Santa Barbara’s 23rd Annual Vintners Spring Weekend

Wine a little at Santa Barbara’s 23rd Annual Vintners Spring Weekend! Enjoy 4 days of good wine, food, and fun thanks to the city’s best wineries and restaurants. The weekend festivities take place in various locations among the beautiful rolling hills of Santa Barbara’s wine-country. Each winery will host their own series of unique events! They will feature activities including dinners with the winemaker, library tastings, new wine releases, barrel tastings and more. With over 120 participating venues, your taste buds are bound to find something they love.

You’ll want to arrive early with events kicking off on Thursday! You won’t want to miss the first two days of fun prior to The Festival Grand Tasting which takes place on Saturday April 25th. You’ll feel like a local at the Grand Tasting as it’s celebrated with home-grown assortments only! Enjoy relaxing to live music while sipping on unlimited wine selections and munching on an assortment of samples from renowned restaurants and caterers.

Using a designated driver? Parking is free for your convenience! Everyone in your group looking forward to the unlimited wine samples? We are too! Luckily the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is located just over a mile from River View Park in Buellton, home of the Festival Grand Tasting. Spring is our favorite season in Santa Barbara and the perfect time for afternoon strolls to and from the Grand Tasting. You’ll want to book our Buellton hotel now and beat the crowd!

Be sure you carve out some time to shop and play in order to make the most of your weekend getaway! The sky’s the limit in Santa Barbara, with plenty of ways to soak in your beautiful surroundings, including a sensational hot air balloon ride. This year’s Vintners Spring Weekend is the perfect excuse to unwind like you deserve to!

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Springtime Fun Santa Ynez Valley Style

Spring In Santa Ynez Valley Ah, yes, springtime has officially arrived in the Santa Ynez Valley! Located in the heart of sunny California’s Wine Country, Santa Ynez Valley must have been in mind when the phrase “the great outdoors” was coined.  From the mountains to the golf courses, SYV is the perfect destination for your springtime getaway.

Did someone say golf? (We did.)

Santa Ynez Valley plays home to two world-class golf courses, Rancho San Marcos and Sandpiper Golf Club. Both offer a challenging, championship-caliber round whilst being set on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Sandpiper Golf Club was built in 1972 and features rolling fairways, challenging greens, and has been rated by Golf Digest in the top twenty-five public golf courses in the country.  Take advantage of our Sandpiper Golf Club Stay and Play Package which includes: deluxe guest room accommodations, green fee, cart fee, drive practice tee, and Titleist rental sets that are readily available.

Rancho San Marcos offers a par 71 and 6,939 yards of pure California bliss, exuding elegance and exclusivity that only private clubs extol. Enjoy our Rancho San Marcos Stay and Play Package that includes deluxe accommodations for two at the SYV Marriot, breakfast for two at Starting Gate Restaurant, 18 holes of golf for two with cart fee included, and Titleist golf club rental upon request.

If golfing isn’t your thing, the SYV also offers parks that are not only beautiful but also historic!

Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park offers some of the last remaining art of the Chumash Native Americans. Located in the shadows of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the sandstone walls of the cave are believed to date back to the 1600s and earlier. For your more classic park adventures, such as swimming, picnicking, surf fishing, and camping, you’ll want to check out Gaviota State Park! The park also plays home to the Gaviota Peak that offers views of the coast and the Channel Islands.

Lastly, you’ll want to check out this extensive list of wineries located in Santa Ynez Valley that will surely quench your thirst for some of the finest wine in the world.

When searching for a Santa Ynez Valley hotel, look no further than SYV Marriot. A place where business meets pleasure, where your senses are indulged and your spirit is renewed, a place where your most pressing decision is shiraz or chardonnay. A mix of countryside charm and modern amenities, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is designed for an unpretentious Santa Barbara wine country escape. Envelope your senses and renew your spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley.

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Valentine’s Day 2015 in the Santa Ynez Valley

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Valentines Day in Santa Ynez Valley

Plan your Valentine’s Day 2015 in the Santa Ynez Valley with a gourmet dinner at the Starting Gate Restaurant at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.  This year’s Valentine’s Day menu features a four-course meal that is sure to make the year’s most romantic month one to remember.

Your romantic dinner begins with a glass of champagne and a first course of mixed baby greens with fresh strawberries, raspberries, mandarin slices, Queso Fresco, drizzled with raspberry/walnut dressing accompanied with freshly baked rolls and butter.  A second course of Tomato Florentine soup garnished with roasted cherry tomato and crisp kale follows.

