By Laurie Jervis

In an effort to bolster the local fight against COVID-19 and continue to support Santa Barbara County’s farmworkers, the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation and Direct Relief have gifted $200,000 to Community Health Partners of the Central Coast.

The Santa Barbara Wine Auction, which took place Feb. 15, united a special partnership between the wine industry and the nonprofit sector. The Santa Barbara Vintners, Direct Relief and Community Health Centers each share the common mission to support humanitarian health assistance for people in need both locally and globally – especially during the fight against COVID-19.

CHC has stepped up to meet the challenges of the pandemic in the Central Coast, but its clinics have been stretched thin, and it’s been short on staff, medical supplies and protective equipment.

“This generous gift will literally save lives – it’s that simple,” said Ron Castle, CEO of CHC. “Our clinics are on the health care front line.”

For 20 years, the Vintners Foundation has been active in sustaining and expanding Direct Relief’s health assistance for people in need, both locally and globally.

“Our goal with the 2020 Wine Auction was to serve as a bridge and bring together and support the important works of Direct Relief and CHC,” said Jessica Gasca, president of the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation.

The biennial Santa Barbara Wine Auction has evolved through the years with the partnership of the Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation, Direct Relief and Community Health Centers. The 2020 Wine Auction marked the11th year of uniting to boost the community.

Kevin Travis Joins Star Lane, Dierberg Vineyards

Star Lane and Dierberg Vineyards have hired Kevin Travis as vice president of sales and marketing.

In the role, Travis will oversee the sales and marketing efforts, including wholesale and retail sales. He will report to Tyler Thomas, president and director of winemaking.

Travis brings extensive sales and leadership experience to Star Lane and Dierberg. Most recently, he was brand manager for Buccella, a Napa Valley winery. Before Buccella, Travis served in a general manager or beverage director role for a variety of top-flight restaurants in Los Angeles and Hawaii.

“Kevin will play a crucial role in expanding the reach and awareness of Star Lane and Dierberg beyond our current enthusiast and loyal customer base,” Thomas said. “He brings exceptional knowledge of the market and a skill set to grow our sales to fulfill our founders’ goal to produce some of the best wines in the country and recognized around the world for their quality.”

Buellton Brew Fest Postponed

Earlier this month, organizers of the Buellton Brew Fest postponed the event a second time (from the original May date, to July, to September). It is now scheduled to take place from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5 — Labor Day weekend.

The ninth annual event will once again be held at River View Park in Buellton. More than 55 craft breweries, wineries, and Kombucha and spirit producers will be on hand.

Will Breman, a finalist on “The Voice,” Lompoc’s Richie Rey and DJ Hecktic! will provide the music, and a variety of food trucks and vendors will have food for sale. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.

River View Park is located at 151 Sycamore Drive in Buellton.