Santa Barbara Wine Country: Celebration of Harvest

A grand tasting and to-dos dotting the area's wine country make for a splendid autumn outing.

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Tenley Fohl

TIME IS VALUABLE, we're often told, though few times of year feel as fabulous, and special, as a perfect autumn weekend. That is, of course, subjective, and there are those people who dig a Tuesday in March, or all of June, for a variety of solid reasons. But a weekend in October, when the weather is fine and the air has that fall-like zing and there is road-tripping to do, is the kind of moment magazines often put on their covers, and with excellent reason: It's all pretty primo. Making it more primo is something delicious to eat when you've put the top down and pulled into your destination, and the annual Celebration of Harvest happening in and around Santa Barbara makes that supping part a snap. The Santa Barbara Vintners to-do is large-of-scale and area, with a Grand Tasting at Old Mission Santa Ines in Solvang serving as the central point to the four-day party. It's a weekend-long lark that extends into Monday, if adding a Monday to a quick Santa Barbara jaunt appeals. Ready to capture that autumnal weekend feeling while poking around the Santa Ynez Valley in an unhurried, gotta-taste-that fashion? Then...

PORE OVER THE EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE, which includes an open house at Timbre Winery in Santa Maria, an "Educational Vineyard Hike" at Stolpman Vineyards in Ballard Canyon, and a pop-up in Lompoc focused on Babcock Winery. For sure, the vinos'll be some of the sparkling stars of the weekend, and bite-ables of all kinds, and the chance to get to know some of the luminaries who rule the school (or kitchen or grapes) in one of California's most robust food and libation landscapes (and a gorgeous landscape it is). Are you doing a trip to savor October while it is here? Consider turning the car for Solvang, and Lompoc, and other points nearby for one of the biggest gourmet, enjoy-an-autumn-day to-dos on the regional calendar. It's on through Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.

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