, Sparkling Wines, and Craft Beer in many downtown businesses.  A Champagne on Main Wine Walk wristband, tasting cup, and a map of the participating tasting sites throughout Downtown Ventura will get you going. Tasting sites have a designated area set up for Champagne on Main Wine Walk guests. Tickets range from $50 to VIP $70.


Sunday April 17, 2016 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m is the 5th Annual California Wine & Jazz Fest at the Four Seasons Hotel 2 Dole Dr., Westlake Village, CA 91362. Presented by Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise, proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and other Rotary charities, both locally and globally. The pre-eminent jazz and wine festival between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara moved to the Four Seasons this year.

Sample wines, brews, specialty spirits and gourmet foods from over 50 exhibitors while enjoying some of the best jazz musicians in the country.

To get a sense of the variety check out this list of exhibitors: Golden Star Vineyards, Sunland Vintage Winery, Four Brix, Panaro Brothers Winery, Firestone Walker, Surf Brewery, Channel Islands Distillery Rum, and Ventura Limoncello Company with food from  We Olive, Urbane Café, Spanish Hills Country Club, Bogart’s, Stonahus, Grissini Italian Ristorante and Maestro’s Steakhouse.

Two stages offer music; headlining the entertainment is Grammy award-winner Tom Scott and his Quintet. In addition to working with many top musicians and producers, and scoring music, Scott served as Musical Director for the Academy Awards and the Emmy Awards. Other p performers include Adam Clark Trio, Paul McCallum & Friends, Santa Barbara Community College Jazz Big Band, Doug Webb Group, The Barrelhouse Wailers, Lori Andrews, and the Westlake High School Jazz Ensemble.

Look for me–I’ll be there!

Tickets: $100 per person/general admission and $150 per person/VIP admission (VIP tickets include one-hour early entry for tasting, valet parking, preferred seating and other amenities). More Information: 805-380-6010,, on Facebook,, Twitter,, or go to to purchase tickets.

UPDATE 4/16: I forgot to mention– ALSO on April 17 from 3-6pm is “Magic on the Urban Wine Trail” so I did a quick blog post about it! And while I’m at it, check out why you and your BRAIN need NATURE in this blog post full of Earth Month events!


Can’t get away this weekend? How about Santa Ynez next weekend for the 34th Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Grand Tasting Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the River View Park in Buellton. The Vintners Festival is the largest tasting of Santa Barbara County wines of the year and is part of the Vintners Spring Weekend April 21-24, 2016. Celebrate with over 120 wineries and winemakers, more than thirty food purveyors and chefs, regional artists, live music, and more. Tickets are all-inclusve and include free parking, all wine tastings and food sampling.

  • Schedule of Events:
  • Thursday – Sunday 11am-5pm, Vintners Visa at various participating wineries and tasting rooms
  • Friday 6:30pm, Big Bottle Bash at Presqui’ile Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Maria Valley
  • Saturday 10-11:30am, Santa Barbara Wine Seminar at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton
  • Saturday 1-4pm (early entry at noon), Festival Grand Tasting at the River View Park in Buellton

And if you’re looking further ahead, save the date for the Ojai Wine Festival June 12 at Lake Casitas!


Want to invite me to YOUR event? Send me an email! gwendolynalleyATyahooDOTcom

Stay tuned and subscribe! Learn more about Spanish Albarino and more coming up this month!




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