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:

SYVbeermap

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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Film Guide to Santa Ynez Valley

There’s no denying the beauty of Santa Ynez Valley. Generations of families have made their home here because of it. Thousands of people visit every year because of it. Even film directors, so delighted with the area, decided to make their movies here because of it. Forever immortalized on the silver screen, here is a brief film guide to Santa Ynez Valley.

Scene It – Movies filmed in beautiful Santa Ynez Valley

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Sideways: Perhaps most famous, Sideways is the 2004 Oscar-award winning film by Alexander Payne. Following Miles and Jack (Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church), the movie traipses through California wine country as the men take one last road trip before Jack’s impending wedding. Capturing the Santa Ynez Valley in a tender, evocative way, Payne makes the land a character all its own, masterfully capturing small towns such as Solvang as well as local wineries, Ostrich Land and Gaviota State Beach. Lacing the land through the scenes and emotions of the men’s journeys, the film instantly makes you want to pay a visit, too.

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Following the film’s success, fans began making their own journeys to the area to retrace the men’s steps. Maps for self-guided tours are available as well as professionally led ones. And ten years later, a celebration is planned this coming October for the film’s 10th anniversary.

Flying Lessons – A 2010 indepent film, Flying Lessons stars Maggie Grace and Hal Hol Brook as an unlikely pair, both struggling to remember their pasts. Shot solely in the Santa Ynez Valley, local director and producer Derek Magyar chose his home turf for the film because he believed it to be a picturesque canvas. Filming locations included downtown Santa Ynez streets and local spots like Maverick Saloon, Artiste Wine Tasting & Gallery and the Fossemalle Dance Studio.

Of Mice and Men – The 1992 film of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era classic has roots in the Santa Ynez Valley as well. Filmed in California’s rugged countryside, the rolling hills of SYV play witness to the friendship, dreams and downfalls of Lennie and George.

It’s Complicated – Nancy Meyers’ 2009 film starring Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin captures the complicated relationship of a divorced couple while simultaneously capturing the tranquil charm and cool of nearby Westlake Village and Santa Barbara. It’s Meyers’ well-known eye for gorgeous backdrops that pushes SYV into the film as a quiet, but unmissable character.

 

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Knowing that Hollywood has already give its stamp of approval, isn’t it time to experience the movie magic of SYV personally? Proud to be in the very center of the scene, it’s Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s pleasure to make your stay as film-worthy as possible with adventure packages including bicycle tours, wine tours and romantic getaways as well as VIP accommodations and amenities.

Book your glamorous, cinema stay now.

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Brunch in the Santa Ynez Valley

Can we agree that life would be better if every day included a leisurely brunch? For most of us, brunch remains a weekend-only pastime, but fortunately, the Santa Yenz Valley has no shortage of delicious spots to make the most of it.

Next time you’re in the area, here are a few spots to brunch in the Santa Ynez Valley:

Starting Gate Restaurant
Inside the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, the options are yours for the taking at Starting Gate Restaurant. From a breakfast buffet with made-to-order omelets, eggs, crisp bacon, waffles, cereal and granola to modern classics like French toast, huevos rancheros, 3-egg omelets with the freshest ingredients and piping hot coffee and juice, there’s no way you’ll leave hungry – or unsatisfied.

Vineyard House Restaurant TheVineyardHouse_SYVblog
Located in a 1907 Victorian home, Vineyard House Restaurant is surrounded by gardens and views of the area’s surrounding mountains. Under the shade of century-old pepper trees, brunch on frittatas, crab benedict, French toast, steak and eggs, fresh salads, pasta and pizza. This is a place that brings all the best of California to the table.

Café Quackenbush
Don’t be fooled by the small menu, this café and gallery is a Los Alamos treasure that excels in sandwiches (pulled pork, oven-roasted turkey) and daily soups alike. And that’s not to say that breakfast items including brioche French toast, omelets (ham and brie, Dungeness crab) are to be missed. Sit among artwork in the gallery, inside the café or outdoors with a view of historic Los Alamos.

Fresco Valley Café
FrescoValleyCafe2_syvblogLocated in the Danish-haven of Solvang, Fresco Valley Café prides itself on fresh, organic, sustainable Californian cuisine. From scrumptious breakfast sandwiches and their quiche-of-the-day to hearty breakfast burritos and scrambles, they live up to their sustainable goal by using only local free range organic eggs. Top the meal off by sipping fresh cappuccinos, mimosas and bellinis under the patio’s umbrellas and you’ll definitely be glad that you got out of bed that morning.

Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant
If you want to dine where all the locals are, round up your crew and head to Mother Hubbard’s Restaurant. Located in Buellton, this diner is a family affair with options for days. From family favorites listed on the menu to griddle vittles and omelets galore, this is a home cooking kind of place where, with time, everybody knows your name.

Paula’s Pancake House
PaulasPancakes_syvblogCharles and Paula Greenwald have been serving breakfast to the Santa Yenz Valley for three and half decades. It was with Paula’s Pancake House, opened in 1986, that Danish pancakes became their calling card. Committed to exceptional food quality, fresh ingredients and genuine hospitality, their breakfast is served all day.

Our Starting Gate/ Winner’s Circle Restaurant is just one example of the pride we put into serving the needs of our guests. No matter the time of day, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is prepared to help make your stay the best we possibly can. Book your stay now to discover the many delicious side of SYV tomorrow.

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10 Reasons to Plan a Wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley

With winter on its last legs, wedding season is certainly on its way. As you look towards the day you say ‘I do’ (or help a loved one plan their special day), here are 10 reasons to plan a wedding in the Santa Ynez Valley:
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1. The Backdrop
Sprawling, rolling, twirl and sing on a mountaintop kind of landscape – that’s what you find in Santa Ynez Valley. With this neck of the woods as your backdrop, everything from your ceremony location to pre-reception cocktails to photos will feel picture-perfect.

2. Near Perfect Weather
Repeat after us, 300+ days of sunshine. This is the place where outdoor weddings thrive.

3. Wine, Wine, Wine
You have come to wine haven, let the local agriculture do its part in making your celebration merry and bright.

4. Outdoor Adventures Await
In the downtime between matrimony festivities, your guests will have a slew of options for things to do. From wine tours to horseback riding, bike tours to golf courses. there’s something for everyone.

5. Your guests will thank you
Since we are talking about your guests, let’s just say it – they’re going to love you for choosing the Santa Ynez Valley. Yes, they are certainly looking forward to seeing you and your loved one tie the knot, but they’re counting the days until they reach that sweet California sun. A vacation is all they’ve ever wanted.

SBASY-Champagne6. Choice Vendors
While it may sound like a challenge to plan your wedding long-distance, the vendors in the Santa Ynez Valley are superb at what they do. From photographers to florists, DJs to desserts, wedding planners to officiates, the area has everything you’ll need for the big day and grand celebration.

7. Romance is everywhere
From coastline sunsets and mountaintop views to wine soaked hills, Santa Ynez Valley has romance around every corner.
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8. Great food
A diverse cultural history combined with a rich wine culture has created a deeply-satisfying mix of local culinary delights that are not to be missed.

9. From small town to city slick, it’s the best of both worlds.
The towns that comprise the Valley (including Solvang, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez) along with Santa Barbara are short drives away. California’s big city gems (San Francisco to the north and Los Angeles to the south) are but a road trip away.

10. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
A seasoned expert in the Santa Ynez Valley wedding scene, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is the perfect choice for a wedding location. 15,000 square feet of flexible event space means whether your idea is an intimate ceremony or a lavish reception, indoor or outdoor, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott has all the options. A convenient location, on-site wedding specialists and custom menus also help ease the planning process so that when your day arrives, it’s one that you can truly enjoy and cherish.

©2011 Red Square, Inc. —-
Say ‘I do’ at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott. Wedding packages, menu options, and guest room information are all available at SYVMarriott.com.

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History of the Santa Ynez Valley

You don’t have to be in the Santa Ynez Valley long before realizing that this is a special place. The nature is picturesque, the weather practically perfect and the pastimes, like bike riding, wine tasting and general life celebrating, are simply everyday events. Yet underneath those present day realities thrums a rich history of foreign culture and westward expansion that has shaped the valley into what is today.

Here’s a glance into the history of the Santa Ynez Valley.

The towns that make up the Santa Ynez Valley were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Ballard in 1881, Santa Ynez in 1882, Los Olivos in 1887, Solvang in 1911 and Buellton in 1920) and as each unique town formed, a new culture arrived in SYV.