Entrée choices include lobster served with drawn butter or prime rib with creamed horseradish.  Accompaniments include grilled root vegetables and cheesy skin on red mashers.  A vegetarian option is available upon request.

Vanilla crème brulee with fresh berries or warm chocolate caramel crunch provide a sweet finish to your romantic dinner.

Superb service and carefully prepared menus make Valentine’s Day dinner at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott a tradition among locals and visitors from surrounding areas.   Reservations are required and typically fill quickly.  Call the Starting Gate Restaurant at 805-688-1000 today to make your reservation.

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Putting Roots Down – Fall Events in SYV

As summer winds down and we return to more normal schedules of school and work, there’s much to look forward to in Santa Ynez Valley. From festivals celebrating our roots of heritage to festivals celebrating the roots of our crops, let’s celebrate fall!

Fall Events in SYV

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2014 Grape Stomp Party
Bring the season to a start with a classic Grape Stomp Party! Hosted by Sevtap Winery, this harvest get-together will include live music, food and wine to set the mood for the main event. Buy tickets through Sevtap Winery’s website now.

 

Santa Barbara Vinters Celebration of Harvest
Celebrating the fruit (literally) of their labor, this harvest celebration includes wine maker dinners, winery and tasting room open houses and library tastings over the Columbus Day Weekend. There’s never been a better time to visit and discover the magic of this slice of California Wine Country!

1150269_242880415836817_509894190_nDanish Days Festival
A visit to Solvang, CA is almost like making an international trip without leaving the country! And of all times to discover the Danish history that makes Solvang the treasure it is, the September weekend of the Danish Days Festival is simply the best. Danish food and dances will fill Solvang’s streets while its museums and businesses open their doors to visitors’ delight. For a full schedule of events, visit their site.

Los Alamos Old Days Street Festival
A true town of the Old West, Los Alamos celebrates its heritage each year with a festival. Complete with a car show, parade, food and live music, this year’s celebration is one for the whole family. Join them the weekend of September 26-28!

Verdad-16There’s something truly magical about fall in Santa Ynez Valley. And while summer may be coming to a close, that doesn’t mean your traveling has to. The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, situated among the area’s gorgeous vineyards, is a perfect place to celebrate the new season.

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Spirits are rising: Visit SYV’s New Distillery

First comes wine, then comes craft beer…then comes moonshine distilleries? It’s true! The latest in local liquid fascinations, a distillery has put down roots in nearby Buellton.

The Business of SYV’s New Distillery

Opening the first legal distillery in Santa Barbara County since the Prohibition Era, Ascendant Spirits is the perfect new addition to Santa Ynez Valley’s growing food and beverage scene.

Surprisingly, whiskey ages well in Santa Ynez Valley for many of the same reasons that wine does – climate. Ascendant Spirits’ products include Breaker bourbon whisky, American Star vodka, Silver Lightning moonshine, single malt whisky and rye.

President and master distiller Steve Gertman explained in a recent interview that their products are infused with other local goods including fruit and rare caviar limes. Strawberries, for example, from nearby Santa Maria are used in Ascendant’s strawberry vodka the same day they are picked.

Gertman’s interest in crafting liquors started after his very first whiskey tasting while on a trip to Scotland. Since then, his love for the drink has only appreciated. “I’ve learned,” he writes on his website, “one thing that unites many different people around the world is a love for fine whisky.”

Speaking on the building of the Ascendent brand, he writes, “It was surreal the first time I saw our whisky, Breaker Bourbon, on the shelf at El Rancho,” Gertman says on Ascendant’s website. “I felt and still feel a great sense of pride and achievement that my dream had become a reality. I haven’t regretted my decision to take this journey, even at the darkest moments. I get intense satisfaction in creating a beautiful product that people enjoy. And I also get to be a mad scientist, creating new flavor combinations.”

They currently offer tastings Friday-Sunday each week. Be sure to visit the distillery on your next visit to Santa Ynez Valley!


For more foodie guides to the Santa Ynez Valley, read about artisan cheese, craft beer, brunch spots and, of course, wine.

Between our Starting Gate Restaurant, Winner’s Circle Lounge, room service, pool-side service and holiday specials, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott also knows a thing or two about food and beverages. Next time you stay, be sure to start or end your day with a meal by our talented team of chefs and cooks.

