We are in the midst of a four day Celebration of Harvest in Santa Barbara Wine Country this weekend from today October 7 through Monday October 10. While Santa Barbara is getting famous for its grapes, it offers much more agricultural wealth than just the kind you drink!
Special Santa Barbara Wine Country Events this weekend include dinners, open houses, seminars, Vintners Visa, and the highlight of the Celebration of Harvest Weekend, the Festival’s Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 8th with noon for early entry ($125) and 1:00 for general admission ($90).
Saturday’s events begin at 10am with the Santa Barbara Wine Seminar at the Hotel Corque in Solvang where six women winemakers from Santa Barbara County will share their wines:
Sonja Magdevski, Casa Dumetz
Tara Gomez, Kita
Kathy Joseph, Fiddlehead
Laura Roach, Sanford
Denise Shurtleff, Cambria
Erika Maldonado, Runway
This seminar is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Santa Barbara wine community as told by the winemakers and growers themselves. The seminar features a tasting flight of six wines. Tickets are $35 person and are limited.
Congregating at the Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, California, Celebration of Harvest’s Grand Tasting attendees will taste wine from participating wineries, enjoy food sampling from the area’s finest restaurants, caterers, and food purveyors, listen to live music, socialize with friends new and old, and even buy your own grapevines from Hancock College so you can grow your own wine grapes!
Be sure to check out the 2016 Celebration of Harvest Grand Tasting Silent Auction which raises funds for the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation to support the FoodBank of Santa Barbara County. The Silent Auction opens at 12:00 p.m. and bidding closing at 3:00 p.m. A wide array of auction lots are available from large format bottles, unique collections, and lifestyle experiences.
Photos below are a few highlights from when my husband and I attended last year. We really enjoyed ourselves. We were thrilled to taste so many new restaurants and try new wines as well as nonalcoholic beverages including new flavors from Lori’s Lemonade and cold brewed tea . We bid on a number of silent auction lots and even won a few including a bouquet of gorgeous fall flowers.
Often events like these are too noisy and crowded to relax and enjoy yourself and you have to fight your way in the line to get food… which often runs out. In general, this event had fewer and shorter lines, and being outside it never got so you had to shout to have a conversation with a winemaker or friend. If you can afford it, go for the VIP experience ($225) — the food, the wine, and the relaxing environment there are worth the extra money! Plus it is going to be HOT and shady seating is limited. Otherwise, bring a picnic blanket and find a spot on the ground in the shade!
Remember a hat, sunscreen, water, and that it is okay to spit –even when the wine is as awesome as that which you will find in Santa Barbara County!
Buy tickets here for the 2016 Santa Barbara County Wine Celebration of Harvest.