Touring & Tasting Editor’s Letter: Spring/Summer 2020

Editor’s Letter, Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Touring & Tasting.

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”—Ernest Hemingway


What a pleasure it’s been to begin my tenure as editor in chief of Touring & Tasting with a celebration of the magazine’s 25th anniversary!

There are so many wonderful places to savor your way around the incredible variety of wine-growing regions, and so many great stories to be told. With such a vast and exciting world of wineries, resorts, inns, hotels, tasting rooms, outdoor adventures and other attractions to explore, this issue really is a celebration of some of the most enjoyable things in life.

We’ve got 25 terrific ways to enjoy touring and tasting, featuring a variety of top-notch destinations that are ripe for the sipping (page 32), a look at the evolution of wine tourism through the memories and insights of America’s wine pioneers (page 52), and a fun glimpse into our crystal ball at the future of wine (page 96).

When it comes to wine travel and easy access to amazing wine, food and attractions, the world really is our oyster. In fact, the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival is right near Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley wine country (page 28), Leavenworth, Washington offers a slice of Germany in the Pacific Northwest (page 26) and Paso Robles, California has the incredible “Field of Light at Sensorio” outdoor light installation (page 16), to name just a few of the destinations we share with you on these pages.

Touring & Tasting has been dedicated to exploring the best of wine country for 25 years. It’s an honor to be your guide.


Leslie Dinaberg, Editor in Chief,

Originally published in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Touring & Tasting. Click here to read this story and more!

Editor’s Letter Fall 2010 (Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine)

Santa Barbara Seasons Editor's Letter Fall 2010. Photo by Tracy Smith Reed.

Santa Barbara Seasons Editor’s Letter Fall 2010. Photo by Tracy Smith Reed.

 Winter is an etching, Spring is a watercolor, Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of them all. –Stanley Horowitz

FORGET JANUARY 1. As any parent will tell you, fall is when the New Year really begins. The kids go back to school and their structured autumn schedules, while mom and dad toast their newfound freedom with at least as much as gusto as the days of Auld Lang Syne.

Fall is also a great time for celebrating the beauty of seasonal changes. Our (slightly) cooler weather offers a perfect opportunity for taking long walks and appreciating the remarkable bounty of art and architecture available just about everywhere you look in Santa Barbara.

Even though I’m lucky enough to have been a resident for most of my life, while working on this issue, I was pleased to discover new and interesting details about our town while taking both the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara walking tours through the traditional local landmarks and a Walking Wednesdays with Santa Barbara Walks trek through the impressive variety of architectural styles, not to mention landscaping inspiration, found on the upper eastside (“Get Up Close and Personal with Architecture,” pg. 24).

I also had the pleasure of spending some time in the whimsical world of Ablitt House, and I can’t imagine a better cover subject for our seventh annual art and architecture issue. We provide an intimate peek into this bright symphony of colors, tiles, curves and angles conducted by homegrown architect Jeff Shelton, a true visionary who has refreshed and reinvented the look and feel of Santa Barbara’s architecture while continuing to pay homage to our Mediterranean roots (“Art + Architecture + Ablitt,” pg. 60).

Yet another fascinating and fanciful brick in the architecture of our city can be found in the exuberant mosaic bursts of colors in Dan Chyrnko’s creative art installations. I had the dual pleasure of joining Dan at his creekside studio, where he shared some of the inspirations and stories behind his mosaics, and then sharing some of our conversation with you (“Mosaic Master,” pg. 104).

We also take you inside the homes of contemporary art collectors Jacquelyn Klein-Brown, Geoffrey and Laura Wyatt, and Tim Walsh and Mike Healy to share some of the fascinating artistic treasures—and their hunters and gathers—hiding behind closed doors in the 805 area code (“Contemporary Art Lives Here,” pg. 50). We were impressed and inspired by their collections, and we think you will be too.

Our cultural journey then meanders in a completely different—but still quintessentially local—direction to the historic backcountry’s iconic Cold Spring Tavern, where the acoustic pairing of Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan under the oak trees is a favorite part of the weekend ritual for foodies, bikers and, most of all, local music aficionados (“Roadhouse Blues,” pg. 56).

All of us at Santa Barbara Seasons get a huge kick out of capturing and sharing the unique, quirky, fun, classic and otherwise notable aspects of Santa Barbara life for your enjoyment, and it has a been particular delight for me to fill in as editor for this issue while editor Rebekah Altman has been extremely busy with an amazing production of her own—a precious baby girl. My advice to her (and to all of us, really) is to savor every moment of this season, because in what feels like the blink of an eye, she’ll be right there with the rest of us, toasting fall’s return back to school.

Cheers to a wonderful autumn!

Leslie Dinaberg


Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Fall 2010. Cover photo by Jim Bartsch.

Cover photo by Jim Bartsch.

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine, Fall 2010. Cover photo by Jim Bartsch.