The Carranza is a verdant mesa, just above Zaca Creek, as it flows out of Foxen Canyon, on Zaca Station Road, just a mile-and-a-half from the Highway 154/101 interchange outside the town of Los Olivos. In fact, it’s not too far from the festival’s site for over ten years at Crossroads.
Long ago this land was part of a Mexican land grant called El Corral de Quati, and it all sits on what was once this original land grant from Governor Pio Pico, roughly thirteen thousand acres. There is a small book of history tied to this ranch, with names such as De La Guerra, Pico, Brinkerhoff, Foxen, Fremont, Carrillo, Gutiérrez, and Sedgwick, among others, weaving in and out of its telling.
While the recent rainfall and sunshine has perhaps given it a panorama closer to County Cork in Ireland than your vision of the Corral de Quati, the what and where of the The Carranza, are not the real questions. It is “who”. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the Carranza family ran cattle on several thousand acres of El Rancho Corral de Quati. Throughout subsequent years… and owners, the name stuck to this particular section of the ranch where cattle were, and still are pastured.
Even though The Carranza is a gorgeous plateau, with a stunning view of the Santa Ynez Valley, easy to reach at 4605 Zaca Station Road (1.5 miles from Highway 154/101), The Carranza is still about who. Who was there – the Carranzas. And who will be there – every member of the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association.
The 30th Annual Vintners’ Festival will be held on April 21st, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at The Carranza. In addition to the Festival itself, member wineries are planning open houses, winemaker dinners and special tastings throughout the weekend, and a four day “Vintners’ Visa” passport to 12 participating wineries is also being offered through the Association. For complete details and tickets, visit the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association website, or call the Association office at (805) 688-0881.