The vines have been sleeping through the cool, dark winter months in the Santa Ynez Valley and now as their buds awaken, the dreams of promising new vintages unfold. Local vintners emerge revitalized and ready to pour…
Celebrate the arrival of spring in the Santa Ynez Valley with a fabulous immersion into more than fifty varietals and over one hundred, world-acclaimed wineries. An annual rite of spring, the Vintner’s Festival held on April 19 – 22, returns to Mission Santa Ines in Solvang where it was born 30 years ago! What started as a small food and wine event for the locals in order to raise funding to print a visitors map of the 13 local wineries, has evolved into pure world-class wine bliss paired with homegrown gourmet flavor featuring celebrated local chefs and culinary professionals. The four day celebration features live music by Donna Greene & the Roadhouse Daddies and The Rock ‘n’ Blues Band, a silent auction benefiting People Helping People and complimentary hand and arm massages from Massage Therapy in Old Town Orcutt. Whether your wine appreciation status is novice or sommelier, the Santa Ynez Valley’s Vintner’s Festival embraces all…join a community of food and wine for the ultimate sip and savor event of spring.
Hosted by the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association, the main festival takes place Saturday afternoon but the celebration runs Friday through Monday with many wineries offering tastings of library wines and barrel samples, vineyard barbecues, winemaker dinners, wine & food pairings, cellar lunches and open houses and discount specials. Local Santa Ynez Valley restaurants are also in on the festivities as well with participating wineries pouring at the eateries.
Vintner’s Festival 2013 local food participants include: Avant Tapas & Wine, New West Catering, Stafford’s Famous Chocolates, Babé Farms, The Olive House, Starting Gate Restaurant at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, Bacara Resort & Spa, Panera/Ventura Café, Trattoria Uliveto, Cattaneo Brothers, Petros, The Willows Restaurant, Il Fustino, El Rancho, Valley Grind, Luna Olivo and Rancho Olivos.
- Ampelos is offering a 10% discount on wines.
- Andrew Murray Vineyards is offering a 10% discount on any wine purchases. Friday 11 – 2, features a Blending Seminar with Winemaker Andrew Murray with the chance to learn about the process of blending and have the opportunity to blend your own bottle of wine, followed by a catered lunch (limited to 25 people). Saturday, 11-4 join the Spring Release Party and celebrate the launch of Andrew Murray’s new label This is E11even. Plus try all the new Andrew Murray Vineyards releases with music, food, and wine discount specials.
- Au Bon Climat & Qupé 11- 3 offers an open house featuring library wines, current releases, and bargain wines. Wine from many of their labels will be presented including Au Bon Climat, Qupé and more during this special event as the winery is only open twice yearly to the public.
- Baehner-Fournier at Bin 2860 is featuring a 20% discount on all current wines.
- Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Sunday at 10:30 is featuring a Vineyard Walk & Brunch with winemaker, Karen Steinwachs and soil guru Stan Katoda. Featuring a hike through the 39-acre estate vineyard with stops to taste various varietals, check out the progress of 2013 bud break, chat about soils, cane pruning and insight into why they grow wine and farm the way they do. To celebrate both Vintners’ Festival weekend and Earth Day Eve, they’ll conclude the walk with brunch at the vineyard pond and raise a glass in toast to the upcoming vintage!
- Brander is hosting an open house Saturday 12-4pm with special wine tastings, BBQ and music.
- Clos Pepe is hosting a Barrel Tasting and Bubble Bash, opening their winery in Lompoc Sunday 11-3 for a rare barrel-tasting and educational opportunity with wine educator and winemaker Wes Hagen. If you’ve ever attended a wine education event with Wes Hagen, you know his straight-forward, passionate delivery of the most interesting geeky tidbits in the world of wine. Taste current releases, the Homage to Chablis Chardonnay (the first stainless SRH Chardonnay, now in its 12th vintage), the rare Clos Pepe Estate Brut Rosé sparkling wine (the first SRH labeled bubbly), library wines and have the chance to take some of these rare bottles home with you. Barrel Tasting at the top of every hour: noon, 1 and 2 pm.
- Dascomb Cellars offers 10% off any purchases and Friday 4-7 in their tasting room in the heart of Solvang, barrel tasting and cheese pairing with winemaker David Dascomb.
- Demetria offers Visa holders a 10% discount with a purchase of 3 bottles or more.
- Dierberg offers Visa holders a 10% discount on all wine purchases.
- Fiddlehead Cellars, Sun 11-5, features Tasting in the Cellar with Kathy in the Lompoc ‘Wine Ghetto’! Highlighted with goodies on the grill, lively tunes (get out your dancin’ shoes!), Kathy and Rob behind the bar, and stories of travels near and far! Featuring a taste of their new releases – ‘Goosebury’ Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Pink Fiddle’ Rose of Pinor Noir and ‘728’ Fiddlestix Pinot. To top it all off, they may even give you a taste of the sparkling wine ‘Bubbles’. You will love the special deals offered Sunday only. Another Fiddlehead party not to be missed!
