Cocktail Corner: The Wondrous World of Pinot Noir

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy MaxPixel.freegreatpicture.com.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! by Leslie Dinaberg 

“Discover. Indulge. Celebrate.” is the tagline for the World of Pinot Noir, and I can’t think of better advice when it comes to imbibing at this favorite annual event. Held Mar. 2-3 at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, this festival gathers the world’s most highly regarded Pinot Noir wineries and winemakers, renowned chefs, sommeliers and leading wine scholars for two days of in-depth tasting seminars and excursions, Grand Tastings, a Burgundy seminar and tasting and gourmet, locally-influenced lunches and dinners.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

As I’ve said in the past, I get to go to a LOT of wine festivals and this is definitely one of my favorites. Here’s an overview of this year’s schedule:

WEEKEND PASS – $1150
Includes an invitation to the Opening Night Celebration March 1; admission to the Friday and Saturday Tasting Seminars & Luncheons; VIP Admission to the Friday and Saturday Grand Tastings; and Pinot Noir Pairing Dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings.

THURSDAY

THURSDAY OPENING NIGHT PARTY – $110
Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. Kickoff the World of Pinot Noir with a wine-filled feast and fête, presented by The SOMM Journal. Meet participating winemakers, America’s leading sommeliers and preview the weekend while sampling wines, indulging in tasty bites prepared by The Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz. It’s time to get this weekend-long Pinot party started.

FRIDAY

FRIDAY SINGLE-DAY PASS – $480
Includes admission to the Exploring the Oregon-Burgundy Connection Tasting Seminar & Luncheon, VIP Admission to the Friday Grand Tasting and a Friday evening Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner.

SEMINAR & LUNCHEON: Exploring the Oregon-Burgundy Connection – $265
Joshua Greene, Editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine will lead a winemaker panel discussion and tasting that explores Oregon’s deep and growing ties to Burgundy, and the how this is influencing the current and future state of this exciting New World region. The wineries include Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Domaine du Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, Chapter 24 Vineyards, Domaine des Comtes Lafon and Lingua Franca. The seminar includes a three-course Pinot Noir-paired lunch prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team, with wine service by World of Pinot Noir Sommeliers.Friday, March 2, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

FRIDAY LUNCHEON NO. 1: Celebrating the New Petaluma Gap AVA – $75
This three-course luncheon will showcase the award-winning wine made from grapes grown in the newly-minted Petaluma Gap AVA. Located in southern Sonoma and northern Marin counties, the cool-climate, windswept Petaluma Gap AVA boasts 4,000 acres of vineyards, of which, 75 percent are planted with Pinot Noir. Friday, March 2, 11:30 a.m.

CENTRAL COAST SEMINAR: Discover the Cool Climate Terroirs of the Central Coast – $65
Wine Enthusiast magazine’s contributing editor, and Central Coast expert, Matt Kettmann, will explore Pinot Noirs from the top cool-climate terroirs of the vast Central Coast. Along with a panel of acclaimed winemakers, Kettmann will guide the tasting of nine award-winning wines he scored 92 points or above. The wineries include Adelaida, Big Basin, Black Kite, Dierberg, Ken Brown Wines, Laetitia, Stephen Ross Wines and Talbott. Friday, March 2, 1 p.m.

FRIDAY VIP GRAND TASTINGS – $135
This exclusive VIP ticket provides you with early entry to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Grand Ballroom, where you’ll be able to meet winemakers, be the first to bid on silent auction items, and taste through hundreds of Pinot Noir producers from around the world. Several other exclusive VIP experiences will be announced soon. Friday, March 2, 2:30-6 p.m.

