Los Olivos District AVA

Karen Steinwachs, winemaker at Buttonwood Farm Winery, organized the Women Winemakers dinner celebrating International Women's Day.

Many of the women winemakers of Santa Barbara County will gather to celebrate International Women's Day over fine wine and cuisine and good company March 8 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in Solvang.

International Women's Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1909 with a focus on working women's achievements and issues.

Santa Barbara County has a higher percentage of winemakers who are female than just about any other winemaking region. The work is physically strenuous, and requires keen sensory skills, a knowledge of chemistry and salesmanship skills.

More than a dozen wineries with female winemakers are participating in the dinner. They include Buttonwood, Cambria, Casa Dumetz, Cebada, Dreamcote, Fiddlehead, Harrison-Clark, Kita, La Montagne, Lumen, Nagy, Rideau, Rusack, Sanford, Story of Soil and William James Cellars.

Some of the Santa Ynez Valley's most innovative chefs -- Chef Pink of Bacon & Brine, Brooke Stockwell of the Union Hotel, Cheesemonger Janelle McAtamney and Amy Dixon of The Baker's Table -- will prepare the meal.

"During these turbulent political times, we believe people can come together if we simply sit down at a table with wine and a meal," said Fiddlehead winemaker/owner Kathy Joseph.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Women's Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County, a giving circle where individuals combine their money and/or time so that they can have a bigger impact on the causes most important to them than they would by donating individually.

The dinner is being held at K'Syrah Catering & Events in downtown Solvang. For more information and tickets, visit womenwinemakersdinner@eventbrite.com

This report was compiled by Mary Ann Norbom. You can reach her at mnorbom@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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