A spectacularly fun way to say goodbye to the Summer of 2014 would be to indulge in the wine, food, and music of the Central California Coast at the action-packed Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast. Between September 25 and 28, this winner of the 2014 FAME Award for Best Epicurean Event offers four days of culinary immersion highlighting the beauty of the Central Coast locations and its active outdoor, farm-to-table lifestyle. Whether you have attended Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast before or not, this year’s program has plenty of activities to keep everyone interested, entertained and satiated.
Events at night include a Sunset Dinner at Hearst Castle, a concert by Brian Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys, and Winemaker Dinners featuring local and celebrity chefs. Daytime activities include tours led by Sunset experts on outings such as a foodie tour through Arroyo Grande, a hayride with Clydesdales, and advice on how to create your own spa products.
The central attraction of the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast weekend is The Main Event, a two-day extravaganza of food, wine, beer and music all gathered at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch where you can enjoy samples from Central Coast wineries such as Chamisal Vineyards, Daou Vineyards & Winery and Talley Vineyards. Come to the Main Event on Saturday, Sunday, or both days to enjoy unlimited food and wine tasting, savor microbrews as you listen to local musical performers, observe celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, or attend a wine seminar.
Keep reading and we’ll give you an overview of what you could be doing at the end of September in the Central Coast. But then, please move quickly to buy your tickets before they start to sell out.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Special Events and Winemaker Dinners
Thursday, September 25, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm: Sunset at Hearst Castle
Join the party at the magical opening event at Hearst Castle, a California State Park and elegant landmark of the Central Coast. Gaze at the Pacific with wines from the 2014 Sunset International Wine Competition and farm-to-table delights from popular local Chefs Maegan Loring, Derek Simcik and James Siao as you listen to live music from the San Luis Jazz Band. Cocktail party attire from the 1920s or 1930s is suggested, but not required. A portion of ticket proceeds will go towards the restoration efforts of Friends of Hearst Castle, a nonprofit association supporting the preservation of Hearst Castle, including its art, artifacts, architecture and grounds.
Friday, September 26, starting at 6:00 pm: Pismo Beach Winemaker Dinners at Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast
Barrel aged bourbon cocktails, craft beer, and local wines await you at The Cliffs Resort alongside contemporary soul food dishes prepared by Chefs Gregg Wangard and Tanya Holland at Brown Sugar & Barrels. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic ocean views and as the sun sets, indulge in desserts prepared by Pastry Chef Hannah Ingham. Afterwards, an LA-based DJ will entice you to hit the dance floor.
- Modern Day Supper Club is your chance to savor farm-to-table cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jacob Moss from Lido Restaurant expertly paired with limited production wines from Edna Valley Vineyard.
- For a five-course Latin-flavored menu by Ventana Grill Executive Chef Ricardo Ortega paired with award-winning wines from Biddle Ranch Vineyard, sign up for the Coastal Fusion Winemaker Dinner.
Saturday, September 27, 6:00 to 10:00 pm: Sunset in the Vineyard
Come to the Amphitheatre at Vina Robles for a night of “Fun, Fun, Fun” as Brian Wilson and Al Jardine (co-founders of the Beach Boys) take the stage. Known as the “Mozart of Rock,” Brian Wilson will perform hits from his latest and upcoming albums and then both gentlemen will perform some of the Beach Boys’ greatest hits. Concertgoers can also reserve an exclusive SAVOR picnic basket for two in advance for just $37 when you purchase your show tickets here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Adventure Tours
On Thursday, September 25 and Friday, September 26, these Tours offer attendees an opportunity to learn new things, gain skills, or simply enjoy the culinary offerings of the Central Coast. However, please realize that in order to attend a Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast Adventure Tour, you must also purchase (or already have) a ticket for the Main Event on Saturday or Sunday. 2014 Adventure Tour Options include:
- Farm and Foodie Secrets of Arroyo Grande: Take a food-lover’s walking tour of historic Arroyo Grande, including samples, followed by lunch in the village.
- Experience an Authentic Clambake: Wiggle your toes in the sand as you observe how to prepare a traditional clambake under the tutelage of SeaVenture’s Chef Casey Walcott, and then dig into the feast featuring wines from Chamisal Vineyards.
- Roam with the Clydesdales: See expansive vistas of native pine trees from a spectacular vantage point: a hay wagon pulled by Clydesdale horses at Covell Ranch in Cambria, before a picnic lunch paired with Stolo Family Vineyards wines.
- Celebrate Autumn’s Harvest in Paso Robles: Walk through Windrose Farm in Paso Robles and sample their signature heirloom tomatoes, enjoy homegrown Bloody Marys made with local Re:Find distillery spirits, and then end the tour with a farm-to-fork picnic lunch by Avila’s Ocean Grill.
- Create Botanical Spa Products: After an exclusive tour of the organic garden at Sycamore Mineral Spings, hear tips on making one-of-a-kind luxurious spa products, and then enjoy a “garden to fork” lunch prepared by Chef Gregg Wangard.
For the complete listing of Adventure Tours and their dates and times please go here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – the Main Event
The Main Event invites you to experience an epicurean and adventure playground for two days where you can taste, sip, and indulge in over 100 wineries, restaurants, and food purveyors. On September 27 and 28, the historic Santa Margarita Ranch showcases chefs, winemakers, brew masters and artisanal food producers from throughout California.
