Santa Barbara Coastal News
Golden State oenophiles anticipate 2014 Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend8 Apr 2014 11:03 AM
Aside from the blockbuster movies produced by its film industry, one of the exports that California is best known for is its fine wines, which are cultivated and fermented at upscale vineyards and wineries throughout the state. However, while Napa Valley may be the area most synonymous with wine production, a substantial number of award-winning varietals have come from Santa Barbara County.
In addition to its natural beauty and high-end offerings, this area of the Golden State boasts a vibrant community of experienced vintners and, of course, wine lovers. If you're looking to spend some time outdoors this weekend, and wouldn't mind sampling a few of the region's most popular blends, you may want to consider attending the upcoming Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend, as the sophisticated social gathering promises to be a memorable experience for all.
Festival to be feature more than 100 local winemakers
?From Thursday, April 10, to Sunday, April 13, scores of the city's most respected vintners will be on hand to converse with attendees at numerous tasting events and educate them on the intricacies of wine production through a series of informative seminars. Coordinated by Santa Barbara Vintners and sponsored by a multitude of local and national organizations, this 32nd annual event looks to celebrate the best that the area has to offer - from its gourmet eateries to the scenic surroundings, and from accomplished winemakers to up-and-coming musicians and artists.
Although there will be exciting activities occurring all weekend, the festival's many opportunities for sophisticated entertainment center around its headlining event: the grand tasting. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the picturesque River View Park in Buellton will be transformed into festival grounds, hosting more than 100 wineries from Santa Barbara County as well as mouth-watering selections from the finest local restaurants, catering companies and gourmet food creators. In addition to the grub and grog, the event will feature a recreational golf tournament, chances to view wonderful artwork, partake in a silent auction, listen to music and shop for related goods from an assortment of wine country vendors at the Farmers Market Pavilion.
Throughout the weekend, a number of engaging endeavors will also be offered across Santa Barbara as part of the festival, such as winery open houses, winemaker-led hikes and picnics, library wine tastings and cellar tours, as well as unique culinary events and pairings. Admission to each of the weekend's offerings range in price, and can be reserved online through the official event website or by calling 805-688-0881.
Opportunities for exclusive enjoyment offered
For those who wish to participate in this weekend's events, but hope to avoid crowds, exclusive experiences will be available for purchase.
Individuals who plan on attending the grand tasting and hope to visit with winemakers in a more intimate setting can enjoy receiving early access as part of the Extended Experience package. This grants entry an hour before the public, enabling local oenophiles the ability to mix and mingle with the featured vintners in a less crowded environment. Additionally, inside the Connoisseurs Club Pavilion, festival goers who purchase tickets to this area can enjoy special wines and exclusive gourmet dishes from the comfort of the plush surroundings - ensuring that long lines and large crowds are never an issue.
Bus transportation will be offered for those who live in the area but would rather not drive themselves to the grand tasting. Shuttles will regularly depart from Santa Barbara, Solvang and Santa Maria. In addition, attendees can take advantage of an event discount offered through Uber.
Alternatively, discounted tickets will be made available for those individuals who will attend as a designated driver for a group.