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First Annual Santa Ynez Valley Signature Event Takes Over the Wine Region’s Six Towns; New Event Weekend Offerings Announced including Cooking Classes, Wine and Cheese Seminar, AVA vs. AVA Discovery, Winery and Craft Beer Dinners, plus “FrancFest”

Santa Ynez Valley, CA – The Santa Ynez Valley, home to one of the California Central Coast’s renowned wine regions, will host its inaugural four-day food, wine and experiential event, “Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley: The First Course in Food, Wine, and Experiences” (TasteSYV.com), Thursday through Sunday, October 17-20, 2019. Ticketing for the new signature event, which will take place in the six Santa Ynez Valley wine country towns of Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Solvang, Ballard and Buellton, is now live at TasteSYV.com, where guests will also find the roster of immersive experiences meant to serve as an introductory course to the edible and imbibe-able bounty of the burgeoning food, wine and beer destination.

More than 100 restaurants, wineries, wine tasting rooms, vineyards, ranches, breweries, and entertainment venues will welcome Santa Ynez Valley visitors and locals during the four days of foodie adventure, with more than two dozen individual events and happenings spread throughout the region, with associated tickets and pricing designed for all wining and dining budgets. Approachable in terms of both itinerary and location, sitting approximately two hours north of Los Angeles by car, and four hours south of the San Francisco Bay Area, the Santa Ynez Valley’s six distinct communities will showcase their defining food and wine features during their respective Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley event days.

New additions to the event’s line-up include the likes of three different, hands-on wine country cooking experiences: a class at The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez, featuring selections from Chef Robin Goldstein’s cookbooks, wine pairings from Max Hoetzel’s F2 Wines, and bread from The Baker’s Table owner/baker, Amy Dixon; a Ballard-based class led by Chef Budi Kazali, at his countryside Ballard Inn and The Gathering Table restaurant; and a Cutting, Casing and Curing Cooking Class, to include lunch, with chef/owner Jeff Olsson of Buellton’s Industrial Eats, and chef/heritage pig breeder Jake Francis of Valley Piggery.

Educational and entertaining seminar choices recently added include a Wine and Cheese session run by Cynthia Miranda, owner of Santa Ynez gourmet sandwich, cheese and charcuterie purveyor, The Lucky Hen Larder, and an AVA showdown at Buellton’s Sideways Inn, the “Sta. Rita Hills vs. Santa Maria Valley Wine Seminar”, featuring in an in-depth discussion with a winery panel of the region’s finest producers, and wine tastings from the two AVAs using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to highlight their differences. Expert on the Santa Barbara County wine growing regions, Matt Kettmann, editor at Wine Enthusiast and The Santa Barbara Independent, will moderate all Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley seminars.

Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley days will be capped with a multitude of evening experiences, with winery and beer dinner choices ranging from the open-air, communal feast which is Thursday night’s Bell Street Los Alamos restaurant dinner; to a Friday evening BBQ dinner and live country music, at Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, or the newly-added Grimm’s Bluff Vineyards & Winery Dinner at the Happy Canyon AVA Estate; to Saturday’s Pence Vineyards & Winery Dinner at Solvang’s Root 246, featuring a multi-course menu crafted by Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré, or the Saturday Wine Dinner at First & Oak Restaurant, a Michelin “Plate”-honored, Solvang fine dining establishment; to another Saturday winery dinner with Chef Budi Kazali of Ballard Inn and The Gathering Table; to Sunday’s Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. Craft Beer Dinner at the brewery’s Buellton taproom.

Also new to the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley event weekend menu, is FrancFest at Gainey Vineyard, a Friday afternoon exploration of the Cabernet Franc grape via wine tastings, with accompanying Franc-friendly foods.