- Flying Goat Cellars is hosting their Annual Winemakers Dinner, Friday at La Purisima Mission. Experience a food and wine pairing that you will never forget when winemaker Norm Yost collaborates with Bouchon Santa Barbara proprietor Mitchell Sjerven. Chef Greg Murphy complements a selection of our wines with his unique culinary creations. The evening begins with a sparkling wine reception in the mission garden, followed by an intimate dinner in La Sala, where seating is limited to 40 guests. An adjacent room is available for a private party up to 10-12 guests. Sunday from 11-4, join Flying Goat Cellars in launching a Bubbles Bar at the tasting room with an flight offering of all four Goat Bubbles sparkling wines: Rosé, Crémant, Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs. Winemaker Norm Yost will be pouring some of his finest vintages of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and sparkling wines. His recently-released 2012 Pinot Gris is flying out the door so get it while you can. We will also have light snacks and other surprises so be sure to come by!
- Foxen is hosting and Open House Saturday and Suday 11-4. Be sure to stop by the tasting rooms for light hors d’oeuvres and special library wines. Also, Saturday at 6pm, a Winemaker Dinner at Alisal Guest Ranch is offered. Join Dick, Billy, Jenny and Becky for another fun-filled evening! For reservations call 805.937.4251. Sells out quickly!
- Huber Cellars is offering Visa holders 10% discount on purchases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and 25% on case purchases.
- Kalyra is featuring their 2nd Annual “Around the World” Wine & Food Pairing Sunday noon – 3pm. Spend a jazzy afternoon at Kalyra Winery as you explore the winery and tasting room following a specific route of stations that pair a full flight of Kalyra wine with artisan cheeses, meats and desserts. This event, introduced last year to their blooming roster of fun events, became an instant hit with guests!
- Kenneth Volk, Saturday adn Sunday 10.30-4.30 features Open House Specials, Magnum Tastings, Pre-releases and light appetizers are featured this weekend.
- Longoria is hosting a Winemaker Dinner with Chef Budi Kazali and Winemaker Rick Longoria for their annual celebration of food and wine at The Ballard Inn Restaurant, Sunday noon – 3. Space is very limited and sells out quickly.
- Lucas & Lewellen & Toccata are each featuring their annual Vintner’s Festival Wine & Cheese Pairings with live music and wine specials, Saturday 5-8pm, no RSVP is required. Also, Saturday evening 6pm, they are hosting a Winemaker Dinner at The Petersen Inn A featuring the cuisine of Chef Mini Dalfuoco paired to exciting new Lucas & Lewellen and Toccata wine releases. Reserve your place early to avoid the wait list.
- Margerum’s owner Doug Margerum will be cooking up a three-course dinner for 48 people which will be paired with a selection of their wines. The evening will begin with barrel tasting and reception featuring their new Rosé. Dinner will take place among the barrels in our winery. This is a great chance to tour the facility not normally open to the public and interact with their team in an intimate setting.
- Melville is hosting an Open House Saturday and Sunday 10-4, with pourings from their small lot collection and serving artisan cheeses and savory treats prepared by Lynn Sigafoos. Complimentary tours by reservation will also be offered at 11:30 1pm. Then at 6 pm, join winemaker Greg Brewer and the Melville family for an intimate five course dinner that will be paired with selections from their library and current release wines. Reservations are required.
- Oreana Winery is featuring a Weekend Winedown with live music on the patio, Saturday and Sunday 2 -5pm, and 10% off purchases with Vintner’s Visa.
- Point Concepción Wines will be open on Sunday 10-4 for a special opportunity to taste their current vintages and chat with winemaker Peter Cargasacchi.They are only open to the public three times a year, so come and take advantage! They are also offering a 10% discount with Vintner’s Visa.
- Rancho Sisquoc is featuring light appetizers and a 15% discount on any case purchase for Vintner’s Visa holders.
- Rideau is host to a Vintners Festival Mardi Gras in a true New Orleans tradition. Iris will prepare of her famous Cajun/Creole inspired food that will be paired with newly released Rideau wines. Dance to the sounds of live Jazz, Funk and Blues that will fill the air. This is one event you won’t want to miss starting Saturday 11.30am!
- Saarloos & Sons, Imagine, Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Daniel Gehrs Wines and Cambria all will have their welcome mats out for Vintner’s Visa holders.
- Stolpman Vineyards is featuring an Educational Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Lunch in the beauty of Ballard Canyon. Join Pete, Tom and Ruben for an educational vineyard walking tour, followed by a tasting of our new releases and boxed picnic lunch Sunday at 11am. Also enjoy 10% off bottle purchases and 25% off case purchases for Vintner’s Visa holders.
- Tercero Wines offering Visa holders a 10% discount on all purchases.
- Zaca Mesa features live music from Sean Wiggins Sunday 10-4 in their courtyard. Epicurean Cowboy will be grilling up something amazing you can buy for a picnic. Wine by the glass available.
Explore the wide range of ticket options available for purchase on line: Vintner’s Festival, VIP Early Entry, Vintners Visa Voucher, Combo Ticket, Ultimate Combo Ticket, and Designated Driver.
Spring into the season with a celebration of vintages and culinary delight. Book your stay for the 4 day Vintner’s Festival at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. As one of the featured Vinter’s Festival culinary participants, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s own Starting Gate Restaurant features local selections prepared daily by Chef Ofelio’s culinary team.
Later in the month, join us at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott for our chef’s special 2013 Easter Buffet. Click here. Reservations are recommended and are available for seatings at 11:00am and 1:00pm. Highlights include omelets & Belgian waffles made to order, eggs benedict, mango shrimp with tropical fruit relish, smoked orange glazed salmon, chef carved prime rib and much more!