As many of you know, I am quite the ‘homer’ for the Santa Barbara County area and all things wine-related here. Putting my time and energy into this, I am now the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara County Vintner’s Association, which has well over 125 winery and vineyard members.
Each Fall, right smack dab in the middle of harvest, we put on the Celebration of Harvest, a wonderful afternoon of world-class wines, superb food, and an overall good time This has grown from a few tables to a plethora of tents that will keep all who attend busy enough for the four hour time period!
We are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of this event this year, quite an accomplishment – and one that shows how young our wine growing area still is. Though we’ve certainly established ourselves as a region to be reckoned with, we are in the process of ‘repositioning’ our area to show the diversity of wines made in the area – and not only ‘made’ , but made at the highest quality levels out there.
The movie ‘Sideways’ certainly helped the general consumer understand our expertise at making wonderful Burgundian varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (something that others, including Au Bon Climat and Richard Sanford, helped establish decades earlier), but our County is so much more than just that. From the very warm environs of the Happy Canyon area, known for its Bordeaux red and white varieties, to the Santa Ynez/Los Olivos area, known for Bordeaux, Rhone, Spanish, and Italian varieties, to the Ballard Canyon area, home to some of the best Rhone varieties in the US, to the Santa Maria Valley area, home to all of the above, we have a lot going on up here . . .
I’ll have a lot more to say about the diversity perfected of our area over the coming months, but for now, should you have nothing else going on this Saturday, come on up or down to Rancho Sisquoc Winery and enjoy the results of all of our hard labor – and have a great time!