FRIDAY GRAND TASTING – $85
Taste through more than 150 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom, bid on silent auction items and “taste the place” while you nibble on fresh, local and seasonal wine country appetizers from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team. Friday, March 2, 3:30-6 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 1: The Art of Japanese Cuisine and Freeman Winery Pinot Noir, with Guest Chef Ken Tominaga – $275
Chef Ken Tominaga, founder of PABU in San Francisco and Boston, and Hana Japanese Restaurant in Sonoma, crafts a multi-course umami-fueled feast designed to pair perfectly with the award-winning Pinot Noirs from Freeman Winery. This intimate, one-of-kind dinner experience is limited. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 2: The Bounties of the Santa Maria Valley: A Celebratory Farm-to-Fork Dinner – Presented by the Santa Maria Valley – $125
The Santa Maria AVA is home to some of America’s highest regarded Pinot Noir vineyards and producers. But this renowned sub-region of Santa Barbara is just as famous for its hearty and robust eponymously-named style of steak made from locally raised beef. Enjoy an elevated take on Santa Maria barbecue prepared by Ritz-Carlton Bacara Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz all paired with wines from the region’s most famous wineries. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY DINNER NO. 3: 101 Years of Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir Along the Historic Highway 101 – $165
A collection of winemaking expertise gathers for this epic dinner featuring winemakers Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton, Adam Lee of Siduri, Wells Guthrie of Copain and Jonathan Nagy of Byron. Join us for an evening of food, laughter, and of course, fabulous Pinot Noir, as these trailblazing winemakers share their stories of their collective 101 years of crafting some of California’s most expressive Pinot Noirs along the Golden State’s historic coastal corridor. Friday, March 2, 7 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

SATURDAY

SATURDAY SINGLE-DAY PASS – $525
Includes admission to the Tasting Through The Best of Burgundy Tasting Seminar & Luncheon, VIP Admission to the Saturday Grand Tasting and a Saturday evening Pinot Noir Pairing Dinner. (Dinner upgrades will be available after purchase.)

SATURDAY BURGUNDY SEMINAR & LUNCHEON: Tasting Through The Best of Burgundy – $265
Founder of the San Francisco Wine School and Master Sommelier David Glancy–along with a panel of Burgundy experts and winemakers–will lead a fun and educational tasting of some of the most notable producers and most acclaimed vintages from France’s famed Pinot Noir region, and will discuss the varying classification systems of Burgundy’s sub-regions, their history, trends and the changing roles of growers and negociants. This seminar will feature multiple vintages of premier cru wines from Domaine Faively, Domaine Henri Gouge and Domaine Chanson. The seminar includes a three-course Pinot Noir-paired lunch prepared by the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team, with wine service by World of Pinot Noir Sommeliers. Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

SATURDAY LUNCHEON NO. 1:
Rosé Lawn Party Atop the Bluff presented by United Airlines – $80
Held on the seaside bluff of the Angel Oak veranda, this daytime lawn party will feature over 35 of the best Pinot Noir Rosés on planet, a gourmet buffet lunch crafted by the Angel Oak Chef du Cuisine, and the unobstructed and downright jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.

SATURDAY SEMINAR NO. 1:
Attack Of The Clones Seminar – $65
In this fun and educational winemaker-led seminar, you’ll learn–and taste–the difference between many key Pinot Noir grape clones. Panelists include: Greg Morthole – Davis Bynum, Heidi Bridenhagen – MacRostie Winery & Vineyards, Ben Papapietro – Papapietro Perry Winery, Amy Thorn – Thorn Hill Vineyards and Ben Cane – Westwood Estate Winery. Saturday, March 3, 1 p.m.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

World of Pinot Noir comes to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara March 2-3. Photo courtesy World of Pinot Noir.

SATURDAY VIP GRAND TASTINGS – $150
This exclusive VIP ticket provides you with early entry to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara’s Grand Ballroom, where you’ll be able to meet winemakers, be the first to bid on silent auction items, and taste through hundreds of Pinot Noir producers from around the world. Several other exclusive VIP experiences will be announced soon. Saturday, March 3, 2:30–6 p.m.

SATURDAY GRAND TASTING – $100
Taste through more than 100 Pinot Noir producers from around the world gathered in the Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara’s Grand Ballroom, bid on silent auction items and “taste the place” while you nibble on fresh, local and seasonal wine country appetizers from the Ritz-Carlton Bacara culinary team. Saturday, March 3, 3:30–6 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 1: Celebrating the Women of Pinot Noir – $150
This feast will showcase 12 wineries: Bouchaine Vineyards, Chenoweth Wines, La Crema, Lumen Wines, Meiomi, Merry Edwards Winery, Rideau Vineyards, Seagrape Wine Co & Buttonwood, St. Francis Winery, Stolo Family Vineyards, Trombetta Family Wines & Furthermore Wines, Wrath Wines and their trailblazing winemakers. Held in the downstairs Director’s Lounge and outside terrace, this multi-course feast will feature a gourmet whole-roasted pig crafted by Ritz-Carlton Bacara Executive Chef, Umit Kaygusuz. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 2: Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Feast – $165
This five-course dinner will shine a spotlight on Oregon’s most famous region, the Willamette Valley, home to arguably some of the most food-friendly Pinot Noirs in the world. Emceed by Joshua Greene, the editor of Wine & Spirits Magazine, and Master of Wine Bree Boskov of the Oregon Wine Board, the evening will feature a long list of award-winning wines and their winemakers. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY DINNER NO. 3:
 Vintage Burgundy Dinner with the Guild of Sommeliers – $450
The World of Pinot Noir is thrilled to present an extraordinary wine dinner hosted by the Guild of Sommeliers. Jay James, Master Sommelier, will present vintage Burgundy wines from the Guild’s extensive cellar in this six-course gourmand experience. This intimate, one-of-kind dinner experience is limited. Saturday, March 3, 7 p.m.

