I could not have been more excited to attend my first Santa Barbara Vintner’s Celebration of Harvest tasting celebrating their 25th anniversary. Within the past year I have visited Santa Barbara County three times.Why, because I am obsessed with their wines, the people and the laid back vibe. It’s truly my favorite region in California at the moment and I’m trying to get as familiar with the wineries, winemakers and vineyards as possible. The prior visits included attending the World of Pinot Noir Wine Event, another fabulous event you should check out and can read more about here. The second visit was to spend some more time tasting and visiting Los Olivos, another incredible town in the region which you can read more about here and this was third visit. What a perfect weekend to come and taste through 50+ wineries as well as enjoy some amazing local eats. See below all of the incredible wines I experienced and why you need to attend this event in April when it’s held again. Pretty fabulous they do this twice a year for those of us like me in love with this region and their fabulous wines. A special thanks to Santa Barbara Vintners Association for putting on this incredible event and inviting me to attend.
Downtown Solvang (read more about Solvang here) which is beyond charming with horses touring visiting tourists. They even stopped to pose for this picture, so helpful!
Guess who I spotted heading into the event? Shelby Sim, the Executive Director of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. What a gem it’s such a blast seeing him at events!!
The amazing live music performed throughout the event
Me and Allison of Please The Palate, another friend and fellow wine writer hanging out with some new pals we met at the event.
The delicious Solminer Wines. I tried these during my last visit to Lompoc and they’re awesome.
My pal Larry from Tercero Wines. Of course in addition to his lovely wines he brought my favorite home-made bread with him (hidden behind the wines). Be sure to try this when you taste Larry’s yummy wines. I first met Larry as Hospice du Rhone, another incredible Rhone Varietal wine event. Read more about Hospice du Rhone here.
The delicious eats from the Hitching Post Restaurant (close up below) the famous spot from the movie Sideways
The great wines from La Voix Winery, made my winemaker Steve Clifton of Palmina Wines & Brewer & Clifton Wines. Read more about La Voix and Palmina Wines in my upcoming Top 10 Lompoc Wineries & Tasting Rooms post coming soon!!!
An incredible Black Juice which I tried which helps detox and cure a hangover. This was delicious something I would definately use frequently with all the wine I consume!
So exciting tasting Grimm’s Bluff’s newest Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a spectacular biodynamic winery located at Grimm’s Bluff with lovely Estate Sauvignon Blanc and now an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rusack is another winery with amazing Pinot Noir and Chardonnays. I love their Catalina Island Chardonnays, where else can you find those!
It would not be a Santa Barbara County tasting without Fess Parker, another Winery with incredible wines. Ashley’s Vineyard Chardonnay is my favorite! Read more about Fess Parker on the blog here.
These wines were awesome and I was lucky to hear their winemaker on the Women in Wine panel I attended. Such an awesome event.
Hands down one of my favorite Pinot Noir producers in the Sta. Rita Hills is Melville. Read more about this winery on the blog here.
Koehler Estate Wines, another new wine I discovered at the event with a lovely Riesling which typically is not my thing but this one was fabulous!
The incredible crostini’s from Far Western Tavern. These were so good I may have had two!
It’s really hard to resist the delicious Chardonnay from Presqui’le. They have one of the most beautiful wineries I have ever been to also producing some incredibly delicious wines. Read more about my visit to their winery on the blog here.
What a treat hearing Erika Maldonado of Runway Vineyards on the morning panel of female winemakers. She is under 30, extremely talented and makes some incredible wines. My favorite is her Chardonnay. Soooo yummy!
The unbelievable pastrami tacos with rye cream, pickled red onion, cabbage slaw and truffle sauce. This was literally my lunch for the day it was so delicious. Kudos to the Bacara Resort Angel Oak Restaurant team on your amazing eats!
So great seeing and tasting with Bob Lindquist of Qupe Wines. No matter what I try of his wines I always adore them and seeing friendly Bob.
Another favorite Jaffurs Wine Cellars and Co-Winemaker Matt Brady who’s just a really nice, cool guy!
The incredible Santa Maria Pinot Noir from Au Bon Climat.
Another incredible Winery Sanford Winery with incredible Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
The fabulous Brewer Clifton Chardonnay & Pinot Noirs (below). These are great as they truly reflect the flavors and characteristics of each winery the grapes are sourced at with little manipulation.
The lovely ladies from the Kita team. These are wines made by winemaker Tara (who also spoke on the panel in the morning) and she makes a huge assortment of varietals. With experience in Paso Robles, Santa Barbara County and Spain Tara is extremely talented and someone to watch and for sure taste her wines.
Thanks again to the Santa Barbara Vintners Association for hosting me as press to this amazing Wine Tasting weekend. It truly was impressive and I can not wait to return again.
Santa Barbara Vintners