Solvang Santa Ynez Valley

Danish-American settlers brought their old world to a very new, undeveloped California in the early 1800s, creating a rich mix of the two in the town of Solvang. Danish for “sunny field,” Solvang remains a European treasure in the heart of California wine country complete with windmills overhead and a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower in the town center. Many of the town’s shops and restaurants, including Mortensen’s, Greenhouse Café and the Red Viking Restaurant, provide a taste of the old world while other Danish traditions including the Danish language, folk dancing, music and festivals keep the traditions alive. While in town, visit the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to put the finishing touches on your Danish cultural experience.

Starting in 1858, the Overland Coast Line Stagecoach helped grow the Santa Ynez Valley as it ran from San Francisco to Los Olivos and then on to Los Angeles, San Diego and finally Yuma, Arizona. As people traveled the line, economic activity poured into the towns making them true pictures of the West complete with saloons, blacksmiths and mercantile stores. Then, in 1887 the Pacific Coast Railroad helped bring more growth to the area by making it easier to transport large farming tools necessary for the area’s growing agricultural society.

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An ideal climate for crops, the area first thrived with cattle and sheep as well as the growing of olives, peaches, walnuts, prunes, apples and cherries. At the time of Prohibition, roughly 500 acres of the valley were used for vineyards. It took nearly four decades after the repeal for the area’s wine culture to regenerate, but today nearly 20% of the valley’s land is under vines.

For a complete history lesson, stop by the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks- Janeway Carriage House next time you are in the area. And when you do, be sure to take the historical journey in style with the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott’s Escape! Wine Transportation Package. Complete with a four-hour town car tour, three buy-one-get-one-free wine tasting passes at local wineries and deluxe accommodations at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, we think you’ll agree – it’s the ideal way to experience the best of both the past and present in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Sources:
SantaYnezMuseum.com
LosOlivosCa.com
FirestoneWine.com

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Santa Ynez Valley Family Getaways

There’s something special about the days that stretch between Christmas and New
Years – rare moments with families home from work and school. It’s also the perfect time for a quick trip!

In this neck of the woods, wine-getaways are the tried and true option, but among the region’s rolling vineyards, a few quirky neighbors offer the makings of a perfect Santa Ynez Valley family getaway. Whether your calendar lets you skip town for a few days or a few hours, these family-friendly trips will make the most of your time in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Family Fun in Santa Ynez Valley

Quicksilver Ranch qslogo
The universal rule that everything is cuter in miniature form comes to life at Quicksilver Ranch. Few people know that SYV carries the nickname, “Kentucky of the West,” but this ranch lives up to the label by inviting visitors to visit their miniature horses up-close. Gentle, mild-mannered and patient, these miniature hosts will be the perfect company for an afternoon in the sun-soaked hills of Santa Ynez Valley.

Lavender Farms
While the Santa Ynez Valley is dotted with lavender fields, Clairmont Lavender Farms is one of the few that actually invites visitors to peruse its fields and picnic on its lush, sweetly-scented grounds. A family-owned farm, Clairmont is five acres of sun-soaked Grosso lavender and 300 year-old oak trees. Also, their essential oil, lavender based personal care products and homemade soaps are all organically made and available for purchase in the farm’s shop.

Seein’ Spots Farm
A family-owned farm in Santa Ynez Valley, Seein’ Spots Farm became famous in recent years for Zeyore, a donkey-zebra cross. Otherwise filled with miniature donkeys (yes, you read that right) that are never more than 36 inches tall, the farm is a barnyard delight. Also, originally an apple farm, the land still holds over 800 apple trees that can be picked from late August to November. Loyal, sweet and affectionate, the miniature donkeys welcome visitors of all sizes into their petting areas and encourage the smallest of these to take part in the farm’s kiddie rides.

Ostrich Land USA
If miniature horses and donkeys (or even a zonkey) aren’t tempting enough, perhaps Ostrich Land USA is calling your name. The ostriches and emus that parade the property are available for visiting, feeding and petting. Bonus: the lush land that they roam is reminiscent of their natural habitats, lulling in you into the feeling that you’re on safari. The site’s shop also sells intriguing keepsakes including ostrich and emu egg shells, emu oils, feather dusters and ostrich meat
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Hike in Los Padres National Forest
Mountains, streams, rivers and beaches – Los Padres National Forest holds beauty that will take your breath away. Stretch your legs and let yourself wander some of California’s natural sites as you take one of the park’s numerous day hikes. While most campsites are closed for winter, this is one place to bookmark for warmer weather romps.

