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Santa Barbara: A Sense of Place
February 19, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Twin Cities Wine Education LLC presents
A SENSE OF PLACE
I visited the Santa Barbara wine region for the first time on a rainy January evening in 2010. After renting my car at LAX, stopping at Venice Beach for a walk and dinner, getting caught in rush hour traffic, and having a quick glass of wine and some oysters along the coast, I entered the wine country deep in the dark of a moonless night unsure where my lodging actually was. The fog was coming in thick, and with no cell phone reception and a poorly designed map, I’m amazed I found my guest house. The key was under the flower pot, as they said it would be. I entered the house completely unaware of what the view was out the window. My day started 18 hours earlier in the Twin Cities, and I was ready to sleep.
The next morning, I awoke to this:
I was instantly in love with this region of beauty, and I had a week of wine exploration ahead of me.
Over the next several days I explored every road and every curve. I tasted with Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, with Bob Lindquist of Qupe, with the Stolpman and Carharrt families. I made a pilgrimage to the Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, where Dick Sanford planted the first Pinot Noir vines in the county a few short decades earlier. I met one of my idols, Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton. I was in heaven.
I put nearly two thousand miles on my little rental car, all in one compact area.
In the Santa Barbara: A Sense of Place class we will explore the topography of this great area, focusing on the fascinating climatic conditions that make it great for both cool weather and hot weather grapes. Combining a terroir of Santa Barbara class with a wine travel class, we’ll dive into the best towns to stay in, best restaurants to hit, and must-visit wineries.
Of course, all this discussion and learning will be accompanied by fabulous selections from throughout Santa Barbara County including some of, in my opinion, the best Pinot Noirs and Syrahs made in North America today. Yes, that’s a big statement, but I think the wines will prove the point.
I hope you can make it to the brand new Santa Barbara: A Sense of Place wine class!
Tasting with a legend: Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.