Alma Rosa Winery and Vineyards will co-host the Santa Barbara Vintners 5-Miler, benefiting the research and treatment of mental health disorders. The event presented by the Santa Barbara Vintner's Foundation was postponed due to the pandemic, and is now slated for Sept. 12.
Alma Rosa owner Bob Zorich said that 10% of all sales generated by the St. Rita Hills winery during the month of May, will be donated to the Mental Wellness Center of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit organization that provides on-the-ground mental health support within the Santa Barbara community.
“Anxiety and depression are among society’s most prevalent disorders and pose a risk every bit as urgent as our current pandemic,” said Zorich, a longtime supporter of mental health alliances who currently serves as chairman of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute in Houston. “We hope that these funds will aid members of our local community and beyond who are struggling."
The run/walk Vintners 5 Miler event will start at Alma Rosa’s Ranch House and take participants through its private estate vineyards to the Finish Line Festival where food, wine and music await.
Santa Ynez Valley vintners Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards has named Samra Morris as winemaker.
Zorich explained that his philanthropic approach to hosting this year's event was inspired by his commitment to mental health treatment and the founding of One Mind – an organization dedicated to supporting research in curing and treating brain-related diseases – by fellow Napa Valley vintners 20 years ago.
The idea prompted him to discuss a possible partnership with the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association back in 2019, he said.
“Even with all the assets we have today in medicine and technology, there is no continuum of care that exists for mental health," explained Zorich. "Studies show that 20-25% of our population is impacted by mental health issues, and if you start counting friends and loved ones who are affected as a result, that number is huge. We are committed to supporting organizations that provide proper care and treatment for those in need.”
The live wine tasting experience features a new Santa Barbara County vintner every Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m.
Alma Rosa Winery will donate net proceeds from the event which includes a silent auction, to One Mind and the Mental Wellness Center of Santa Barbara.
"We look forward to hosting the annual Vintners 5 Miler, and other initiatives, for years to come,” said Zorich.
Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards has announced the hiring of new Director of Business Development RaeLynn Zenzius.
Following the postponement of the 14th annual Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon due to social distancing restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, event spokesman Dan Cruz recently announced that a new date has been set.
Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.
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