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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sevtap Winery is now selling organic bread as part of its lineup. Art Sevtap, the former chef, current winemaker, and now baker, makes his loaves with organic levain yeast that’s simply combined with flour, salt, and water.
At the same time, he’s moving his tasting room from Solvang to downtown Santa Barbara, where he plans to open in the building next to the Lobero Theatre as soon as the pandemic simmers down. He’s excited to soon be selling wine and bread at this location, because Sevtap feels like Santa Barbara is where everything began for him.
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Originally from Turkey, Sevtap came to Santa Barbara in 1993 to study commercial diving at SBCC. After working in that industry for some time, he realized that he wanted to change jobs, and that his only desire was to cook. He wound up cooking for Emeril Lagasse’s famed NOLA Restaurant in New Orleans, starting as a line cook before transitioning to the bread program. This is where he discovered his passion for breadmaking.
After opening his own bread shop in Northern California, called Art’s Bread House, Sevtap eventually found himself back in Santa Barbara. He worked in restaurants and bakeries, but also drove jeep tours through wine country. Realizing that he did not know very much about wine, Sevtap set out to educate himself, and wound up passionate about winemaking. He began working in the cellars of the wineries he visited, and then started his own in 2009.
“I feel like I’m coming home,” Sevtap said about moving his tasting room to Santa Barbara, where he will serve both wine and fresh food, all of which he’s proud to make from all natural and organic ingredients.
Why did he start baking bread again? “It was a little bit about practice and trying new recipes,” he explained. “But we didn’t know how long this pandemic was going to go so I’m glad that we have the extra income.” As is well reported, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting the hospitality industry hard, so the bread has generated both money and a positive response for Sevtap.
While the future of many establishments remains unclear, Sevtap promises to be there, next to the Lobero, serving up his handcrafted creations. The smell of fresh-baked bread coming from his new downtown location just might be the sweet smell of recovery for Santa Barbara.
1622 Copenhagen Dr., Solvang, and 25 E. Canon Perdido St. (coming soon); sevtapwinery.com