By Rochelle Rose

Noozhawk Contributing Writer

Fiesta celebrations got an early start at the third annual Fiesta in the Vines event hosted by the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum held at the gorgeous Pence Vineyards & Winery along Highway 246 in Buellton.

Blair and Diane Pence hosted the event at their Pence Vineyards & Winery.

Hosts Diane and Blair Pence donated the venue for the museum fundraiser, which attracted 170 supporters. After being shuttled by bus to the winery’s Canyon Bowl, guests enjoyed the music of Mariachi Las Olas de Santa Barbara, as well as wine tasting, specialty margaritas, beverages and gourmet appetizers.

Welcoming the attendees and opening the program was museum board president Joe Olla.

“When Diane and Blaire Pence offered to donate their stunning Pence Vineyards & Winery to us as our venue, we realized we had the opportunity to showcase the importance of the fine wines and their dimensions in the Santa Ynez Valley and the museum,” he said.

“We have created a signature event that helps highlight the quality of life here that we are all so fortunate to experience each and every day.”

The auctioneer then garnered top bids for 12 live auction items, including packages donated by the Landsby Inn of Solvang, a Santa Maria-style barbecue hosted by Jim Glines and the Community Bank of Santa Maria, golf at Alisal Guest Ranch and many others.

Later, a Fiesta buffet was served in the Canyon Horseshoe Amphitheatre. The unique yet traditional menu was prepared by Jack Francis and team from the Valley Piggery. Tasty menu items included Valley Piggery chile verde, gulf shrimp, enchiladas Barbareno, vaquero beans, Santa Fe corn, and avocado salad, as well as light lemon-touched coconut maroons for dessert.

Master roper and horse trainer Ramon Becerra performs at Fiesta in the Vines.

“I am happy to report that the event raised just over $50,000 to support educational programs and exhibits at the museum,” museum executive director Brian Stenfors said.

Sponsors included Pence Vineyards & Winery, Margaret Wilkinson and Bob Andrews, Mark Sanchez, WealthSource Partners, CPA Advisors, Montecito Bank & Trust, Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation and others.

Later, supporters danced under the stars to the music of Flying Fish and Rounder recording artists Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan. Fiesta and cowboy attire was the order of the day.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society and its historical museum were organized in 1961 by a group of dedicated valley residents who recognized the need to preserve and to celebrate local history for future generations. Its mission is to create a better future for the Santa Ynez Valley by inspiring generations to find wonder and meaning in the past.

For more information, go to, call 805-688-7889 or email


Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at