Where There’s Smoke, There’s Wine…

In the Santa Maria Valley, the arrival of warmer spring weather not only intensifies our community focus on barbecue, it inspires us to pull corks, too.

Indeed, the spring season brings out the grills in full force while heralding the annual Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival. Happening this year on Saturday, April 21 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., this signature wine event features the fare of more than 100 Santa Barbara County wineries, caterers, specialty food purveyors and restaurants, many of whom display a serious passion for the ‘cue.

They will all converge at The Carranza, a picturesque creekside meadow tucked into a valley just outside of Los Olivos in Northern Santa Barbara County. Two live bands, wine related exhibits and a silent auction to benefit local charities will round out the day. In addition to the festival, many wineries will be offering special tastings, winemaker dinners and library tastings throughout the weekend.

Of course, your culinary tour doesn’t have to end at the festival. Once your appetite returns, you can pick up right where you left off with local wines and Santa Maria Style Barbecue served by numerous local restaurants. Cheers!