Staff Report

The Santa Barbara Vintners Festival, one of the largest wine festivals in Southern California in its 37th year, is scheduled for May 4 at Rancho Sisquoc Winery.

Those attending can enjoy premium wines but also ask their wine-related questions, often to the winemakers themselves.

The Festival Grand Tasting features more than 70 local wineries, many pouring newly released wines. Local food purveyors, live music, culinary and wine demonstrations, and a silent auction are paired with the wine.

Guests also will get a behind-the-scenes look at how wine is made. There will be museum-like displays providing insight into the winemaking world, from watching a cooper make barrels, to seeing how wine actually gets into the bottle, to barrel-tasting at the winery itself. 

During the weekend of the festival,  $50 “Vintners Visa” allows guests to pick tastings at 12 wineries in the county, with more than 40 wineries to choose from, between May 2 and 6.

Festival ticket options include early-entry VIP access ($100), which allows holders access to the Festival Grand Tasting an hour before it opens to the public, general admission ($75), locals only ($60), and designated drivers and under 21 ($25). 

Rancho Sisquoc is part of an 1852 Mexican land grant. The winery is part of a 37,000-acre cattle ranch and farm purchased in 1952 by Mr. and Mrs. James Flood, who still own the property.

For tickets and more information, go to