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Cheese, please! A Guide to Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

Beyond the rolling hills of California wine country, there’s a lot of happiness spreading thanks to artisan cheese farms and shops popping up across California. A perfect match to the region’s first love, wine, the specialty of craft of artisan cheese is entering a new era in Santa Ynez Valley.

Image via matchmywine.com

Image via matchmywine.com

Artisan Cheese in Santa Ynez Valley

So what exactly is “artisan” cheese?
Artisan cheese is made by hand, using the craftsmanship skills of traditional cheese makers. It is the old-school, slow, small-scale creation of cheese.

What makes artisan cheese special?
Each artisan cheese undergoes a specific aging and ripening process in order to achieve certain aesthetics including a more developed flavor and texture. As a result, the cheeses are more complex in their taste and variety, reflecting the environment they were produced in.

Where in Santa Ynez Valley can the trend be found?
A number of businesses, including the recently opened Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company are proud carriers of artisan cheese. Here are just a few of Santa Ynez Valley’s best options:

Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company
If you’re not a cheese lover yet, owners Russ and Kristin Collins promise to make you one by the time you leave their newly opened shop! Located in downtown Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Ynez Valley Cheese Company is a new favorite among locals. Currently selling artisan cheese and cured meats, the Collins family has plans to one day produce and sell their own brand of artisan cheese thanks in large part to their own herd of sheep.
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Follow SYV Cheese Company on Facebook and read more about their journey here.

Los Olivos Grocery
The Los Olivos Grocery store is perhaps one of the best kept secrets when it comes to artisan cheese in Santa Ynez Valley. Offering an array of cheeses from around the world, the grocery store also has a cheese course available to teach you everything you need to know on how to become a connoisseur.
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The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is thrilled to play host to your California foodie adventures. From wine to cheese, our staff is prepared to help you plan the perfect outings to experience the taste of Santa Ynez Valley. Book our Santa Ynez Valley Grapeline Wine Tour Package for a carefree day in the Santa Ynez Valley hosted by a wine country insider, room accommodations and lots of foodie extras upon arrival in your room.

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Rainy Days in Santa Ynez Valley

California is fortunate to have 300+ days of sunshine every year. However, there are occasional times when the sun can’t come out to play because the rain just won’t go away. It’s to those days that we dedicate this blog post.

What To Do on Rainy Days in Santa Ynez Valley:
Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Janaway-Parks Carriage House
Learn the rich pioneer history of the area at Santa Yenz Valley Historical Museum through exhibits, collections and programs.

Old Mission Santa Ines
Founded in 1804, the Santa Ines Mission has been a part of the Santa Ynez Valley from its very beginning. Today an active parish church, the mission is open to visitors and offers beautiful views of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges as well as expansive gardens and grounds to roam.

elmuseumElverhoj Museum
Known as California’s “Little Denmark”, Solvang is steeped in Danish history, culture, food and tradition – all of which is celebrated at the Elverhoj Museum. The former home of one of Solvang’s most artistic families, the museum is free to tour with docents available as guides.

SYV Marriott Spa
Perfect for a peaceful afternoon, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Spa offers enough spa treatments including massages and facials to last through a monsoon season.

Shopping on State Street in nearby Santa Barbara
Antique shops, clothing stores, restaurants and art galleries – there’s something for everyone on this popular Santa Barbara street.

andmus1Hans Christian Andersen Museum
Author of more than 160 fairy tales, Hans Christian’s stories have been told to children around the world for generations. Learn more about this unforgettable storyteller at his Solvang museum.

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
Check out a fascinating collection of rare and vintage motorcycles at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum! Even if it’s not your first visit – the museum regularly rotates the bikes on display so there’s always something new to see!

The Wildling Art Museum
The mission of the Wildling is to connect people with the wonder of America’s wilderness through great art. Featuring the wild places of North America through the talents of world renowned artists, the museum also regularly offers photography competitions, family art days and other community events.

Chumash Casino
Non-stop games including slots, table games, bingo and poker along with a regular line-up of entertainment including comedy, concerts and boxing fights means every day is a great day to visit Chumash Casino.


SYVbeermapBrewery Tour
Although best known as California wine country, the Santa Ynez Valley is also home to a number of local breweries. And with a number of them featuring brewery tours and tasting sessions, a brewery hop sounds like a perfect plan for a rainy day!

