Vino de Sueos

Guests pause to taste some of the wines available at People Helping people’s Vino de Sueos Wine release celebration.

Contributed Photo

Every year for the past decade People Helping People (PHP) has teamed with local wineries to host Vino de Suenos, an event that helps provide financial assistance to Valley farm and vineyard workers.

Last year, Vino de Suenos (Wine of Dreams) raised just under $50,000, according to Dean Palius, CEO of PHP. He said the organization hopes to raise at least that much this year.

The 10th annual Vino de Suenos public benefit wine release celebration will be held Nov. 11 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton from 3-6 p.m. Proceeds underwrite services furnished to farm and vineyard workers by the non-profit PHP.

“The proceeds go to helping farm and vineyard workers meet basic needs,” said Palius. “They find themselves living hand-to-mouth, month to month, and these funds go to helping them get by.”

Vino de Suenos successfully debuted in November 2008 and was organized by a small group of local premium winemakers to specifically help farm and vineyard workers. PHP was selected as the beneficiary because of the large number of farm and vineyard workers they serve. Founding wineries were Alma Rosa, Buttonwood, Clos Pepe, Feliz Noche, Foxen, Longoria and Presidio.

PHP is a multi-program non-profit organization that helps families and individuals of limited means in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos valleys by providing a wide range of services.

VDS wine label

Vino de Suenos (VDS) is the brand name for PHP’s wine series released each year at the annual event. This year, 13 of the best Santa Barbara County wineries are donating wines bottled under the exclusive VDS label. These wines will be available for tasting and sale at the release celebration.

“We are very excited to announce our lineup of 2017 wineries — Alma Rosa, Brander, Buttonwood, Dierberg, Foley, Foxen, Ken Brown, Kita, Longoria, Quail Crossing, Riverbench, Stolpman, and Vogelzang,” said Becky Barieau, VDS event chair.

There will be individual white and red wines for every taste and pocketbook including two Chardonnay choices, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, two Syrah, three Pinot Noirs, and a red Rhone blend. Wines are expected to sell for $17 to $48 depending upon varietal and vintage and they are specially discounted for this fundraising event. White wine and red wine 6-pack samplers and individual cases will be available for further discounted prices.

Palius stated the agency serves nearly 1,000 farm and vineyard workers and their family members each year in the Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valleys.

“The services cost in excess of $250,000 and we simply could not afford to serve all of those in need without the donations of our winemakers and lead sponsors, the Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Foundation and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundations,” said Palius.

In addition to an art auction, the Nov. 11 event will feature a silent auction of upscale lifestyle items and select wines, live music by the Complicated Animals, and appetizer stations catered by some of the top chefs on the Central Coast including Jeff Olsson of Industrial Eats and New West Catering, Luca Crestanelli of SY Kitchen, Beto Huizar of The Landsby, and Santa Ynez Cafe. Decadence Fine Cakes and Confections will offer wine-based cookies to be paired with event wines.

Original artworks

Every year, each winery’s VDS bottle label includes a reproduction of an original art piece.

“We have been extremely blessed each year to have so many local artists willing to contribute to this effort,” VDS event chair Barieau said. “Artist Karina Puente originated the ‘dream’ icon that appears on each Vino de Suenos bottle.”

This year’s original labels will be based on the art of Susan Belloni, Peggy Brierton, Chris Chapman, Jim Farnum, Kevin Gleason, Rebecca Gomez, Patricia Hedrick, John Iwerks, Rene Kelleher, Teresa McNeil Maclean, Sharon Tate and Seyburn Zorthian.

The artists’ original works will be prominently displayed at the event and will be available for purchase via silent auction. Kros Andrade, owner of UVA Design Studios, is designing the unique Vino de Suenos wine labels. Andrade said creating the eye-catching labels is a labor of love.

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to volunteer for this event, give back to farm and vineyard workers and support a very worthy non-profit like People Helping people,” Andrade said.

Patron tickets for Vino de Suenos are now on sale. General tickets are $50 each and $45 for early bird purchases. To make a purchase or to learn more about the Vino de Suenos release celebration, visit the Vino de Suenos website at or contact Erica at People Helping People; (805) 686-0295.


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