The month of October marks the 25th year of The Celebration of Harvest, dubbed Santa Barbara’s “Ultimate Fall Wine & Food Weekend.”
Coinciding with Columbus Day weekend, the event will take place on October 7 to 10, featuring the offerings of nearly 100 Santa Barbara wineries, paired with delectable food from the county’s top restaurants, caterers and other food establishments.
The Celebration of Harvest is presented yearly by the Santa Barbara Vintners in time for harvest season. It features live music, food and wine-tasting booths, local artisans, live auction and more activities held throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country.
While each activity promises tons of fun with friends, family and neighbors, lovers of fine wine and good food should not miss these four major festival events:
The Harvest Dinner
The festival’s kick-off event, the Harvest Dinner takes place on Friday, October 7th, at the Fountain Courtyard of Hotel Corque in downtown Solvang. Guests are asked to bring their own bottles of wine for everyone to enjoy, La Paulee style, alongside wines provided by winery representatives.
La Paulee is a traditional French harvest celebration, where wine and food are gathered from everyone for sharing at a feast.
At the Harvest Dinner, there will be several food stations, each with a table nearby, featuring the appropriate wines to go with the dish.
Festival Grand Tasting
The Festival Grand Tasting event is the highlight of The Celebration of Harvest. This will be held on Saturday, October 8th, at the Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang. It opens from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. for Connoisseur Club members and early comers, and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for the general public.
The event will feature tents of nearly 100 members of Santa Barbara Vintners, offering their own wines for sampling. For the price of your ticket, you get to enjoy unlimited wine tasting at these stations.
There will also be around two dozen tents featuring various restaurants and food purveyors, as well as live music, and winemaking and cooking demos.
Santa Barbara Wine Seminar
To be held on Saturday, October 8th, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel Corque, this year’s Santa Barbara Wine Seminar will focus on the county’s women winemakers. Six of them will join host Gabe Saglie, a TV journalist and senior editor for Travelzoo.
In addition to discussions on what it takes to make premium wines, the seminar also includes tastings of the featured winemakers’ products.
The event takes place right before the Festival Grand Tasting, allowing guests better appreciation of the various wines they may sample for the day.
Vintners Visa is an all-weekend event that gives guests the chance to visit and taste the products of 12 participating wineries and tasting rooms. This is an excellent way to explore Santa Barbara Wine Country and witness harvest first hand.
A Visa is good for all four days of the event, so ticket holders can take their time in going around Wine Country and fully savor the experience.
In addition to Vintners Visa, the festival also features open houses at select wineries. Guests get a rare, intimate look at how some of the best wines in the country are made, and sample these wines along with the perfect gourmet food pairing.