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has its own roster of rainy day activities to fill your unexpected day indoors. Sleeping-in won’t be difficult thanks to our relaxing Revive beds and a slow breakfast at our Starting Gate Restaurant will ease you into the day. Enjoy a massage in our spa and a haircut with our salon experience followed by an easy afternoon with our complimentary internet, game room, fitness center and lobby lounge.
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Summer 2014 in Santa Ynez Valley

We’ve officially entered the long and sweet days of summer. There’s something about this season that calls for a slower pace, more time dedicated to simple things and dates with our favorite people. Whether you’re an SYV native or visiting for the week, make this list of events a part of your own summer 2014 in Santa Ynez Valley.

Santa Ynez Valley Dreamin – Summer in SYV

Summer-Pass-2014-LogoWine Tasting All Summer with the Summer Pass
Your ticket to wine tastings at 15 premier boutique wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Summer Pass at $40, is perhaps the best deal of the season! No reservation required, pass is good through August 31, 2014.

Fourth of July Festival & Fireworks Show
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of the Santa Ynez Valley, these explosions in the sky are considered the best on the Central Coast. Gates open at 1 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9 p.m. with fun, games and food in between.

Movie Night at Sevtap Tasting Room
Join the fine folks of Sevtap every Thursday for movies and good drinks. Movies range from cartoons to classics, including Casablanca later this month.

Jazz Under the Stars Jazz-Under-the-Stars-Resized-for-Web
Every Wednesday, dine under the shade of beautiful trees at The Vineyard House and enjoy the sounds of cool jazz all night long. A different artist or band every week, they’ll keep you coming back all summer.

Blind Tasting Thursdays
At Wandering Dog Wine Bar, every Thursday night is a great foodie adventure as you challenge your palate and learn about wine at the same time!

3rd Annual Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic
Benefiting People Helping People, join one of the area’s favorite summer events on July 19, 2014. Enjoy the thrill of polo – live and up close, along with a champagne reception and 3-course gourmet lunch. You’re invited to dress for the occasion with creative hats and festive charm.

Summer Concerts in Solvang Park
Every third Wednesday of the month, Solvang Park is filled with the music of the night. Open to the public, the concerts are free so grab your chairs, blankets and picnics and revel in a night of summer air and great music.

Solvang Farmers Market
Every Wednesday, enjoy all things local by shopping at the neighborhood Farmer’s Market.

moviesintheparkMovies in Solvang Park
Grab the family and head to Solvang Park this summer on Friday nights for classics of all kinds. Still on the roster for this summer? Despicable Me 2, The Lego Movie, Frozen and Star Trek.

In the Vineyard and on the Farm
Seated beneath the sky and between the vines at Bernat Vineyards, join wine maker Sam Marmorstein, farmers Debby and Shu Takikawa and Chef Chris Joslyn for an unforgettable dining experience this August.

 

 

All Farm Dinner at Buttonwoods10178093_863193150373828_5463691357372030429_n
Celebrating the farm-to-table tradition and their 8th year of bounty, Buttonwoods Farm, Vineyard and Winery invites you to a dinner under the stars. In true farm-to-table form, all parts of the meal, from arm-raised meat, farm-grown fruits and vegetables to Buttonwood’s famous peaches and award-winning wines will hail from Buttonwoods own land.

28th Annual Los Olivos Quick Draw & Arts Festival
This August, enjoy the arts in Los Olivos! This festival invites you to step into studios, observe talented artists as they work to complete original pieces of work within 1 hour and then sell them to the highest bid during an exciting live auction. Peruse different artists showing and selling original work, listen to live music, and enjoy delicious food and wine served by Chef/Partner Robbie Wilson and his team as well.

PoolThe Santa Ynez Valley Marriott appreciates all the best things about summer – and we’re proud to help you experience them all during your stay. You’ll enjoy fabulous coastal weather and breathtaking sunsets as you pedal past miles of vineyards and cattle grazing the gentling rolling hillsides of SYV. Dinner al fresco by our outdoor pool will bring your night to a relaxing close while a sound sleep in one of our Marriott Revive beds will ready you for another day of SYV summer adventure! Book your summer stay now.

 

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Miracles Happen in Santa Ynez Valley

This fall, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is privileged to host the Second Annual “Miracles Happen” Charity Golf Tournament at the River Course at the Alisal in Solvang, CA. As we start ticking down the months and weeks until the event, here’s a short list of what you need to know:
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Miracles Happen: 2nd Annual Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Charity Golf Tournament

1. A beautiful, late-summer day at the Alisal instead of the office? How fast can we get here?! The River Course is a picturesque backdrop with views of the Santa Ynez Mountains and Valley. Featuring four lakes, the course also often follows the meandering path of the Santa Ynez Valley River, bringing nature straight into the heart of your game. At 6,830 yards, the par-72 River Course is dramatic without being impossible, a good afternoon challenge for golfers of all levels.