Other Santa Ynez Valley chefs, restaurateurs, restaurants, food ventures and wineries slated to participate in this inaugural food, wine and beer festival weekend include Bob Oswaks, of Bob’s Well Bread Bakery; Clark Staub, of Full of Life Flatbread; chef Drew Terp, Pico at the Los Alamos General Store; chef Conrad Gonzales of Los Alamos’ Cisko Kid eatery; Daisy Ryan of Bell’s Restaurant; chef Giorgio Curti of Masseria Catering Co.; Riverbench Vineyard & Winery; Casa Dumetz Wines; Lumen Wines; Lo-Fi Wines; Bedford Winery; Municipal Winemakers; A Tribute to Grace; Tatomer Wines; Bevela Wines; Hitching Post Wines; Fiddlehead Cellars; Margerum Wines; Bien Nacido & Solomon Hills Estates; Brewer-Clifton; E11even Wines by Andrew Murray; Epiphany Cellars; Larner Vineyard & Winery; and many more from the region’s six towns and numerous AVAs.

Produced in partnership with Santa Barbara-based En Fuego Events (eventsbyenfuego.com), and with media sponsorship by Wine Enthusiast Magazine (winemag.com), ticket proceeds from the inaugural Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley will benefit Santa Barbara Vintners (sbcountywines.com). Tickets and VIP package options for the four-day event weekend range in price from $40.00 to $975.00 (plus online processing fees), with multi-day pass and single-day ticketing levels and choices as follows, aside from individual event tickets (for pass details and inclusions, please visit TasteSYV.com):

· All Inclusive 4-Day Pass; $975.00
· 3-Day Pass (Friday / Saturday / Sunday); $825.00
· 2-Day Pass (Friday / Saturday); $625.00
· 2-Day Pass (Saturday / Sunday); $575.00
· Single-Day Thursday Pass; $150.00
· Single-Day Friday Pass; $325.00
· Single-Day Saturday Pass; $350.00
· Single-Day Sunday Pass; $275.00

More information is available at TasteSYV.com, where links to the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley ticketing platform and a schedule of weekend events is now available. Select event highlights are listed below this release.

About the Santa Ynez Valley:
Barely two hours from Los Angeles and a scenic four-hour drive from San Francisco, the Santa Ynez Valley is home to six distinct towns each with their own culture, vibe and menu of experiences. Blanketed with fruitful farms and vineyards, the California Central Coast wine region’s temperate weather allows for year-round activities of all sorts, spread throughout the historical communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. Destination dining and world-class wines await, accompanied by lodging at every level, all painted into atmospheric backdrops which colorfully mesh Old World and Old West. Visit more than 100 wineries, feast on chef-driven cuisine, and enjoy festive events and design details from Victorian-era to mid-century to modern Danish. For more information, including a listing of wedding venues, restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms and events, go to VisitSYV.com.

Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley 2019 – Preliminary Event Weekend Highlights*


3:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Wine Tasting in Ferrini Park – Sample a wide selection of wines grown in the regions of Los Alamos and Santa Maria Valley. Multiple local wineries will be pouring, with passed appetizers from Los Alamos restaurants like Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, the new Cisko Kid eatery and Plenty on Bell.

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Bell Street Restaurant Dinner – Pull up a chair for a seated dinner served at a lengthy communal table, open-air, in the middle of Los Alamos’ atmospheric, Old West thoroughfare of Bell Street. Featured chefs and restaurants will include the likes of Clark Staub, Full of Life Flatbread; chef Drew Terp, Pico at the Los Alamos General Store; Daisy Ryan of Bell’s Restaurant; and Bob Oswaks, Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. The al fresco dinner will include a sparkling toast featuring Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, plus dinner wines from Casa Dumetz Wines, Lumen Wines, Lo-Fi Wines, Bedford Winery, Municipal Winemakers, A Tribute to Grace, Tatomer Wines, and Bevela Wines. Dinner ticket also includes the afternoon Wine Tasting Experience in Ferrini Park.

— FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 through SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2019 — VALLEY-WIDE (times vary)

Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings until 12:00 PM, experience stand-alone, optional activities scheduled and purchased directly through associated vendors or providers, such as hiking, cycling, horseback riding, farm and winery tours, yoga in the vineyards, wine seminars, brunches, and a Saturday-only Sideways Shuttle Tour.


10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Morning Wine Seminar – Learn why the appellations of Happy Canyon and the Santa Ynez Valley are producing some of the most exciting Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blancs in California. With the focus on the town of Santa Ynez, we examine wines grown on the eastern side of our region where we see warmer daytime temperatures, yet cool evenings, which can produce world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Listen to our esteemed winery panelists as we discuss and taste through several offerings which showcase how under-rated and over-achieving the wines are from the Happy Canyon and Santa Ynez appellations. Grand Tasting in the Museum courtyard is included with this ticket.