Nojoqui Falls Park
A short trail walk away, Nojoqui Falls is a secluded 100-foot waterfall fit for a quiet afternoon retreat. The falls are viewed best after rain, but are available to visit any time of year. Pack a lunch, blanket, board games and books to make an afternoon of it!Nojoqui-Entrance

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is the perfect home-base for your California adventures. WhenIMG_4688-fireplace you return from a hike at the falls or a picnic in lavender fields, relax with a book and glass of wine next to our fireplace or take a dip in the heated pool before meeting your family for dinner at our Starting Gate Restaurant.

No matter the size of your clan or length of your stay, Santa Ynez Valley Marriott is ready to help you get away with those you love the most.

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Santa Ynez Valley Taps into Craft Beer Month

Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer MonthIn what is proving to be a glorious time in history for beer enthusiasts everywhere…tap real estate is booming! With well over 1,600 craft breweries throughout the U.S.,  California’s Santa Ynez Valley is taking this opportunity to foster the craft beer spirit and is expanding its annual celebration of craft beer from one week to the entire month of May. It is officially Craft Beer Month in the Santa Ynez Valley and to kick-off the festivities, we have a gathered a bit of insight into this brewing revolution.

Why Craft Beer? Flavor.

It is all about having a broad spectrum of flavors and choices. Something the wine industry has forever been exploring and that the Santa Ynez Valley knows so very well, now affords beer drinkers the same palate pleasing opportunities.

A few basics for those who may not be familiar:

  • Craft beer is made by small, independent brewers. This allows fresh, high quality, and carefully chosen ingredients to be used. Often interesting and non-traditional ingredients are also added for a spin on the ordinary. These elements, combined with the heart and soul of the brewmaster, produce innovative and delicious choices for everyone’s tastes.
  • Craft beer is often brewed and transformed by seasonal availability and therefore differs by region. Unique styles and seasonal ingredients pair for an infinite combination of brews.
  • Craft Beer is just that…truly a craft. Beer that is as innovative, diverse and individually unique and surprising as the brewers themselves.

Basic Styles of Craft Beer:

  • Lagers: made with yeasts that prefer lower temps when fermenting and tend to be smoother and mellower than ales.
  • Ales: quite the opposite, prefer warmer processing temps, which typically translates into more of a flavor impact. These usually involve a higher alcohol content and many more varieties than lagers.

Specific Styles of Craft Beer: although too many to list, here are the main players:

  • Wheat beer (Weizens) are often cloudy in appearance and the flavor ranges greatly. Typically lighter in flavor, some may be considered ‘spicy’ and reminiscent of European styles.
  • Brown Ale: Typically a darker amber color, it is a very old style beer and is said to be earthy and less bitter in flavor.
  • Pale ale is one of the world’s most popular beer styles. The aroma and flavor of hops is definite yet balanced with malt. Marked by the often times citrusy character of American hops.
  • India Pale Ale (IPA): Dating back to the time when English troops needed to preserve the life of their beer traveling on their voyages to India, extra hops were added as a natural preservative thus producing the slightly bitter (read hoppy) and crisp flavor profile.
  • Double IPAs or Imperial IPAs. Multiply the amount of hops and added malt for balance and the result is a fairly intense and bold hoppy giant.
  • Stouts are made with black, unmalted barley which results in a heavily roasted flavor and thick head. Little hop flavor but often with hints of coffee, chocolate, licorice, and molasses.
  • Pilsners are relatively young style beer with crisp, strong varying hop flavor and fragrant.

Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month Craft Beer Month in Santa Ynez Valley features more beer events than even the most seasoned craft beer lover can imagine!  Click here for full event details. Some of the highlights not to be missed include:

The 2nd Annual Buellton Brew Fest at the River View Park, Saturday, May 11, 12-4pm, featuring Craft Beer from nearly 30 breweries along with music, food, and fun. Featuring a Craft Soda component for the designated drivers, bring your beach chair, blankets and relax and enjoy the afternoon with the sounds of Burning James and the Funky Flames. Tickets $45 – last year was a sell-out so reserve your tickets early! Price includes unlimited tastings, one meal, and a souvenir tasting glass.