Hope to see some of you there! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 16, 2018.

Photo Gallery: Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are Performers of the Year at SBIFF

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie And Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie And Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

I, Tonya stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney received the Outstanding Performers of the Year Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) on February 8.

“Allison and Margot bring biting humor and an emotional resonance to their real-life characters in I, Tonya,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “We are proud to celebrate them and their incredible contributions to cinema.”

Allison Janney poses backstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney poses backstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Allison Janney at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney (I, Tonya) pose backstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Margot Robbie, director Craig Gillespie and actress Allison Janney (I, Tonya) pose backstage at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Margot Robbie at the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and actress Allison Janney at the after party for the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling and actress Allison Janney at the after party for the Outstanding Performers Honoring Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Presented By Belvedere Vodka during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 8, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 13, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Honors Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet Presents

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet pose backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet pose backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Golden Globe Award winner Saoirse Ronan received the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Santa Barbara Award, presented by UGG, for her critically acclaimed role in Lady Bird. Her Lady Bird co-star Timothee Chalamet (recipient of the 2018 Virtuosos Award from SBIFF) presented the award.

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses backstage with the Santa Barbara Award at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Ronan has numerous film credits, including The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hanna, The Lovely Bones and The Way Back. She has received Academy Award nominations for her performances in Atonement and Brooklyn, and recently was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for her performance in Lady Bird.

Actress Saoirse Ronan speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

“In Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan has once again proven that she is a force of nature and one of her generation’s most exciting young talents,” states SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. “She embodies her characters with a poignant accuracy and ease every time she appears on screen.”

Actress Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan interacts with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan interacts with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (right) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (right) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (left) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actress Saoirse Ronan (left) poses with fans at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Timothee Chalamet speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Actor Timothee Chalamet speaks onstage at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 13, 2018.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Nicola Benedetti, courtesy CAMA.

Nicola Benedetti, courtesy CAMA.

CAMA’s International Series presents Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on Tuesday, February 13, at 8 p.m. at The Granada Theatre1214 State St.

The program includes: Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No.4 in B-flat Major, Op.60 (1806) and Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op.61 (1806).

For the past 30 years, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has shocked, changed and mesmerized the music world by reinventing the orchestra. Working with several principal artists, not just one conductor, and performing repertoire from a variety of eras on period-specific instruments, the London-based ensemble stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. It has become the toast of the European touring circuit with annual performances at London’s most prominent arts centers including the Southbank Centre, BBC Proms and Glyndebourne.

Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 10, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: SB County Women Winemakers Dinner

Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers Dinner is March 8.

Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers Dinner is March 8.

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

International Women’s Day is coming up on March 8, and I can’t think of a better way to toast the occasion than by attending the second annual Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers Dinner.

Last year’s festivities were, quite simply, amazing, delicious and fun, with a great spirit of collaboration and mutual admiration among the winemakers and chefs taking part.  Because the inaugural event—which was planned, executed and sold out within the space of a few weeks—was so popular, the event’s organizers have expanded this year’s dinner to accommodate more guests and to provide different levels of options for participation and support. 

I can’t wait! 

The charitable event, which runs in its entirety from 5:30-9 p.m. at K’Syrah Catering & Events (478 4th Place, Solvang, www.kscateringandevents.com) will, for the second year, benefit the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County. Tickets to the March 8 event are currently on sale, at womenswinemakerdinner.eventbrite.com.

Last year's Women Winemakers Dinner, photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

Last year’s Women Winemakers Dinner, photos by Leslie Dinaberg.

