A Perfect Wine: Santa Barbara Co. Label Earns Elusive 100 Point Score
By Gabe Saglie   |   October 13, 2020

Winemaker Paul Lato says, “there’s a really big gap between 99 and 100.” The celebrated vintner, a Polish native who was a sommelier in Canada before he moved to the Central Coast in 2002, has earned many coveted scores for wines under his eponymous label, along with a fervent consumer following. But 100 points for […]

Grape Recognition
By Gabe Saglie   |   September 3, 2020

Alisos Canyon Gains AVA, the seventh for Santa Barbara County Santa Barbara vintners are celebrating the feds’ decision last week to designate Alisos Canyon as an American Viticultural Area, the seventh for the county. This new AVA covers 5,774 acres nestled in the Los Alamos Valley, roughly between the Santa Ynez and Santa Maria Valleys. […]

New Hands at the Helm: Folded Hills Hires New Winemaker
By Gabe Saglie   |   July 2, 2020

An important change of the guard at Folded Hills: the winery has hired a new winemaker. Michael Brughelli brings a diverse background to the Folded Hills project, which operates a sprawling estate and vineyard off Highway 101 in Gaviota and an elegant tasting room in Montecito. The 38-year-old Nipomo resident gained particular acclaim with Scar […]

Clink for a Cause: Couple Selling Unique Wine Glasses to Aid Restaurants
By Gabe Saglie   |   April 30, 2020

Sarah Boggs likes to reminisce about living out her formative years in New Orleans. “People were constantly outside, constantly enjoying neighbors and friends, constantly going to festivals,” she recalls. “And they were always drinking!” Her move to Santa Barbara provided much of the same: an outdoor-driven lifestyle and plenty of good wine to drink. “We’re […]

Finding Opportunity in a Shutdown: How Santa Barbara’s Wine Industry is Taking on Coronavirus
By Gabe Saglie   |   March 26, 2020

The grinding halt wrought by a virus sprinting across the globe has certainly not spared the Santa Barbara wine industry. These are businesses that depend on foot traffic, on one-to-one connections, on personalized experience. Shut that down, as the recent mandate by Governor Newsom (understandably) did, asking all wineries and tasting rooms to temporarily close, […]

Santa Barbara Culinary Experience Targets Wine Lovers
By Gabe Saglie   |   March 5, 2020

It is fitting, of course, that a world-class culinary affair inspired by Julia Child would take place in Santa Barbara. The beloved chef summered on its shores as a child, and it was in the bucolic enclave of Montecito that she chose to spend her final years. Indeed, the Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, coming the […]

The Bet on Rhone that Paid Off: Epiphany Cellars Turns 20
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 27, 2020

When Eli Parker launched his pet project, Epiphany Cellars, 20 years ago, his dad had doubts. “He was not thrilled with what he perceived to be a distraction at the time,” says the vintner, referencing Fess Parker, the Disney icon who launched his eponymous wine brand in 1989. Ten years in, the label, anchored on […]

Santa Barbara Restaurant Week
By Gabe Saglie   |   February 20, 2020

Santa Barbara Restaurant Week is back – a gastronomic extravaganza starring some of the South Coast’s top eateries and some of the best bang-for-your-buck eating you’ll find all year. The promotion, which features prix-fixe menus at three price points – $25, $35 and $45 – lasts two full weeks, from February 21 through March 6. […]

More Than Just Food: Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks Target Wine Lovers, Too
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 23, 2020

Have you seen all the promos for Restaurant Week? It’s a national phenomenon throughout the winter season, actually: destinations leveraging the appeal of their top chefs (and the allure of value) to entice consumers and beef up foot traffic during a historically slow travel time of the year. Santa Barbara’s Restaurant Week returns February 21 […]

Rusack’s Chardonnay Program Delivers Three Unique Wines
By Gabe Saglie   |   January 16, 2020

You could call chardonnay Santa Barbara County’s darling grape. There’s more of it growing here than any other wine grape, blanketing more than 7500 acres. Much of it is gobbled up by wine producers in Northern California – the chard here is simply better – while Santa Barbara winemakers aim each year to make Burgundy’s […]

Seasonal Bubbles: Local Sparkling Wines Abound
By Gabe Saglie   |   December 12, 2019

Sales of sparkling wines are on the rise right now, historically soaring between the Thanksgiving and New Year’s holidays. Sparklers connote celebration, of course. They’re a great option to have on hand for rich holiday meals, too, since the effervescence in every sip cleanses the palate of the richness in every bite. The French and […]