Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Earth Day FOOD & WINE Festival allows guests to enjoy sustainable wines and organic foods in California's Central Coast

The 4th annual Earth Day Food & Wine Festival is a weekend celebration at locations throughout the Central Coast.

After spending several days in the area exploring sustainable wines and organic foods the best way to finish off the weekend was at the feature event held at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch where over 200 purveyors of award-winning, sustainably produced food and wine show off their best.

Growers, vintners, and chefs all came together to serve delicious, one of a kind dishes made with locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, olive oils, and more to the guests . This was a great opportunity to enjoy live music, a silent auction, unlimited samples of local cuisine, and meet the farmers who grow great food and wine while nurturing a healthy environment.

The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival is a benefit event that supports farmworker education and sustainable ag research conducted by the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT), a 501c(3) non-profit organization. The Central Coast Vineyard Team is a collaboration of 300 growers, wineries, consultants, researchers, and natural resource professionals dedicated to promoting sustainable winegrowing on California's Central Coast.

The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival backs up what it preaches with its commitment to host a zero-waste event. In 2009, the event generated only two bags of trash for over 1,000 visitors.

The food provided by local chefs and farmers was served on and with recyclable and compostable plates, bowls, forks, and spoons. Appropriate disposal containers, provided by San Luis Obispo Integrated Waste Management Authority, were accessible throughout the event. A team of volunteers wondered the site during the event , managing the recycling and compost project.

A plastic reduction policy is in place as well. Guests were asked to drink water from their commemorative wineglass. Even event's program is produced using post-consumer recycled content and the entertainment stage is solar powered, compliments of Pacific Energy Company. Ticketholders who carpooled with four or more in a vehicle received premium parking, in addition countywide shuttle service was available to further reduce traffic created by the event.

The SIP certification takes alot of work and commitment from the vineyard owners . In order to qualify for vineyard certification, growers must farm in a way that protects both natural and human resources as outlined in the rules, otherwise known as the Standards. Not only do growers have to achieve and document 40 requirements, but they must earn 75% of the available points through implementing additional management enhancements to qualify for certification. Finally an independent inspector verifies a grower's responses and practices through an in-depth records and on-site audit.

The special site for the Earth Day Food & Wine Festival was chosen for it's unique and rustic ambiance. Participants and visitors alike could not help but enjoy this intimate event at a very special rural location.

The Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia was established in 1787 as an asistencia ("sub-mission") to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa to minister to the large number of Chumash (Obispeño) Indians who inhabited the area. Named for an Italian saint, the settlement was located at the top of the Cuesta Grade (north of San Luis Obispo) on a site selected by Father Presidente Junípero Serra in 1772. The facility also served as an outpost, chapel, and storehouse. In April, 1889 the town of Santa Margarita was founded. The former rancho lands today are under the ownership of four families. Several of the original stone walls remain standing, having been incorporated into a ranch barn.

The 4th Annual Earth Day Food & Wine Festival was a fabulous success. Everyone who visited the Central Coast and supported the area's sustainably produced, award-winning food and wine and that benefits all of us. Our hats are off to Kris O' Conner and the Central Coast Vineyard Team for a great event and for letting us " SIP the good life "

For more information on the Central Coast Vineyard Team and SIP please visit

No comments:

Elaine and Scott

Elaine and Scott
Elaine and Scott