Staff Report

Months after the annual Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers Celebration (, one of the last wine industry events to be held in the region prior to COVID-19-related closures and safer-at-home mandates, the charitable event has announced the donation of its 2020 event proceeds to new nonprofit recipient, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County (

Women Winemakers Celebration organizers and event participants have donated $10,000 in 2020 event proceeds to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to aid in the organization’s greatly increased food distribution efforts and demand this year, due in major part to COVID’s effects on the county’s economy. The Women Winemakers Celebration, held each year on International Women’s Day (March 8), has for the past three years, donated event proceeds to Northern Santa Barbara County nonprofits. Given this year’s food supply crisis, those involved in the Women Winemakers Celebration were in overwhelming agreement that the 2020 event funds raised should benefit those economically affected by the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to be able to allocate these funds toward food distributions in the North County area,” said Laurel Alcantar, Development Manager for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.  “Our need for food resources has more than doubled over the past number of months, and almost 70% of the food we distribute is here in North County, so this is where our need is highest. This gift will have a huge impact on our clients.”

The annual Women Winemakers Celebration brings together a varied sampling of Santa Barbara County’s female winemakers in a show of support for each other, and other working women, worldwide. Each year’s March event — this year, a Sunday brunch held at Roblar Farm in Santa Ynez — features approximately two dozen female winemakers alongside some of the Santa Ynez Valley’s leading culinary ladies, the latter of which collaborate to create multi-course feasts paired with a selection of their winemaker colleagues’ wines.

“We’re all about local. Local wines and winemakers, local chefs, food crafters and local ingredients,” explained Karen Steinwachs, co-founder of the annual Women Winemakers Celebration, winemaker at Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, and owner/winemaker of Seagrape Wine Company. “It made sense for us to support our local Foodbank in this, their greatest time of need, and specifically in an attempt to help them bolster their food growing-related programming as we head into 2021.” 

Alcantar added, “The Foodbank distributes 10 million pounds of food each year, half of which is fresh produce.”

Pandemic pending, the Women Winemakers Celebration will return for a March 8, 2021, event, the details of which are still to be announced. 

For more information about the March 2021 Women Winemakers Celebration plans, please contact Anna Ferguson-Sparks, Stiletto Marketing, at 1.877.327.2656 or