Staff Report

The Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers are hosting their second annual Women Winemakers Dinner on Thursday, March 8, to raise money and celebrate International Women’s Day over glasses of wine, fine cuisine and convivial company.

They will gather with local female chefs at K’Syrah Catering in Solvang to raise a glass and funds for the Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County. Organizers have expanded this year’s event to accommodate more guests and additional levels of participation.

The Women’s Fund of Northern Santa Barbara County is a giving circle in which individuals combine their money and/or time so they can have a bigger impact on the causes most important to them. In 2016, the Women’s Fund distributed $50,000 in grants to organizations serving women and children.

International Women’s Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1909, with a focus on working women’s achievements and issues. Winemaking is hard work, and only about 10 percent of winemakers are women.

“There are more than double the average women winemakers in Santa Barbara County, which is a great statement,” said Buttonwood winemaker Karen Steinwachs at last year’s event.

Getting out at dawn during harvest, hauling wine hoses and wrangling barrels in the cellar, and using keen sensory skills to create wines of finesse, balance and flavor are part of a routine day — followed by swapping the boots and jeans for business attire and hitting the road to spread the word and sell the wines and the region.

All of this is often accomplished while raising a family and participating in community service.

More than a dozen female winemakers will be joined by some of the Santa Ynez Valley’s most inventive female chefs, who are creating appetizers as well as the meal to be paired with their colleagues’ wines.

Participating winemakers and wineries confirmed so far include Karen Steinwachs, Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard; Sonja Magdevski, Casa Dumetz Wines; Brooke Carhartt, Carhartt Vineyard & Winery; Alison Thomson, Lepiane Wines; Lane Tanner, Lumen Wines; Adrienne St. John, Rideau Vineyard; Gretchen Voelcker, Luna Hart Wines; Jessica Gasca, Story of Soil; Tara Gomez, Kitá Wines; Angela Osborne, A Tribute To Grace; Kimberly Smith, LaMontagne Winery; Marisa Beverly, Bevela Wines; Clarissa Nagy, Nagy Wines; Sandra Newman, Cebada Wine; Angela Soleno, Turiya Wines; Brit Zotovich, Dreamcôte Wine Co.; Morgan Clendenen, Cold Heaven Cellars; Anna Clifford, Terravant Wine Company; Helen Falcone, Falcone Family Vineyards; Kat Gaffney, Spear Vineyards & Winery; Sarah Holt Mullins, Rancho Sisquoc Winery; Katie Povah and Jill DelaRiva Russell, Cambria Wines.

Chef Brooke of K’Syrah will be joined in the kitchen by baker Amy Dixon of The Baker’s Table in Santa Ynez; Theo Stephan, owner of Los Olivos’ Global Gardens; Chef Cynthia Miranda from The Lucky Hen Larder in Santa Ynez; Chef Pink of Root 246; and additional Santa Ynez Valley chefs to be announced as the event nears.

The Women Winemakers Dinner will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, at K’Syrah Catering & Events, 478 Fourth Place in downtown Solvang.

For tickets or more information, visit