Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Santa Barbara County Vintners Festival Welcomes the beginning's of vintage 2010

Having just returned from the Sta. Rita Hills we noticed The winter rains have produced a lush and beautiful cover crop and the hills are alive with the signature poppies and lupines that signal bud break on the vines. This could mean only one thing , One of our favorite events that we have covered for years is right around the corner.

The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association will be celebrating this rite of the season with their 28th annual Vintners’ Festival, to be held this year at River Park in Lompoc - the “City of Arts and Flowers” and VINO LAS VEGAS will be there.

The festival features the wines of 130+ members of the Association, live and lively music, a silent auction and wine country cuisine by the area’s finest chefs.

This great event which runs from 1:00 to 4:00, is hosted by the vintners and winemakers and they will be pouring their latest releases of wine alongside more than two dozen local restaurants, caterers and purveyors of specialty foods.

The fresh new foods and wines of spring will be the focus, along with live and lively music to put a “Spring” in your step. Add to that a Silent Auction to benefit local charities, art displays from area artists and a day of wine country camaraderie – a fitting welcome for the beginnings of the first vintage of this new decade.

In Santa Barbara County, the unique east-west orientation of the coastal mountains forms valleys opening directly to the Pacific Ocean. This unique topography allows the flow of fog and ocean breezes to shape distinct microclimates, perfect for the cultivation of classic grape varietals and world class wines.

The 50 miles stretch from Point Conception to Rincon constitutes the longest east-west traverse of shoreline from Alaska to Cape Horn. Here, the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains form a unique coastal range - the inland flow of fog and ocean breezes make the region one of the coolest viticultural areas in California. This means that the fruit has an unusually long "hang time" on the vine, allowing it to fully develop the acids, flavors and tannins needed to produce wines of distinctive character.

Within Santa Barbara County there are three distinct appellations: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Sta. Rita Hills. In addition, the Los Alamos Valley region, between the Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley appellations, remains a strong and successful grape growing region. Slightly less than half of the grapes grown in Santa Barbara County are used by local vintners, with the balance are exported to wineries outside the area.

This area has to be one of our favorite areas in California. This amazing group of wineries and vineyards owners are still "farmers" in the true sense of the word. You can taste their passion with every sip of a wine from this one of a kind area. Join VINO LAS VEGAS once again and spend the weekend in the vineyards and tasting rooms of Santa Barbara County and enjoy some of our nations best wines. For tickets and more information please go to sbcountywines.com.

See you there !

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Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott