Wine & Fire returns for a fourth year this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 16-18, at several locations throughout the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Winemaking members of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance (SRHWA) will showcase the wines they produce from the appellation, Santa Barbara County's coolest and western-most AVA.
Wine & Fire 2013 opens Friday evening with a party at the historic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard barn, the structure that originally housed the first winery in the Sta. Rita Hills: Sanford. The evening will include wine tasting, wood-fired pizzas from Bello Forno and one of Lompoc's favorite bands, Saint Anne's Place.
Saturday kicks off with a morning seminar and lunch at Hilliard Bruce Vineyard, and will end with more wine tasting and food, this time at La Purisima Mission starting at 5 p.m.
Josh Raynolds of Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar will once again moderate Saturday morning's seminar on chardonnay and pinot noir.
Seminar attendees will sample chardonnay from six Sta. Rita Hills' vineyards while six winemakers outline the terroir, farming styles and climate for those sites.
The pinot noir portion of the seminar will target clone 115; six additional winemakers will depict the SRH's most-commonly-planted clone by pouring barrel samples from seven different vineyards.
Panelists and vineyards include:
n Chardonnay: Santa Rosa Corridor — Steve Clifton of Brewer Clifton, Sweeney Canyon Vineyard; Ken Brown of Ken Brown Wines, Rita's Crown Vineyard; and Richard Sanford, Alma Rosa Winery, El Jabali Vineyard. Also presenting chardonnay, from the Highway 246 Corridor, are John Hilliard, Hillard Bruce Wines, Hilliard Bruce Vineyard; Leslie Mead-Renaud, Foley Family Wines, Rancho Santa Rosa; and Antonio Moretti, Moretti Wines, 3D Vineyard.
n Pinot Noir Clone 115: Santa Rosa Corridor — Brandon Sparks-Gillis, Dragonette Cellars, Cargasacchi Vineyard; Kris Curran, D'Alfonso-Curran Wines, Rancho LaVina Vineyard; Norm Yost, Flying Goat Cellars, Rio Vista Vineyard; and Steve Fennell, Sanford Winery, La Rinconada Vineyard. Also presenting Clone 115, from the Highway 246 Corridor, are Kim Smith, LaMontagne Winery, Kessler-Haak Vineyard; Adam Lee, Siduri Wines, Clos Pepe Vineyard; and Bill Wathen, Foxen Winery, Sebastiano Vineyard.
Saturday will wind down with the grand tasting, where more than 25 SRHWA members will pour chardonnays, pinot noirs and other grape varietals alongside food purveyors, among them Babe Farms, the Ballard Inn, Avant Tapas & Wine and the Hitching Post II
To buy tickets and check up-to-the minute details on special tastings at specific SRH wineries, visit www.staritahills.com
Members of the SRHWA are 3D Ranch, Alma Rosa, Brewer-Clifton, Cargasacchi, Carr, Clos Pepe, Cold Heaven, Crawford Family Wines, D'Alfonso Curran, Dierberg, Dragonette, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat Cellars, Foley Family Wines, Foxen, Gypsy Canyon, Hartley Ostini Hitching Post Wines, Hibbits Ranch, Hilliard Bruce, Huber Vineyards, Jalama Wines, Ken Brown, Kessler-Haak, Kita Wines, Lafond, La Lomita Vineyard, LaMontagne, Liquid Farm, Lindley Wines, Longoria Wines, Loring Wine Co., Montemar, Moretti, Municipal Winemakers, Pali Wine Company, Prodigal Wines, Rancho La Vina, Rozak Vinters, Sanford Winery, Seagrape Wine Company, Sea Smoke, Sebastiano Vineyard, Siduri Wines, Spear Vineyards and Winery, Thorne Wine, Transcendence and Zotovich Vineyards.