Americana meets Craft Beer! Fast cars, neon lights, hamburgers & shakes, and Surf Rock at the Friday Night Beer Dinner, May10. Chances are you have never paired your beer with a milkshake..but they will show you how! The Buellton Beer Fest is partnering with BIN 2860 and the iconic Mendenhall Musuem guaranteed to make this a dinner like no other!  $75 (tickets are extremely limited).

Passport Craft Beer Tasting adventure – During entire month of May, visit at least 6 designated passport stops for craft beer tasting paired with a special discount and you will be entered into the Beer Country Giveaway.  Participating stops in Solvang include: the Wandering Dog Wine Bar, Solvang Brewing Company, Randy’s Taproom, Sante Wine Bar & Lounge, The Good Life, and Valley Brewers. Passport stops in Buellton include: Firestone Walker Brewering Company’s Barrelworks, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Avant Tapas & Wine Bar, and the Winner’s Circle at SYV Marriott. Passport stops in Los Olivos are: Bin 2860 Wine Shop, and Los Olivos Cafe & Wine Merchant and the Passport stop in Santa Ynez is the Ranch & Reata Roadhouse.

Craft Beer Education – For those thirsty to learn all about craft beer, figueroa_mountainFigueroa Mountain Brewing Company is offering a Beer Class with FMB Brew Master, AJ Stoll. valley_brewersValley Brewers is featuring both a Yeast Starter Class, and a Free Cheese demo, where you will learn how to make cheese fondue; a great food pairing with beer!  The Wandering Dog Wine Bar is hosting Friday night Beer Classes, an Ales vs. Lagers Class, a Beer Styles Class, and a High-End Specialty Brews event. wandering_dog Bin 2860 will be hosting beer-themed classes with topics ranging from ales vs. lagers to sour beers to yeast classes as well as brewing demos.

Special Craft Beer Deals can be found at Solvang Brewing solvang_brewingCompany anytime during Craft Beer Month and Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Barrelworks Firestone Walker Brewing Companywill be releasing a Library Anniversary Ale every Friday.  Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company is offering special “pint nights” and progressive brew tastings throughout the month.

Special Craft Beer Events are hoppin!


Santa Ynez Valley Marriott With the entire month of May devoted to Craft Beer, make it a midweek rendezvous or even a relaxing weekend getaway. Book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, making it your home-base for all the local craft beer festivities. Starting Gate Restaurant Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Craft Beer Month MenuTake advantage of our featured $20.13 dinner entrees carefully paired with fabulous craft beer selections at the Starting Gate Restaurant. Our Winner’s Circle Lounge is proud to be a featured stop on the Craft Beer Passport event and is featuring 15% discount on food & offering beer flights. The fabulous local beer selections include:

 

 

 

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Santa Ynez Valley’s Mother’s Day Toast

wineTulip18392572_sLooking for a memorable way to celebrate Mother’s Day? How about a relaxing getaway nestled in the enchanting, rolling hills of Santa Ynez Valley’s wine country. It’s the stuff mothers’ dreams are made of…Solvang’s Danish bakeries with made-from-scratch pastries, gourmet restaurants featuring fresh local ingredients and inspired cuisine, unique shopping and art galleries…all paired with world-class yet unpretentious wine tasting. A seamless blend of sophisticated style and unhurried, small town charm is the ideal escape for the mother in your life this May.

 

Check out our Santa Ynez Valley Mother’s Day ideas sure to make it a special occasion:

  • Solvang Village Farmers MarketWednesdays 2:30-6:30pm visit Solvang Village Farmer’s Market where local chefs routinely peruse the availability of fresh ingredients for inspiration and tonight’s menu offerings! Featuring fresh produce and flowers, culinary treats and much more.
  • Solvangs Third Wednesday Wine WalkContinue the Wednesday adventure with Solvang’s Third Wednesday Wine Walk kicking off May 15. Stroll through the Village of Solvang from 3-7pm and take advantage of the many wine tasting rooms offering special discounts. Tickets are $20 and include a Solvang Third Wednesday logo glass, map and tasting at 5 places of your choice.
  • Wandering Dog Wine BarWandering Dog Wine Bar presents Styles of Beer, Friday, May 10 from 6-7pm. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about various styles of beer while sipping and discussing in a relaxed and wonderful venue. Class includes 6 beers along with light cheese and crackers for $20. Please call 805.686.9126 to make reservations.

