Grassini Family Vineyards
By Bonnie Carroll
The sold out Santa Barbara Wine + Food Festival was yet another hugely successful event on the banks of Mission Creek at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Saturday. The huge crowd of ‘foodies’ and wine lovers mingled with winemakers, bakers, and chefs under the oak trees. Starting at 3:00 PM in Fleischmann Auditorium, guests had the chance to purchase $40 raffle tickets for the “Every Cork wins” raffle and many won prizes worth up to $500 in value for their $40 raffle ticket. Prizes included wine, restaurant certificates, overnight hotel stays, and more.
The beautiful views and wine loving fun shared by people who attend every year made this yet another fantastic event to benefit Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Chefs from fine restaurants in the area ‘brought it’ offering bites of really amazing foods, and award-winning winemakers provided the perfect wines to pair with the exceptional bites.
Chef Michael Hutchings was at his culinary best offering the VIPs sensational Goleta Abalone tastes, and later tender scallops in cream sauce.
Chef Jeremy Tummel from The Bear & Star had them waiting in line for a taste. Chef Dario of Ca Dario’s always attracts followers for a sample of his pasta favorites as does Via Maestra 42. I flipped for Industrial Eats Indian sampler plate followed with fresh mango popsicles, and Finch & Fork’s pork belly bites were addictive.
The coup de gras was The Little Door duck pate as well as the Paella preparation by Loquita.
Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat reports, “This is the most beautiful tasting, and the most beautiful setting that I do anywhere in the country, no question about that.”
The full list of food-related providers included Barbareño, Beacon Coffee, Benchmark, Black Bow Sweets, Blue Water Grill, Bob’s Well Bread, Brophy Bros. Ca’ Dario, Country Catering, Deux Bakery, Enterprise Fish Company, Farmer Boy, Finch and Fork Restaurant, Gelson’s Market – Santa Barbara, Goa Taco, Helena Avenue Bakery, Hitching Post, Il Fustino, Industrial Eats, Jessica Foster Confections, Les Marchands, Loquita, Michael’s Catering, Oat Bakery, Outpost at Goodland, Pico, Pig & Butter, Renaud’s Patisserie and Bakery, Santa Barbara Popcorn Co., Savoy Cafe and Deli, Scarlett Begonia, Solvang Bakery, The Bear and Star, The Lark, The Little Door, Trader Joe’s, Via Maestra 42. Exclusive wine and food pairings from Bibi ji, Black Bow Sweets, Bluewater Grill, Buttonwood Winery and Vineyard, D’Alfonso-Curran Wines, Domaine de la Côte, Finch & Fork Restaurant, Folded Hills, Grimm’s Bluff, Michael’s Catering, Mosby Winery and Vineyard, Sandhi Wines, and Toucan Wines.
The local winemakers in the Santa Barbara area are well known and loved by most of the people who have supported this event since its inception, and guests have the opportunity to speak with them, and receive special discounts on wine offered at their wineries and wine tasting rooms or through their wine clubs. Winemaker Doug and Marnie Margerum were not in attendance this year as he was hiking in Spain. Marnie sent a message she was sorry not to be there but hoped everyone drank ‘rose all day’!
I loved seeing the girls from Grassini Family Vineyards, the Fess Parker family, Kalyra (who I just met during a wine tasting this week), Tatomer couple, Foxen, Casa Dumets, Au Bon Climat and so many more. This casual wine tasting under the old oak trees is an ideal way for guests to sample wine and learn about their wineries.
Participating wineries included Alexander & Wayne, Alma Rosa, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Area 5.1, Arthur Earl Winery, Au Bon Climat, Babcock Winery, Beckmen Vineyards, Bedford Winery, Brander Vineyard Brewer-Clifton, Buttonwood, Cambria, Carr Vineyards and Winery, Casa Dumetz, Cebada, Consilience, CORE, Cutler’s Artisan, D’Alfonso-Curran, De Paola, Domaine de la Cote, Epiphany Cellars, Feliz Noche, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, Flying Goat Cellars, Folded ills, Foxen, Gainey Vineyards, Grassini Family Vineyards, Jaffurs Wine Cellars, Jamie Slone, Kaena Wine, Kalyra, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Koehler Winery, LaFond Winery, Larner Wines, Longoria, Lumen, Mail Road Winery, Margerum Wine Company, Melville, Mosby Winery & Vineyard, Municipal Winemakers, Notary Public, Nielson, Oreana, Palmina, Potek, Qupé, Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Rideau, Sagebrush Annie’s, Sandhi Wines, Santa Barbara Winery, Savoy Wines, Silver Wines, Storm Wines, Sunstone Winery, Tablas Creek, Tatomer, Tercero Wines, Toucan Wines, Whitcraft Winery, Zaca Mesa.
Favorite desserts this year were from Jessica Foster Confections, and a petit strawberry with cream and pastry taste by Renaud’s Patisserie & Bakery, Snacks from Santa Barbara Popcorn, Black Bow Sweets, Pacific Pickle Works, and The Berry Man were so also being enjoyed throughout the day.