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Annual “Taste of Solvang” March 14-18, 2012

New events include Chef Walk & Talk through Farmers Market; Vineyard Tours & 2-Day Wine Walk

Since 1993 and in celebration of the 20th anniversary this year, the 2012 Taste of Solvang has expanded into five days of savory flavors and sensory explorations. Events begin on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the Solvang Village Farmers Market (First Street between Mission & Copenhagen Drive) with a brand new Chef Walk & Talk series starting at 2:30pm with Chef David Cecchini, Cecco Ristorante (Talk & Cooking Demonstration, Free); at 3:00pm meet Master Chef Norbert Schulz, Mirabelle Restaurant (Talk & Culinary Cooking Class, Fee) and 4:00pm with Chef Brian Champlin, Succulent Café (Walk & Talk, Free). Meet these Chefs at the corner of First Street and Copenhagen Drive for a personalized tour through Solvang’s Farmers Market as they source ingredients and dish up tips on farm fresh inspiration. RSVPs are requested by registering at www.SolvangUSA.com.

On Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16, 2012, Taste of Solvang Wine Tours of Santa Ynez Valley Vineyards will be offered from local tour operators including Serenity Limousine & Sedans (4-hour tours to 4+ wineries & picnic lunch for 2 or 4 people, $359/$460 per limo) and Stagecoach Tours (11:00am-4:00pm; $95 per person; includes picnic lunch; 4 winery tasting stops). Reservations are required via www.SolvangUSA.com

The three popular “Taste of Solvang Passport” events return starting on Friday, March 16, 2012 from 7:00-9:00pm with a scrumptious Dessert Reception and live jazz music at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 1765 Mission Drive in downtown Solvang. On Saturday, March 17, 2012, from 11:00 am-4:00pm, the Walking Smorgaasbord features 40+ taste stops around the village featuring delicious bites of Danish, American, Latin, Japanese and Italian cuisines offered by restaurants, bakeries as well as retailers. On Saturday evening, March 17 from 5:00-8:00pm plus on Sunday, March 18, 2012, from Noon-3:00pm (new expanded days and hours) , enjoy the Solvang Wine Walk offering a dozen vintners at downtown tasting rooms pouring their vintages into the prized souvenir Taste of Solvang etched wine glass.

During Taste of Solvang and year-round, visitors are encouraged to BYOP—Bring Your Own Picnic—to one of many free public parks such as Solvang Park (corner of Mission Drive & First Street); Hans Christian Anderson Park (633 Chalk Hill Road) or Sunny Fields Park (900 Alamo Pintado Road). Taste of Solvang is a rain or shine event but since Solvang means “sunny field” in Danish, chances of rain are marginal.

Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended. A Weekend Passport including logo wine glass & souvenir canvas tote bag is $75 per person or individual event tickets (ala carte) may be purchased— (Dessert Reception $25; Walking Smorgaasbord $30; Wine Walk $40). To purchase tickets by phone call 1-800-719-9106 or online at www.SolvangUSA.com

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