Staff Report

Debra Eagle, general manager of Alma Rosa Winery, a leading wine producer from Santa Barbara County’s Sta. Rita Hills, announced that  the winery’s inaugural “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction” fundraiser raised $144,225 in support of research and treatment for anxiety and depression, exceeding their goal of $100,000. The virtual event launched on Sept. 10, and culminated on World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10. 

Participants were encouraged to raise funds while completing a virtual 10,000-step walk (approximately 5 miles) at any point throughout the month, leveraging the RunGo app to simulate a tour across the Alma Rosa estate. Funds will go to two beneficiaries, Mental Wellness Center and One Mind

Alma Rosa owners Bob and Barb Zorich created Peace of Mind out of concern for the prevalence of depression and anxiety conditions in our society. In addition to launching the first of what will be an annual winery fundraiser walk for mental wellness, Bob currently serves as chairman of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute in Houston and supports the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation in New York City. Of the $144,225 raised, $66,000 were matching funds contributed by the Zorichs.

“We are overwhelmed by the community’s support for our first annual fundraiser,” said Bob Zorich. “The decision to pivot the fundraiser to a virtual event allowed participants to get outdoors and move, while also supporting the much-needed research and treatment of mental health, anxiety and depression. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires on the West Coast and other forces that have taken a toll on the mental health of our communities, the donors’ support will have a very meaningful impact,” he adds.

One Mind was founded 25 years ago, and to date has raised just over $480 million in direct and leveraged funding towards their vision of healthy brains for all. One Mind’s mission is to speed up discoveries in brain health through large-scale, open-science research. They bring together the best minds in neuroscience around a collective goal to more effectively diagnose, prevent, and treat brain disease and injury. Guided by an expert Scientific Advisory Board, One Mind supports researchers who are willing to share their data, stay focused on the needs of patients, and place clinical tools and improved therapies before academic achievement and journal publishing recognition.

Since 1947, Mental Wellness Center has been building hope for individuals and families, providing support in recovery and raising awareness of mental health within the Santa Barbara community. This important organization provides mental health education to local students, a residential services program which safely provides a home to more than 100 community members across seven residential sites, and serves individuals and families impacted by a mental health diagnosis through support groups, employment services, and social connection programs like the Fellowship Club, an on-site social day club and safe space with resources for those living with mental health struggles.

Alma Rosa Winery is dedicated to making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines that express the terroir of its unique appellation, the Sta. Rita Hills. Alma Rosa’s wines are layered, vibrant and balanced, reflecting the cool climate impact of the Pacific Ocean breezes which funnel through the unique east-west transverse mountain range of the region. The winery was founded in 2005 by Richard Sanford, who was the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Sta. Rita Hills in 1971. Today the winery is owned by Bob and Barb Zorich, who purchased the winery in 2014. Samra Morris is winemaker.

For more information about Alma Rosa Winery, please visit