You can celebrate Earth Day every Sunday this month at Buttonwood Farm Winery. Buttonwood is a small, family-owned winery located in the heart of the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. Founder Betty Williams’s goal of maintaining and loving the land and earth has remained Buttonwood’s top priority since its opening in the 1960s, even before Earth Day was “official.” To celebrate Earth Month, Buttonwood is offering its patrons Sunday “walk and talks” where all can learn about various farming ventures at Buttonwood Farm.

The first event, Life’s A Peach, will be held on April 15 and will feature a walking tour of the peach and pear orchards and the olive and pomegranate trees. Hosted by orchard manager Fred Munch, guests will learn about the 16 different peach varietals on the farm. Winemaker Karen Steinwachs anticipates guests will taste some “white wines that tend to have ‘stone fruit’ characteristics, such as grenache blanc, marsanne, our ‘zingy’ sauv blanc, maybe even the rosé.”

On April 22, Buttonwood’s winemaker Karen Steinwachs and “Soil Guru” Stan Kadota will host a Vineyard Hike, where they will discuss the sustainably farmed vineyard and products. They will discuss the progress of the 2012 bud break, chat about cane pruning and soils, and provide insight into the ways in which Buttonwood grows wine and farms the way it does. After the tour, guests will stop and taste in a few blocks of different varietals — sauvignon blanc, malbec, cab franc, merlot, wines with mineral characteristics.

The final event on April 29 will feature the Gardens at Buttonwood, hosted by Seyburn Zorthian and Abel Navaro. The tour will roam through the herb and flower gardens at Buttonwood where participants can learn about the natural and sustainable ways in which Buttonwood grows herbs and flowers. The tour will conclude with a tasting of the “savory” wines on the tasting room patio, including wines that have herbal or floral characteristics, or those that pair well with savory dishes (grenache, or the blends, Devin, Trevin, library wine).

Through my interview with Karen, it became apparently clear that Buttonwood Farm Winery is a step above the rest. The winery grows “not only wine, but fruit, nuts, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers,” she said, all showcased at the annual All Farm Dinner, where “everything on the table — from flowers to dessert wine, and everything in between — is grown right on Buttonwood Farm.” Karen concluded, “All of us who are lucky enough to work here enjoy a fine meal, and therefore the wine is crafted to be enjoyed with friends and family.”

The events require RSVPs, and the $10 wine-tasting fee includes the tour, wine tasting, and logo wine glass. Buttonwood Farm Winery is located at 1500 Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang. For more information, contact Jan Ross or Brian Kettler at or (805) 688-3032.


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