The wine life is all smiles for Chad Melville, who watched the Sta. Rita Hills flower after the film Sideways' international fame and then mature into the robust winegrowing region it is today.
Matt Kettmann

Now that the grapevines are shaking off their winter slumber, it’s time to celebrate at the annual Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival. There are currently more than 100 vintners in the association, so there’ll be plenty of wine to taste right along the edge of one of the hottest appellations in the country, Sta. Rita Hills; forget Sideways, it’s the pinot noir from Sta. Rita Hills that has made people mad for our area’s wines.

But wait, there’s more-artists, live music, silent auction, more food than you can pop your cork at, and, if you’re worried (and you should be), even bus transportation from downtown Santa Barbara.


The 26th annual Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Festival takes place Saturday, April 19, from 1-4 p.m. at River Park in Lompoc. Call 688-0881 or visit


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