More than 20 female winemakers will be joined at the March 8 event by some of the Santa Ynez Valley’s leading culinary ladies, the latter of which are collaborating to create a four-course, sit-down dinner to pair with some of their winemaker colleagues’ wines. In addition to the seated dinner portion of the evening, this year’s event features a tent on a closed-to-traffic street in front of K’Syrah’s downtown Solvang venue. Housed inside the tent is a pre-dinner tasting reception (available as a separate ticket), where more than 20 women winemakers will be on-hand to pour tastes of their wines and talk with event guests from 5:30-7 p.m. The tent festivities also include passed appetizers and a cheese table from local female cheesemonger Janelle McAtamney of Solvang’s Cailloux Cheese Shop.

Participating winemakers and wineries confirmed include: Karen Steinwachs, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard; Sonja Magdevski, Casa Dumetz Wines; Brooke Carhartt, Carhartt Vineyard & Winery; Alison Thomson, Lepiane Wines; Lane Tanner, Lumen Wines; Adrienne St. John, Rideau Vineyard; Gretchen Voelcker, Moon Unit Wines; Jessica Gasca, Story of Soil; Tara Gomez, Kitá Wines; Angela Osborne, A Tribute To Grace; and Kimberly Smith, LaMontagne Winery, with more to be announced  soon.

Chef Brooke Stockwell, Executive Chef at K’Syrah Catering & Events, will be joined in the kitchen by baker Amy Dixon, of The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez; Theo Stephan, owner of Los Olivos’ Global Gardens; and additional Santa Ynez Valley chefs and food crafters, to be announced as the event nears. 

VIP-level tickets for this year’s event will include both the tasting tent and the seated dinner, where guests will be treated to wine pairings by, and conversation with, an exclusive selection of some of Santa Barbara County’s female winemakers, who will also be announced in the coming weeks. A dessert reception will follow the seated dinner, where guests may continue to mingle with the winemakers.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1909, with a focus on working women’s achievements and issues. In a working environment that sees about 10% of the global wine industry as female winemakers, Santa Barbara County boasts a much higher percentage of women winemakers than most places in the world, with nearly double the average. The March 8 event will bring together a good portion of the County’s female winemakers in a show of support for each other, and other working women, world-wide; those who toil and labor while honing and elevating their craft in their workplace, while also balancing work-lives with family and community service.

It’s going to be a wonderful evening. Hope to see some of you there! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 9, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Writer’s Panel

Writers Edgar Wright, Michael H. Weber, Liz Hannah, SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, Emily V. Gordon, Vanessa Taylor, Virgil Williams and Adrian Molina at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Edgar Wright, Michael H. Weber, Liz Hannah, Emily V. Gordon, Vanessa Taylor, Virgil Williams and Adrian Molina at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Writers Panel on Saturday featured some of today’s most successful writing professionals as they discussed the process for giving life to film. The panelists included Adrian Molina (Coco), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Virgil Williams (Mudbound), Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist), Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick), Liz Hannah (The Post) and Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water).

Writers Adrian Molina and Vanessa Taylor speak at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Adrian Molina and Vanessa Taylor speak at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Michael H. Weber, Virgil Williams and Edgar Wright speak at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Michael H. Weber, Virgil Williams and Edgar Wright speak at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Emily V. Gordon and Liz Hannah speak onstage at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Writers Emily V. Gordon and Liz Hannah speak onstage at The Writers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 6, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Producer’s Panel

Producers Graham Broadbent, Lisa Bruce, J. Miles Dale, Evelyn ONeill, moderator Glenn Whipp, Peter Spears, Emma Thomas, Sean McKittrick and Daniel Lupi pose backstage at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producers Graham Broadbent, Lisa Bruce, J. Miles Dale, Evelyn ONeill, moderator Glenn Whipp, Peter Spears, Emma Thomas, Sean McKittrick and Daniel Lupi pose backstage at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival Producers Panel on Saturday brought together some of today’s most established producers to share their insights in sparkling conversation.

On hand were Peter Spears (Call Me By Your Name), Lisa Bruce (Darkest Hour), Emma Thomas (Dunkirk), Sean McKittrick (Get Out), Evelyn O’Neill (Lady Bird), Daniel Lupi (Phantom Thread), J. Miles Dale (The Shape of Water) and Graham Broadbent (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

Producer Evelyn O'Neil speaks at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producer Evelyn O’Neil speaks at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producer Emma Thomas speaks at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producer Emma Thomas speaks at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producers Sean McKittrick, Evelyn ONeill and Peter Spears speak at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Producers Sean McKittrick, Evelyn ONeill and Peter Spears speak at The Producers Panel during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Lobero Theatre on February 3, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 6, 2018.