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM: Grand Tasting of Santa Ynez and Happy Canyon Wines – Grand Tasting of wines from the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley AVAs, held at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum. As one of the newest and most exciting appellations in Santa Barbara wine country, please join us for a casual, yet informative, walk-about tasting of producers from the Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara AVA, as well as the classics and rock stars from the Santa Ynez Valley appellation. Varietals will include white wines from Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, to Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and other fun reds.

Just Added! 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Cooking Class at The Baker’s Table with Chef Robin Goldstein – Cooking Class features selections from Chef Robin’s cookbooks, wine pairings from Max Hoetzel’s F2 Wines, and bread from The Baker’s Table owner/baker, Amy Dixon.

Just Added! 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Wine and Cheese Seminar – For any fan of wine and cheese, this will be the Seminar not to miss. Join Cynthia Miranda, owner of The Lucky Hen Larder, Santa Ynez gourmet sandwich, cheese and charcuterie purveyor, along with a host of selected cheese-friendly, Santa Ynez Valley wines, for a decadent, informative and tasty discussion about Californian and French cheeses and which wines pair best with each. Grand Tasting in the Museum courtyard is included with this ticket.

Just Added! 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: FrancFest at Gainey Vineyard – Join a committed collection of wineries celebrating the rather mysterious, finicky and lauded Cabernet Franc grape. Because this noble grape thrives in the Santa Ynez Valley, we are producing some fantastic examples of it, and while it often plays second fiddle to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc is swiftly becoming one of the hippest and coolest red varietals in California. See for yourself what this grape is all about, and taste wines from throughout the Santa Ynez Valley. Franc-friendly snacks and appetizers will accompany the fest.

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Sideways Movie Experience and Tasting at Solvang Festival Theater – The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrower’s Alliance is celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the movie Sideways with a special film feature at the intimate, outdoor Solvang Festival Theater. Pre-screening tasting of wineries featured in the movie such as Hitching Post Wines, Fiddlehead Cellars, and Margerum Wines, a panel discussion with Sideways movie personalities, pictures with the original Saab featured in the film, and a post-movie tasting of other local Santa Ynez Valley wines.

Just Added! 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Grimm’s Bluff Vineyards & Winery Dinner at the Estate – Join Aurora and Rick Grimm, owners of Grimm’s Bluff Vineyards & Winery, for an intimate and exclusive evening of specially-curated food and wine at their Estate vineyards. The Grimms will revel guests with stories about their organically- and certified bio-dynamically-farmed vineyards, and how they landed on the eastern side of the Santa Ynez Valley, where they grow and produce world-class Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

6:30 PM – 10:00 PM: BBQ Dinner and Live Music at Maverick Saloon – Since 1906, the Maverick Saloon has been entertaining residents, tourists, cowboys and musicians from near and far with evenings full of fun, laughter and revelry. As part of the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Saloon will host a traditional outdoor BBQ with all the fixins’, along with live country music and then the ultimate 80s band, The Molly Ringwald Project.


Just Added! 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM: Cooking Class with Chef Budi Kazali of Ballard Inn and The Gathering Table – Chef Budi Kazali owns and operates one of the most exceptional and sophisticated restaurants in the Santa Ynez Valley, and is known for artistically melding Asian and French cuisine to deliver a truly delectable menu which features seasonal, locally-sourced produce, seafood, and meats. Chef Budi will open his kitchen and restaurant for a cooking class, limited to 25 guests, who will discover his cooking secrets and how he prepares some of his signature dishes. Wine will be a part of every step along with a curated lunch prepared by Chef Budi and his team.

