It turns out that 25 years was enough for the annual Celebration of Harvest's grand festival. The event, put on by Santa Barbara Vintners, will have a significantly scaled-down feel for 2017. It will also take place a week earlier than it historically has. The new schedule is Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
In lieu of the grand festival, which for the last several years has taken place on the grounds of Old Mission Santa Ines, Celebration of Harvest is hosting a Taste of Santa Barbara Wine Country at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 29.
Gone, too, is the educational seminar that has been part of Celebration of Harvest since 2014.
Santa Barbara Vintners is selling "passports" for tasting experiences in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, however.
Many additional activities are being organized by individual wineries. Sure to be one of the most popular is the Au Bon Climat-Qupé-Verdad Semi-Annual Open House from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 30. None of the three wineries are normally open to the public nor do they have tasting rooms in the Valley (Au Bon Climat has one in Santa Barbara) so this event has long had a loyal following. With 80 different wines from the three labels available for tasting and sale, it's anticipated it will have more interest than ever in the era of no grand festival tasting.
Tickets are $20 and include a hot luncheon and commemorative wine glass. The wineries' shared production facility at 4665 Santa Maria Road, Santa Maria, is the location. No reservations are required.
Other events that weekend include a farm-to-table dinner prepared by K'Syrah Catering at Zaca Mesa Winery in Los Olivos and a Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards harvest dinner at the Santa Ynez Coach House at the Santa Ynez Inn, both on Sept. 30.
Still to be announced, other wineries are planning special tastings and vineyard hikes.
For more information and tickets, visit celebrationofharvest.com.