Cocktail Corner: Cheers to SBIFF!

A general view of atmosphere at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

A spirited toast to all things alcoholic!  By Leslie Dinaberg

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is always a fun and festive affair, and Wednesday night’s opener was no exception. Emilio Estevez‘s heartwarming and eye-opening film, The Public, was a great way to start the night.

On the red carpet to celebrate were SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec Baldwin, Michael K. Williams, Jena Malone, Che Smith, Spencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

 

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Brewmaster Tim Crooks at the after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

The after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara will be pouring cocktails at celebrity studded events for the next week. Keep your eyes out for Margot Robbie and Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Gal Gadot and many more in the days to come.

Meanwhile, if you want to drink like the stars, here a few recipes, courtesy of Belvedere Vodka:

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Classic Martini, courtesy photo.

BELVEDERE CLASSIC MARTINI 

2 oz / 60ml Belvedere Vodka 

.25 oz / 7ml French Fortified Wine 

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Belvedere Modern Greyhound, courtesy photo.

Method: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir over ice until very cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pink grapefruit twist.

BELVEDERE MODERN GREYHOUND 

1.5 oz / 45 ml Belvedere Vodka 

0.5 oz / 15 ml Aperol 

3 oz / 90 ml Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice 

1 oz / 30 ml Tonic Water 

Method: Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice. Roll contents and garnish with a grapefruit slice and a dash of salt.

Tickets are still available for some of the celebrity tributes. For more information, click here.

Cheers! Click here for more cocktail corner columns.

Leslie Dinaberg

When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on Feb. 2, 2018.

Photo Gallery: SBIFF Opening Night

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

(L-R) Spencer Garret, Jacob Vargas, Michael K. Williams, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin and Rhymefest (Che Smith) at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) kicked off Wednesday with the world premiere of Emilio Estevez’s The Public and the Opening Night Gala.

On hand to celebrate was SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling; Estevez and fellow cast members Alec BaldwinMichael K. WilliamsJena MaloneChe SmithSpencer Garrett and Jacob Vargas; as well as Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father), Mayor of Santa Barbara Cathy Murillo and Supervisor Joan Hartmann.

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Durling welcomed attendees at The Arlington Theatre and addressed the recent devastation from the wildfires and mudslides, saying, “The past few months have been some of the hardest for everyone in Santa Barbara. The devastation and the emotional toll it has taken on all of us is not quantifiable… Film has the power to unify us. To make us feel less fragmented as human beings. The events of the past weeks have fragmented this community—we’ve felt alone—but tonight and for the next 10 days we’re alone no more.”

The turquoise ribbons seen around town this week are a moving tribute in honor of the victims, representing clarity of thought, harmony, and healing. In an emotional opening to the Festival, Durling read off the names of each person that passed away or is currently reported as missing.

He then brought Estevez on stage who was joined by his cast to introduce the film.

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Emilio Estevez and Alec Bladwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

The film was followed by a fabulous party presented by Belvedere Vodka at Paseo Nuevo.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo and Emilio Estevez at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Throughout the festival, ribbons will be available for purchase at the Metro 4 Theatre with all proceeds going directly to United Way of Santa Barbara County. 

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Michael K. Williams at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

DJ Darla Bea spins at the VIP after party for the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Paseo Nuevo on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Martin Sheen at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Alec Baldwin (Right) and wife Hilaria Baldwin at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film "The Public" Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

Jenna Malone at the Opening Night Film “The Public” Presented by Belvedere Vodka during the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on January 31, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for SBIFF)

For more information, visit sbiff.org.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 2, 2018.

Local Lowdown: Santa Barbara Restaurant Week

Experience the most exciting flavors in town at the first annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week, taking place February 23–March 4.

With an abundant number of restaurants to choose from in Santa Barbara, the possibilities for exceptional dining experiences are endless, with everything available from prime steak to fresh local seafood, from classic American fare to internationally inspired cuisine.

Participating restaurants will offer special discounted rates ($25–$45) for a prix fixe three-course menu, and local wineries and hotels are also getting in on the fun.

“We are so excited to be launching the first annual Santa Barbara Restaurant Week, which is long overdue with all the culinary talent at our fingertips,” says Leslee Garafalo, owner of Santa Barbara Uncorked, LLC, who is one of the organizers. “This is an opportunity for our restaurant community to come together and showcase their establishments by offering an accessible dining experience for both Santa Barbara and surrounding communities.”

Leslie Dinaberg