“A bit bored with the usual grape varieties, such as Zin, Cab, Pinot, Syrah, Merlot and the like? Think of ‘La Dolce Vita’ and come join the fifth event to savor the Italian Flair,” says the director of the American Wine Society SB chapter, Jacky Lopez. “I easily succumbed to temptation when a local shop put out a series of California wines made from Italian grapes,” added Lopez.

This event will take place at Ambassador Gallery, located 1A West Canon Perdido St., in Santa Barbara on May 30th, ’12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Guest presenter of “Italian Flair” is John Backer, owner and winemaker at August Ridge Winery of Paso Robles AVA. August Ridge combines the robust styling of the best California wines with the restrained classic elegance of wines from northern and central Italy, August Ridge produces distinctive Cal-Ital wines that emphasize the uniqueness of the Paso Robles region.

Italy has had a great influence on the California wine industry for over 120 years. Just look at the names of some of the major wine-making families over the past century, names like Mondavi, Martini, Sebastiani and Seghesio and you can really see the connection. There is no doubt that the California wine industry would not be where it is today without the contribution of Italian-Americans.

Participants will be able to sample up to six variety of grapes, from areas in California where Italian grapes show their best. The selection includes, Bianco: Pinot Grigio, and Rosso: arbera, Nebbiolo, Primitivo, Dolcetto and Sangiovese. This event is limited to 30 guests. The price, which includes wine tasting and hors d’ouvres is $30 for members and $40 for non-members.

The American Wine Society was founded in 1967 as a non-profit, educational, consumer-oriented organization for those interested in learning more about all aspects of wine. The Santa Barbara chapter’s goal is to enhance the appreciation of wine through education with a spotlight on wines made in Santa Barbara County. Members include wine lovers from novice to expert, wine-makers from amateur to professional, and individuals involved in all aspects of the wine trade. More information regarding AWSSB can be found online at www.awssb.org.


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