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2. The Making Miracles Happen Tournament has one simple goal: to help People people-helping-peopleHelping People benefit children’s health services in Santa Ynez Valley, Lompoc and Los Alamos. Serving men, women and children for 20 years, People Helping People is committed to helping others achieve self-sufficiency with dignity and ultimately, fulfill their potential.

3. Teams of all sizes are welcome! Want to go solo? Great. Have three friends that
want to join? Fantastic. Both individual and team registrations (for teams of 4) are available. Registration costs will cover entry into the tournament, barbecue, raffle tickets, fun on one of California’s most beautiful golf courses and the opportunity to help change others’ lives for the better. Long drive, putting and closest to the pin contests are also available with over $2,500 in cash prizes for the taking. And lest we forget, the chance to win a new car with a hole in one!

4. Speaking of prizes, let’s say that again: over $2,500 in cash prizes will be available for the taking, plus the chance to win a new car with a lucky hole in one!

5. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit the event’s site.

For more information and registration forms, visit syvmarriott.com/miracleshappen or call (805) 325-2020.

The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is committed to the well-being of its surrounding community. An official Green Business of Santa Barbara County as well as a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott constantly strives to serve not only their valued guests, but also their community. Join us September 19, 2014 as we give back and watch miracles happen. For information on room accommodations during the tournament, click here.

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Craft Beer in Santa Ynez Valley

For the past month, the Santa Ynez Valley has been engulfed in the merry, yeast-filled celebration otherwise known has Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month. Perhaps most celebrated for its wine-soaked hills, the towns of SYV have increasingly become known as a place for artisan brews, flight tastings and craft brew festivals as well. Craft Beer Month is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean pint glasses need be put away for the next 11 months.

Here’s a quick guide to experiencing and enjoying craft beer in Santa Ynez Valley:

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SYV Beer Trail Map – When on a mission, it’s always best to have a game plan. The Santa Ynez Valley Beer Trail Map is the perfect one-stop shop for planning all your brewing adventures. Created by VisitSYV.com, the map gives the lay of the land with breweries, brew shops and more, broken down by town. Download your free map today.

 

 

Solvang Brewing Company – Located in Solvang, the “Danish Capital of America,” Solvang Brewing Company is where Danish tradition, craft beer and delicious food come together. With deep roots in the community, including one founding owner who is a fourth generation Solvang born Dane, local pride is a staple here. They brewing company also recently won a Gold Medal in the San Diego International Beer Festival competition.

Valley Brewers – Everything you need for DIY libations, Valley Brewers specializes in home brew, wine and cheese making supplies.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. – Run by a father/son team, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. has an affinity for top tier beers, particularly those that showcase the unique flavors of the Santa Ynez Valley. Their beers have one numerous awards at the Denver International Beer Competition, Los Angeles International Beer Festival, World Beer Cup and World Beer Championships to name a few. Stop in at their Buellton taproom or Los Olivos tasting room for firsthand experiences!

Firestone Walker Brewing Company – A three time Great American Beer Festival winner and 4 time World Beer Cup champion, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is serious about creating quality brews. The company has come a long way from its first days as a small brewery and now serves the entire Central Coast region of California. For those wanting to learn the ins and outs of their processes, complimentary, guided tours of their brew house and cellar are offered daily.

Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe – Captured in the Oscar-award winning film, Sideways, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe has been a must-stop for wine, beer and food lovers since its opening in 1995. Lunch and dinner menus are updated seasonally to capture the tastes of the central Californian coast and beer and wine tastings are available daily until 5 pm.

easyJackFirestoneWalker1Journeys can be taxing – which is why the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott invites you to relax inside our comfortable, spacious walls before, during and after your trip down the SYV Beer Trail. Sleeping in won’t be difficult thanks to our Marriott Revive beds and complimentary wireless Internet, over-sized work desks, sofas, easy chairs and mini-refrigerators mean the comforts of home are never too far away. And even if you don’t make it through the brew map, local favorites including Firestone Walker Brewing and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. are available on-site in our Winner’s Circle LoungeBook your trail-blazing stay now!

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