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Los Olivos Wine Roundup + VIP Tent at “Day in the Country” – Los Olivos’ annual Day in the Country fall fest will serve as the family-friendliest portion of Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Victorian-era village’s streets will be closed to traffic, boasting rows of artisan vendors, food trucks and booths, an early morning family “fun run”, and a small-town parade. This year’s Day in the Country Town Fest “Wine Roundup” offers wine tasters a Roundup pass for $40.00, allowing them to taste more than 18 wines from over 9 local wineries, including Bien Nacido, Brewer-Clifton, E11even Wine by Andrew Murray, Epiphany, Larner, and more. A tented VIP Lounge will also feature Los Olivos-area labels. All tastings will be located in downtown Los Olivos. Chef Giorgio Curti of Masseria Catering will be preparing wood-fired pizzas throughout the day, utilizing locally-grown ingredients.

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Solvang Grape Stomp and Santa Ynez Valley Grand Wine Tasting – The second annual Solvang Grape Stomp, an adults-only wine and food event, will include an actual grape stomping opportunity, live music, and Santa Ynez Valley-wide producer wine tastings lining pedestrian-friendly streets in the heart of Solvang, “California’s Denmark”. Celebrate the annual wine harvest in the Santa Ynez Valley with a traditional grape stomp, sip from dozens of Santa Barbara County’s finest wineries, savor locally-prepared food, “drink pink” in the Chumash Casino Lounge, and dance away the afternoon.

Just Added! 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Pence Vineyards & Winery Dinner at Root 246 – Since 2005, Pence Vineyards & Winery has been organically-growing and farming 36 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Syrah. As part of the Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley celebrations, Pence is partnering with Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré of local-favorite, Solvang fine dining restaurant, Root 246, for a multi-course menu paired perfectly with a collection of Pence Estate wines.

Just Added! 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM: First & Oak Restaurant Wine Dinner – First & Oak Restaurant, located inside the charming Mirabelle Inn in Solvang, is considered to be one of the premier dining establishments in the Santa Ynez Valley. Serving the best in local, fresh fare, First & Oak recently received a coveted ‘Plate’ nod from the Michelin Guide. Executive Chef JJ Guerrero offers a selection of personalized tasting menus emphasizing flavor and finesse, executed at the highest levels. Sommelier Jonathan Rosenson will tantalize guests’ tastes with an expertly-paired and curated selection of local Santa Ynez Valley wines.

Just Added! 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM: Winery Dinner with Chef Budi Kazali of Ballard Inn and The Gathering Table – Chef Budi Kazali will craft a multi-course menu matched to his local Santa Ynez Valley winery favorites. Winery owners and winemakers will be in attendance to share inside stories about the wines and their provenance.


Just Added! 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Cutting, Casing and Curing Cooking Class at Industrial Eats + Lunch – Jeff and Janet Olsson, founders of Industrial Eats, are at the epicenter of a quality dining experience, tucked away in a re-purposed warehouse on Buellton’s Industrial Way. The pair’s venues bring people together through a shared feasting environment, and by serving respectfully-honest food sourced from sustainable farms and local food pioneers. Joining Jeff will be Jake Francis of Valley Piggery, an expert chef and heritage pig breeder, to demonstrate the basics of Charcuterie. Guests will learn the ins and outs of cutting, casing and curing and how sausage, coppa, guanciale, bacon and pancetta are made. Wine and snacks will be served throughout the class, which will end with lunch prepared by the Industrial Eats team.

Just Added! 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Sta. Rita Hills vs. Santa Maria Valley Wine Seminar at Sideways Inn – One of the many favorable aspects of our growing region is the diversity of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which it produces, and nowhere does this diversity manifest itself more than when comparing the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley AVAs. Join our Winery Panel of the region’s finest producers for an in-depth discussion and tasting of these AVAs using Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to highlight the unique differences.

12:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Sideways Wine Festival – Taste of the Santa Ynez Valley culminates with a Sideways Wine Festival Grand Tasting at Buellton’s River View Park, featuring wine, beer and food from all over the Santa Ynez Valley, accompanied by live music. The Sideways Wine Festival will have over 40 Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Barbara County wineries on-site for sampling, plus live music, a food truck court, and other great activities for an afternoon of everything “Sideways”.

Just Added! 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. Craft Beer Dinner – Join owner Jaime Dietenhofer for a special four-course dinner paired with Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.’s award-winning beers, at the brewery’s Buellton taproom.

* All events listed here, are subject to change or cancellation.