There are tons of reasons to visit Santa Barbara but if you are looking for just one more, it’s almost time for the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ featuring wines from over 50 premier Central Coast wineries complimented with sweet and savory delights from over 30 local food purveyors. This fun outdoor event offers a chance to savor and appreciate some of the best wines and food samples the area has to offer in a relaxed environment along the banks of Mission Creek. The weather will probably be in the low to mid 70s so you should call your friends right now and start planning for an afternoon of delicious wine and hopefully a dinosaur or two (yes, you read that right).
On Saturday, June 27, the 2015 Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ takes place between 2:00 and 5:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. We have found many impressive wines at prior Festivals: white wine favorites included Albariño, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Torrontes and Malvasia Bianca; outstanding red wines included Grenache, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Touriga Nacional, Lagrein, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Admission to the event is just $95 per person or $70 each for Museum Members if you purchase your tickets in advance which you can do here. If tickets are still available, they will be sold on the day of the event starting at 10 am but that is unlikely to happen so it is safer (and smarter) to just order them now.
At the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ you will enjoy pours from excellent wineries such as Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards, Au Bon Climat, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Dierberg Vineyard, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, Flying Goat Cellars, Ken Brown Wines, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Koehler Winery, Kunin Wines, Margerum Wine Company, Melville Vineyards and Winery, Mosby Winery & Vineyard, Palmina, Qupé, Tablas Creek Vineyard and Vogelzang Vineyard.
Savory pairings to go along with your wine can come from restaurants, caterers and food trucks such as Barbareño, Ca’ Dario, C’est Cheese, Finch and Fork, Georgia’s Smokehouse, Paloma Restaurant and Tequila Bar, Omni Catering, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, The Stonehouse, and Via Maestra 42.
If your sweet tooth starts acting up, don’t worry. The Festival’s expansive food purveyor selection also includes Cinnies, Coveted Cakery, Freezer Monkeys, Jessica Foster Confections, La Mousse, and Tartisan.
To alleviate transportation issues, the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ sponsors a free shuttle (with free parking) coming from three parking lots near the museum [Roosevelt Elementary School at 1990 Laguna Street, the San Roque School at 2300 Garden Street, and the First Presbyterian Church at 21 East Constance Avenue]. Shuttle service starts at noon and runs until 6:00 pm. If you really want to park in the museum lot, a limited number of parking passes are available at $20 per standard-sized vehicle. But, these parking passes must be ordered in advance when you purchase your event tickets and must be picked up by 5 pm on Friday June 26 at the Museum. For more details on parking, please go here.
To ensure a fun and safe time for everyone, the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ provides a Designated Driver Program offering your DD complimentary admission to the Festival, a tasting plate, and the chance to enjoy all of the non-alcoholic aspects of the afternoon. However, order numbers for Designated Drivers (who must be at least 21) are issued only after a confirmed purchase of Festival tickets. These numbers are then used to sign up DDs but these registrations must be reserved before 5 pm on June 26. To learn more about the program please go here.
The Wine Festival also includes an “Every Cork Wins” raffle where for a $30 donation you are guaranteed to win a prize. After you donate, you can “pull a cork” and win a prize which could be from a participating winery, vendor, or the Museum itself (and may even be a pair of tickets to next year’s Festival). The average retail price of prizes is $50 each, so this contribution to a good cause certainly sounds like a bargain.
If you are thinking of attending the Wine Festival, please take a moment to consider becoming a Member of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Members receive a $25 discount to the Wine Festival in June as well as a discount on Sensational Seafood (a wine and seafood pairing event held in October at the Ty Warner Sea Center). When you purchase a membership online you’ll receive a temporary membership number to then use in purchasing Wine Festival tickets. Members of the Museum receive extensive benefits including:
- Free admission to the Museum for 2 people at a time
- Free tickets to Gladwin Planetarium daytime shows
- Free admission to Star Parties (at the Palmer Observatory)
- Invitations to Members-Only events
- FREE admission to more than 330 museums and science centers worldwide
Membership starts at just $60 per year and is tax deductible. Or, for another $20, the “Family” level of membership also grants free admission and membership benefits to your children (or grandchildren) under the age of 18. To learn more about the different membership levels and their associated benefits, please go here.
100% of the proceeds from the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ go to support the museum’s Mission to inspire a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world. The Museum also maintains a diverse set of educational programs for all ages ranging from pre-school children to senior citizens. For more information about the Wine Festival, see complete listings of the wineries and food purveyors participating, or to order your tickets, please go here.
For before and/or after the Festival, if you want to see our personal recommendations for the area please follow the drop-down menus on the navigation bar above under “Favorites By Wine Region” to read about our favorite wineries and food destinations in Santa Barbara County (or other regions).