Over the weekend, hundreds gathered at Santa Ynez Roblar Farm in support of Santa Barbara County lady vintners for the fourth annual Women Winemakers Celebration. The event also marked International Women’s Day and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.
According to event co-founder and public relations manager Anna Ferguson-Sparks, Sunday was a success.
"We had approximately 200 guests at the event," Ferguson-Sparks said. "The event was sold out a few days prior – both the tasting reception ticket and the "Full Feast" ticket, which included the seated brunch. I had people calling/emailing me still right before the event, desperately hoping that I had hidden tickets!"
On a bright Sunday morning, local lady chefs and bakers joined in on the inaugural brunchtime occasion, pairing their edible creations with their colleagues' celebratory wines.
Two dozen women winemakers from around the county turned out to showcase their labors of love – some choosing to do the pouring themselves. Accompanied by smiles and laughs, brunch-themed passed hor d'oeuvres circulated through the bucolic farm setting, while men and women congregated to discuss their delectable bites and wine tastings.
Some alfresco pairings included Santa Ynez Valley-style “chicken and waffles” with a blood orange Sriracha glaze and blini skewers with Nutella and farm-fresh strawberries designed by duo team Buellton’s Pattibakes and Sass Catering.
Patrons who opted for the sit-down four-course brunch coordinated by executive chef of Gleason Family Vineyards Brooke Stockwell, sat shoulder-to-shoulder at an elongated farm table on Roblar Farm's expansive estate.
The feast featured a colorful and creative spread provided by a number of local food artisans including Cynthia Miranda and Alicia Valencia of The Lucky Hen Larder, Chef Robin Reynolds of the Santa Ynez Valley’s Dunn School, Leyla Williams of Solvang’s Good Seed Coffee Boutique, chef Golzar Barrera’s All Purpose Flower and Lompoc’s Sweet Baking Co., among others.
Featured female vintners pouring during brunch included Clarissa Nagy, C. Nagy Wines; Brooke Carhartt, Carhartt Vineyard and Winery; Sandra Newman, Cebada Wine; McKenna Giardine, E11even Wines; Gretchen Voelcker, Luna Hart Wines; Jessica Gasca, Story of Soil; Wynne Solomon, Peake Ranch Winery; and Karen Steinwachs, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard.
Karen Steinwachs, co-founder of the annual celebration, explained that only 10% of the global wine industry is made up of female lead winemakers, and Santa Barbara County's women winemakers make up nearly double the average of most regions in the world.
Proceeds from the charitable event will benefit the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County which supports causes that serve women, children, arts and the overall community.
Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News.
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