Some of the Central Coast wineries you can enjoy in the Marketplace are Adelaida Cellars, Chamisal Vineyards, Clayhouse Wines, Daou Vineyards & Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Halter Ranch Vineyard, J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines, JUSTIN Winery, Tablas Creek Vineyard, and Talley Vineyards.
In addition, Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast will have representatives from other California wine regions such as the Anderson Valley, Monterey County, Placer County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Sta. Rita Hills.
The Marketplace will also feature food from restaurants such as Feast Bistro, Robert’s Restaurant & Wine Bar, and Thomas Hill Organics. Complimenting these vendors will be artisan food purveyors such as Alle-Pia Fine Cured Meats, Fromagerie Sophie, Just Jan’s, Leo Leo Gelato, Marich Premium Chocolates, Re:Find Distillery, and TheraBee Honey.
In conjunction with the Main Event, you can also purchase tickets to cooking demonstrations or winemaker seminars such as:
- Chef Tanya Holland: Bay Area Celebrity Chef Tanya Holland brings a little soul when she demonstrates how to make two signature dishes from Brown Sugar Kitchen: Jerk Baby Back Ribs on Saturday, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Waffles on Sunday.
- Italian Flavors with Chef Fabio Viviani: Chef and Restauranteur Fabio Viviani will show guests how to make their own Duck Sausage on Saturday, and then share his secrets for creating perfect Gnocchi on Sunday.
- Lamb Jam Masters Finale: SAVOR showcases dishes from regional winners of the 2014 American Lamb Jam National Tour: Chef Sarah Lorenzen of Andaluca (Seattle); Chef Nemo Bolin of Cook & Brown Public House (Boston); Chef Rodney Scruggs & Chef Matt Baker of Occidental Grill & Seafood (Washington D.C); and Chef Sophina Uong of Picán (San Francisco).
- International Sparkling Display: Discover the world of sparkling wine in this exciting seminar featuring samples of bubbles from across the world.
- How Well do you Know Your Wines?: Test your ability to distinguish a Cabernet Sauvignon from a Pinot Noir in this blind tasting featuring Central Coast wines.
- RIEDEL Wine Seminar: Learn what a difference a glass can make when you explore three different wine varietals paired with the appropriate glasses. Participants will take home a 3-glass set of RIEDEL Stemware.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Music and Beer in the Estrada Garden
During the Main Event on September 27 and 28, you can relax with a locally brewed beer in the Estrada Garden while you listen to Central Coast musical talents and/or watch award-winning chefs create memorable dishes using the region’s freshest ingredients.
So come soak up the sounds of the Damon Castillo Band, the Jill Knight Trio, and Próxima Parada, and enjoy brews from Central Coast Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and SLO Brewing Company. Participating restaurants will include Apple Farm Restaurant, Marisol at The Cliffs, and Novo. For complete details on all of the musical performers, breweries, and restaurants in the Garden over the weekend please go here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Transportation
If you are going to attend the Main Event please know there is an inexpensive “Designated Driver” shuttle option. For only $5 per day, you can purchase a Premier Coach Pass which will link you to Santa Margarita Ranch from one of several local destinations: Atascadero, Avila Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo. For details on routes and shuttle stops please go here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Tickets
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast individual ticket prices are as follows:
- $175 per person for the Sunset at Hearst Castle Dinner (9/25)
- $140 per person for the Modern Day Supper Club Dinner (9/26)
- $125 per person for the Coastal Fusion Dinner (9/26)
- $95 per person for Brown Sugar & Barrels Dinner (or $25 for Dessert only) (9/26)
- $85 – $45 per person for Sunset in the Vineyard/Brian Wilson and Al Jardine Performance (9/27)
- $85 per person, per day, for the Main Event (or $150 for both days) (9/27, 9/28)
- $25 each for Chef Demonstrations and Wine Seminars at the Main Event ($40 for Riedel Wine Seminar) (Main Event ticket must be purchased in order to purchase these tickets)
- $85 for Adventure Tours (9/25, 9/26) (Main Event ticket must be purchased in order to purchase these tickets)
- $5 per person, per day for Premier Coach Pass shuttle to Santa Margarita Ranch (9/27, 9/28)
Tickets are available online and can be purchased by going here.
Organizers are also rolling out the red carpet with VIP Packages, the perfect way to turn a Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast experience into an unforgettable vacation for two people. The Select VIP Package includes Main Event Weekend Passes, VIP upgrades including special experiences, and exclusive access to a VIP Garden Lounge including table-side service of reserve and library wines not being poured in the Marketplace. The VIP Getaway Package includes similar benefits, as well as 4 nights’ lodging at your choice of 5 properties and tickets to the Sunset at Hearst Castle event. For complete details on the VIP packages, please go here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Lodging
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast visitors have many lodging options in Atascadero, Avila Beach, Cambria, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo to choose from. Whether you are looking for a luxury hotel room with an ocean view or something more economical, you’re sure to find a room to meet your desires (and budget). For recommended Lodging options please go here.
Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast – Event Organizers
Visit San Luis Obispo County promotes San Luis Obispo County through advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales. Its membership base is comprised of over 500 tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, golf courses and retail stores. Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast is produced and managed by this organization.
Through magazines and books, events and experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West’s best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset engages and inspires its audience through regional print editions (Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Southwest and Mountain) and digital publications.