Dear Organizers of Sunset Magazine's SAVOR the Central Coast: Pretty please, provide more tents to shade patrons from the heat at Santa Margarita Ranch.
Fall is typically still warm — er, hot — here on the Central Coast, and today was no exception. It was a few digits shy of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Margarita during my visit today to the Santa Margarita Ranch, which hosted Savor the Central Coast's weekend events.
This is not to say that there wasn't relief from the sun, because the tents and ranch structures housing Farmers Market to Meal, Central Coast Pavilion and Winemaker Central were more than sufficient.
However, I felt for the many winemakers pouring their wares in minimal or no shade north of the structures in booths, sweat dripping from their foreheads.
Winemakers from the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County were particularly well represented Saturday. Pouring wines were winemakers and representatives from Sierra Madre Vineyard, Byron, Kenneth Volk and William James Cellars, among others, as well as representatives from the Santa Maria Valley Wine Country Association and the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association.
All grousing about the heat aside, I must emphasize that the event itself was organized like clockwork, with live chef demonstrations the highlight of the weekend, staff members at the ready to answer any questions and clean and cool portable restrooms. No port-a-potties for this crowd.
I listened to celebrity chef Aarti Sequiera, Host of Food Networks' "Aarti Party," captivate about 120 people inside one of the historic barns on the historic ranch.
In abundance was plenty of cool water, short lines for fresh and delicious foods and foot-stomping live music and plenty of seats at flower-festooned picnic tables on a spacious lawn.
SAVOR is organized by the San Luis Obispo County Visitors and Conference Bureau, and Sunset Magazine. The event saw nearly 9,000 visitors in its second year (2011) and is expected to grow even more this year.
While most events Sunday are sold out, should you want to explore the vendors and free demonstrations, visit http://www.savorcentralcoast.com. Dress for blazing heat and stay hydrated.
Spanish padres established a farm on the original Santa Margarita Ranch with assistance from the Chumash Indian population, and in 1787 it was formally recognized as an outpost of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.