**Although individual registration it is sold out…

Team ASPCAConsider contacting the race’s Charity Partners: ASPCA, MMRF, and Lazarex Cancer Foundation Charities & Fundraising. Be a part of a special kind of cause by joining TeamASPCA or one of the other teams in the Wine Country Half Marathon. Click on the link to learn how you can walk or run to help save the lives of millions of animals (and enjoy some great wine!): Team ASPCA

  • Fess Parker Vineyard and Winery Finishers PartyFinishers Party at Fess Parker Winery & Vineyards Saturday May 11 2-5pm  is another fabulous way to celebrate the marathon and unwind with friends & family. Relax in the sunshine, out on the lawn at Fess Parker Winery, rimmed by mature oaks, and enjoy a Santa Maria style BBQ, two glasses of fabulous wine (of course!) and live music.
  • Zaca Mesa Winery Los OlivosGSM Blending Event at Zaca Mesa Winery – Come spend the afternoon on May 11, 10-1pm, with the talented winemaker, Eric Mohseni! He will instruct you on the art of blending the red Rhone varietals. From barrels to bottle you will have the chance to create your own Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah blend, done to your taste! Everyone will get to take home a bottle of their own wine to show off with family and friends. Lunch with the winemaker will be included: A gourmet picnic provided by Fresco Valley Cafe.

Cimarone Estate WInery

  • Celebrate the wonderful mother in your life with a day of wine tasting at Cimarone Wines in Los Olivos. Featuring free tastings Saturday May 11, join Cimarone and relax – you deserve it!

bottle-shock-movie-poster-2008Kalyra-1000737440 Join Kalyra Winery in their Summer Movie Night Annual Kickoff featuring:  BOTTLE SHOCK, Saturday May 11 5-9pm, on the big screen at Kalyra’s outdoor amphitheater. Admission is free to this fabulous outdoor movie adventure.They’ve wanted to show this fantastic flick since last year. Every wine enthusiast NEEDS to see it. It’s the true story of how California wines, starting in Napa, got put on the world map when Napa was a dusty hippy town in the 70’s. Arrive early to stake out your place on the grass (first-come/first-serve), and enjoy food, wines by the glass, music on the patio, and beautiful wine country sunsets prior to the movie. Bring your own blankets and chairs. No RSVP necessary!

Sunstone Winery Mothers Day Blending EventSunstone Winery’s Special Event: A Mother’s Blend is an exclusive Mother’s Day Wine Blending Experience May 12, 10:30-12 noon. Celebrate Mom with Sunstone at their intimate wine blending experience on the grounds of the majestic Sunstone Villa. Guests will start the morning with a gourmet selection of pastries, charcuterie, and mimosas while enjoying the Villa and sweeping views of the Santa Ynez Valley. After a glimpse into the origins, history, and traditional use of each grape varietal, Moms and guests will work together and create their own distinctive Bordeux blend to take home in a beautifully wax sealed bottle. Additional bottles of your custom blend will be available to purchase and take home as the perfect momento of the day. Unable to spend Mother’s Day with your Mom? Why not create the perfect blend and send the gift her way.

Santa Ynez Valley Marriott

Honor the mother in your life with a Mother’s Day getaway and book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott today. It is the picture perfect escape that is sure to make mom feel appreciated…luxurious linens,relax by the pool, work on your forehand at the on-site tennis courts and a fabulous Mother’s Day Brunch. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Mother's Day BrunchWhen the mood strikes, venture forth and explore everything the Santa Ynez Valley has to offer, from over 141 wineries to the scenic streets of Solvang. It’s a fabulous opportunity to renew her spirit in the serenity and beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley.

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Santa Ynez Valley Sipping into Spring

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…

Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez Valley

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.  Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez Valley 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.

Santa Barbara Vintner's AssociationHosted 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.

Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyVintner’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 MarriottBacara Resort & Spa, Panera/Ventura Café, Trattoria Uliveto, Cattaneo Brothers, Petros, The Willows Restaurant, Il Fustino, El Rancho, Valley Grind, Luna Olivo and Rancho Olivos.

 

Santa Barbara County Vintner's Festival 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyVintner’s Festival 2013 participating wineries:

  • 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!
  • 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.

