The Best 5 Things About Celebration of Harvest
Santa Barbara’s yearly fall food & wine event, Celebration of Harvest weekend, is fast approaching and you better have a hotel reservation! This event is one of the most popular, and best-attended (by chefs & winemakers too!) in Santa Barbara county. Read on for our top 5 things about it:
1. This year, Saturday’s cornerstone Festival Grand Tasting, is happening at the historic Old Mission Santa Inés. It’s a perfect location, on the edge of Solvang nestled against the Santa Ynez Mountains. The most beautiful, easy-to-get-to and loved festival location in the valley. You have to see it to appreciate it.
2. A new event this year is the inaugural La Paulée de Santa Barbara Dinner. A Paulée is a traditional end-of-harvest celebration amongst winemakers and winery workers where they bring precious bottles from their cellar to share and toast each other to the end of another season of round-the-clock laboring. Catered by Chef Pink of Bacon & Brine in Solvang, and also Food Network fame, the menu is pork-based and looks delectably sinful.
3. Winemaker Dinners abound during this weekend. These dinners are a great way to get some face-time with your favorite winemaker, learn what the heck carbonic maceration is or just plain enjoy the best food pairings of the year. From the Foxen dinner at the Wine Cask in Santa Barbara to Alta Maria’s dinner at Trattoria Uliveto near Santa Maria, there is a dinner being served near you. If you haven’t yet eaten at Industrial Eats or the Ballard Inn, Rancho Sisquic and Dierberg & Star Lane’s dinners will also be stellar.
4. Another way to celebrate this time of year are to hit all the winery Open Houses. There are over 20 different open houses + cheese pairings + live music + bbq & fixins to attend! It’s a great time to visit wineries not open to the public, like Pence Ranch & Winery and Au Bon Climat/Qupé, or taste wines you don’t usually have access to, like Brewer-Clifton or Stolpman.
5. Extras like the Vintners Visa, Sideways Screening at Kalyra Winery and local band Toad the Wet Sprocket in concert at Solvang’s outdoor theater add to the fun! And, if you want a serious seminar on the wines, do that Saturday morning before the festivities. This harvest weekend really has something for everyone.