That there’s a waiting list for wineries hoping to pour at the Santa Barbara Wine Festival is a hint you need to go. Now in its 25th year at the S.B. Museum of Natural History, the event that winds throughout the enchanting, oak-shaded grounds is a taster’s delight. This year’s event is Saturday, June 30, 2-5 p.m.; tickets are $60 for members, $85 for nonmembers, and $95 at the door if available. For tickets, see sbnature.org. The museum’s events manager Meridith Moore recently answered questions about the fest via email.
How are the food and wine booths laid out? Some festivals have food courts, but I personally try to pair up wineries and food that go together. For instance, Ca’ Dario will be paired with Cold Heaven because Dario loves viognier and it pairs well with his mouth-watering raviolis. There is a lot more food this year!
What’s new this year? Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch, Route 246, Freezer Monkey (incredible popsicles). This year we also will be shuttling from parking at Roosevelt School, the Garden Street Academy (formerly St. Anthony’s), and the Presbyterian Church at Constance and State. We recommend people take advantage of these off-site parking lots, or they can buy a parking ticket for the museum lot for $10.
Who is that pouring my wine? One of the best things about the Santa Barbara Wine Festival is that the winemakers and owners actually come to the event. Many of them tell me it is their favorite festival. We love seeing Drake Whitcraft, Jim Clendenen, Bryan Babcock, Andrew Murray, and Fred Brander! I’m delighted that Brewer-Clifton is on board for the first time. The winemaker from Tablas Creek pours their amazing wines and is available to talk with our guests.