Don’t Miss the thirty ninth Annual Santa Barbara Vintners Competition 

Billed because the oldest wine competition in California, the Santa Barbara Vintners Competition celebrates its thirty ninth affair this October 14. Because it’s being held at a brand-new location in an period when the recognition and important appreciation for the area’s wine are at an all-time excessive, there’s loads of purpose to consider that this might be one one of the best but, marking a return to glory that light a bit through the pandemic years. 

As regular, the celebrities of the present are the greater than 5 dozen wineries available to pour their finest bottles, however there’s equal alternative to be dazzled by bites from a number of the finest cooks in Santa Barbara County. It’s additionally a celebration — with a sparkling-wine lounge and stay music by Generic Clapton (previously The Coals) — and locals who can confirm their county billing deal with get $20 off admission. And in contrast to final yr’s considerably dusty unfold behind Mission Santa Inés, there’s nothing however magnificence, historical past, and aggie enjoyable on the new website, Vega Winery & Farm, dwelling to a mini-zoo and fast-expanding hospitality scene simply exterior of Buellton alongside 101.

[Click to enlarge] Credit score: Jeremy Ball

“The Vintners Fest is the one time that each one of those mavericks of Santa Barbara County wine come collectively and share our passions,” mentioned Keith Saarloos of Saarloos & Sons. “We’re so used to going to music festivals, the place distinctive and numerous genres are being performed, exposing ourselves to new music and artists. The Vintners Competition is the place we share our liquid love letters with the larger group.”

The sentiment that the fest is a summit of kinds for each wine lovers and makers is shared by Story of Soil’s founder Jessica Gasca. “This competition provides you an unimaginable alternative to come back style from the godfather and founders of Santa Barbara County in addition to style from the latest technology of winemakers,” she mentioned. “You’ll be able to style custom and innovation multi functional place.”

Credit score: Jeremy Ball

With so many pouring in the identical place, the competition supplies a chance for each skilled and neophyte Santa Barbara wine fans to discover a model or bottling that they by no means even knew existed. “For small and comparatively new wineries like us, we’ve the possibility to succeed in a big group of shoppers who’re keen about Santa Barbara County wines,” mentioned Jeff Chaney of Grimm’s Bluff, which sits atop a cliff above the Santa Ynez River. “It means rather a lot for us to have the ability to share our story, our natural and biodynamic farming philosophy, and, in lots of circumstances, introduce our wines to new faces.” 

This yr, that may be Grimm’s Bluff’s first launch of cabernet franc — simply two barrels made! — or a regionally unusual rosé of cabernet sauvignon that comes from property vines head-trained in an historic Roman model. “Impressed by the nice pinks of Provence, France, however produced with Completely happy Canyon cabernet sauvignon,” defined Chaney, “it can absolutely change the best way you consider this grape and wine model.”

Even after a half-century within the enterprise, the Miller household — which owns Solomon Hills and Bien Nacido, the place they only constructed a powerful tasting room deep within the Santa Maria Valley — nonetheless will get excited for the occasion. “What’s so particular concerning the Santa Barbara Vintners Competition is that the folks pouring are the house owners and winemakers,” mentioned Nicholas Miller, whose dad and uncle planted the famend Bien Nacido in 1973. “Shoppers get to satisfy these making their wines and, for at the least in the future, step into this excellent group of Santa Barbara vintners as an insider.”

The Santa Barbara Vintners Competition is Saturday, October 14, 1-4 p.m., at Vega Winery & Farm (9496 Santa Rosa Rd., Buellton). Tickets are $95 for basic admission; $125 for early entry at midday; $75 for S.B. County residents; and $25 for non-drinkers, together with youngsters. Shuttles can be found for various costs from Solvang, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara. 

Extra occasions are additionally being deliberate across the weekend, together with music at Presqu’ile, SAMsARA, and Fess Parker; dinners with Ken Brown and Fiddlehead’s Kathy Joseph; and particular tastings at Andrew Murray, Zaca Mesa, and Pali Wine Co. 

See for tickets and extra particulars. 

Credit score: Jeremy Ball