Vintner’s Festival 2013 Getaway

Santa Ynez Valley MariottSpring 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. Santa Ynez Valley Marriott Easter BrunchClick 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!

 

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Savor the Adventure in the Santa Ynez Valley

Hungry for a bit of epicurean adventure?

Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyNestled in the heart of Santa Ynez Valley’s scenic rolling hills, lush rural pastures and fabulous vineyards you will find a charming surprise…the Danish capitol of America. This time of year, the European-inspired, flower-lined streets of Solvang are a truly enchanting springtime destination and also happen to be hosting a cultural food-forward adventure. Solvang Santa Ynez ValleyThe 21st Annual Taste of Solvang, March 13 – 17, invites fellow epicurean explorers to a delightful spring celebration of food, wine and entertainment. Featuring five days of flavor offerings highlighted with samples of locally grown foods, wines and the rich culinary and cultural heritage of Solvang, it is sure to have something for everyone.

The event kicks off Wednesday March 13 with a Special Chef Walk & Demo through Solvang’s local farmers market. Join local Chef’s David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante, Master Chef Norbert Schulz of Mirabelle Restaurant and Chef Heather Rae Hovey of Hadsten House Restaurant for a personalized tour through the market as they search for seasonal ingredients and share farm fresh menu inspiration (reservations required). Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyLearn from the masters how and why cooking in-season is a great way to utilize healthy and regional food from local suppliers. The last part of the afternoon will be highlighted by the Chef’s cooking demonstrations, a personalized cooking lesson and a unique dining and wine pairing experience at the Mirabelle Restaurant from Chef Norbert and special farmer’s market dinner with Chef Heather Rae Hovey (reservations required).

Taste of Solvang 2013 Santa Ynez ValleyLater in the evening, the Taste of Solvang Dessert Reception wraps it all up with delicious sweet treats, wine and live jazz entertainment.

The Walking Smorgaasbord on Saturday features 40 taste stops
around the village of Solvang featuring delicious bites of Danish, American, Latin, Japanese and Italian cuisines offered by Santa Ynez Valley restaurants and bakeries.Ticket purchase includes a detailed map and menu plus valuable coupons for “day of” specials and some coupons for future dates as well.

Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, savor the Wine & Beer Tasting Walk through the village of Solvang with a dozen local tasting rooms pouring their vintages into your souvenir Taste of Solvang etched wine glass. Taste of Solvang tickets may be purchased a la carte or all inclusive with a Weekend Passport which includes a logo wine glass, wine charm and souvenir canvas tote bag.

Throughout the event, wine tours of Santa Ynez Valley vineyards will be offered including taste stops at four wineries, gourmet picnic lunches and souvenir wine glasses. Special pricing and itineraries will be offered by Grapeline Wine Tours, Serenity Limousine & Sedans and Stagecoach Tours. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended.

Buellton Wine Chili Festival Santa Ynez ValleyWrap up your Santa Ynez Valley culinary journey with Buellton’s Wine & Chili Festival where a gathering of talented local chefs will compete to take home cash prizes for the best Red Chili, Chile Verde and Homemade Salsa in Santa Ynez Valley.

Guests are invited to vote for the People’s Choice awards. You decide who has the finest Red Chili, the winning Chile Verde, the championship Salsa, the best Booth Showmanship, and top-notch red and white wines. The festival takes place at the Flying Flags RV Resort & Campground and tickets available for purchase on line include a souvenir wine glass and unlimited wine tastes, ten chili tasting tickets, a tri-tip BBQ lunch, entertainment by Unfinished Business. The Buellton Wine & Chili Festival is proudly sponsored by Kessler-Haak Vineyard, Avant Tapas and Wine, the Buellton Chamber of Commerce, Chumash Casino and the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association. Featured Santa Ynez Valley local wineries include Ampelos Celllars, The Hitching PostAlma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, Dog Hill Vineyard, Falcone Family Vineyards,Sort This Out Cellars, Hoyt Family Vineyards, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co, Press Gang Cellars, Lucas & Lewwllen Vineyards, and Zotovich Cellars.

Santa Ynez Valley MariottStep into Spring and make this a refreshing and delicious getaway. Book your stay at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott today for the full Taste of Solvang experience. Relax in the perfect blend of countryside charm and modern amenities. The Santa Ynes Marriott is the ideal destination to renew your spirit and enjoy the season’s splendor!

 

 

 

 

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