(published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on 7/4/14)
|800 guests attended the 2014 Santa Barbara Wine Festival|
This year’s Santa Barbara Wine Festival scored big,craising more than $75,000 this past Saturday, June 28th, for enrichment and kids’ education programs at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
As always, the museum’s Mission Creek campus proved a gorgeous backdrop for the 800 guests who visited one-on-one with the area’s top winemakers and chefs.
Some of my highlights: Larry Schaffer’s fruity and dry "The Outlier" gewürztraminer; watching legend Richard Sanford engage his fans; being introduced to several boutique producers by the Wine Hound’s Bob Wesley; sipping reserve Brander cabernet with winemaker Fabian Bravo; and trying to beat the strict 5pm cutoff with Martin Brown at the Area 5.1 table.
|Brander winemaker Fabian Bravo poured the 2010 Reserve Cabernet|
|Winemaker Richard Sanford poured his Alma Rosa wines|
|The Wine Hound's Bob Wesley poured small lot wines|
|Martin Brown proved that the Area 5.1 wines can be out of this world|
|A rare peek at wine country photorapher Bob Dickey in front of the camera, with sweetheart Deb Fraser|
|Winemaker Drake Whitcraft, with sister Alyssa, opened up several library bottles|
The 1996 and 1992 Whitcraft pinot noirs that winemaker Drake Whitcraft opened in his late father's honor tasted beautifully.
The festival was launched in 1978 by Chris Whictraft, Jim Fiolek and Ralph Auf der Heide. It's produced by the museum's events manager, Meiridith Moore, and her dedicated team. It returns next summer -- June 27, 2015 -- with specially discounted $70 tickets available now through the end of the year; contact the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History at www.sbnature.org/tickets.