OK, everybody, let’s all travel to Santa Barbara and taste some wine. The Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ is taking place at the end of this month with delicious wine, outstanding food, and hopefully a dinosaur or two. If you haven’t been before, this is a fun outdoor event (with plenty of shade) and the weather will probably be in the low to mid 70s.
On Saturday, June 29, the 2013 Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ takes place between 2:00 and 5:00 pm at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. You will find wine from 60 premier Central Coast wineries complimented with sweet and savory delights provided by 30 food purveyors.
There was an impressive wine for everybody at last year’s Festival: white wines included Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Torrontes and Malvasia Bianca; red wines included Dornfelder, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Touriga, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. There were also plenty of Rosés to compare and contrast. Adding to the fun was an animatronic dinosaur monitoring everyone’s behavior as he stood sentry next to the bougainvillea.
Admission to the event is $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 at the Museum starting at 10 am on the day of the event for $105 per person so it may be safer to just order them now.
At the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ you will enjoy samples from excellent wineries such as Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Au Bon Climat, Babcock Winery, Beckmen Vineyards, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Dierberg Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, Flying Goat Cellars, Kenneth Volk Vineyards, Koehler Winery, Kunin Wines, Melville Vineyards and Winery, Palmina, QUPÉ and Tablas Creek Vineyard.
When you get hungry, choose between tastes from purveyors including Brophy Bros., Ca’ Dario, C’est Cheese, Coveted Cakery, Freezer Monkey, Georgia’s Smokehouse, Jessica Foster Confections, La Mousse, Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro, and Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro.
To alleviate transportation issues, the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ is providing free parking with a free shuttle at three parking lots near the museum [Roosevelt Elementary School, the San Roque School on Garden Street, and the Presbyterian Church at Constance and State]. Shuttle service starts at noon, and runs until 6:00 pm. If you really want to park in the museum lot, parking passes are $10 per standard-sized vehicle and can be ordered online at the same time you purchase your event tickets. For more details on parking, go here.
To ensure a fun and safe time for everyone, the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ will also offer a Designated Driver Program. Designated Drivers (who must be at least 21) receive complimentary admission to the Festival, a tasting plate, and can enjoy all of the non-alcoholic aspects of the afternoon including great food and demonstrations. Order numbers for Designated Drivers are issued only with a confirmed purchase of tickets. To learn more about the Designated Driver program, please go here.
The Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ is also bringing back their “Every Cork Wins” raffle where you are guaranteed to win a prize. Just donate $30 for a chance to pull a cork and you will win a prize from one of the wineries or vendors, a Museum Membership, or possibly a pair of tickets to next year’s Festival.
Proceeds from the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ support the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s educational programs and exhibits. The Museum collection contains more than three million artifacts and specimens in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, vertebrate and invertebrate biology, geology, paleontology, and art. The Museum also maintains a diverse set of educational programs for all ages ranging from pre-school children to senior citizens.
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
- Opportunity to host a birthday party at the Museum or Ty Warner Sea Center
- FREE admission to more than 330 museums and science centers worldwide
- Discount admission to events such as the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™ (please note the $25 discount described above), and Sensational Seafood (a wine and seafood pairing event in October at the Ty Warner Sea Center)
Membership starts at just $60 per year, and is tax deductible. To learn more about the different membership levels and their associated benefits, please go here.
For more information about the Santa Barbara Wine Festival™, see complete listings of the wineries and food purveyors participating in the Festival, or to order your tickets, please go here. If you want to see how much we enjoyed last year’s festival, please go here. For those of you interested in seeing our recommendations for the Santa Barbara area, please go here to read about our favorite wineries and food destinations there.