Staff Report

Event co-chairs Karen Johnson and Peter Wright invite the community to the 2021 Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on August 28, outdoors on the beautiful, shaded grounds of St. Mark’s Church, located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos. 

Funds raised at this annual event support and expand community service projects benefitting the Santa Ynez Valley and the larger Santa Barbara County region. The Summer Classic will include top-flight local wines, ales, and ciders, and a stellar meal created by Chef Jake O. Francis and the Valley Piggery team. This year’s wine sponsors include Fiddlehead Cellars, Stars and Dust, and Fess Parker.  

Accompanied by live music from the band CINCOPATE, the silent auction starts at 5:30 p.m. It includes beautiful finds from top area merchants, art, recreation, food, and wine, representing our finest vintners and vineyards. One special package, “Women Who Crush,” combines the talents of our creative women vintners. Art and art classes by Chris Chapman and John Iwerks offer the talents of highly regarded and sought-after regional artists. 

Noted auctioneer Ken Hollister will wield the gavel for the live auction that includes outstanding wines, art, estate jewelry, and unique experiences, including “Ken Brown’s University of Zaca Mesa” a magnificent salute in multiple magnums to famed vintner, the late Jim Clendenen. These wines were donated by those in his close circle, including Au Bon Climat, Lindquist Family Wines, Ken Brown Wines, Ojai Valley Wines, and others. Live auction bidders will also have a chance to secure seats at the first-ever “Community Kitchen Cabaret” combining the work of gifted area chefs and talented singers in a one-of-a-kind, not-to-be-missed culinary and entertainment extravaganza in the autumn. Also, a successful live bidder will be able to invite 20 guests on a coastal sightseeing trip on the largest motor yacht in Santa Barbara Harbor, the 90-foot Torqua, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and fine wines.

Reservations are required and may be made by visiting or by calling 805-325-9280The suggested donation is $100 per person (down from $150 in previous years), but everyone can choose a reservation donation of any amount that will work for them. The idea is to enable all friends and neighbors to come together for this exceptional evening of caring for our Santa Ynez Valley community in these uncertain times. Support from the Summer Classic enables significant and expanding community work, including:

  • The Santa Ynez Valley Community Kitchen – a food hub for addressing food insecurity through teaching and training, food recovery, supporting microeconomic culinary projects, and charitable feeding on and offsite in collaboration with area organizations and individuals.
  • Open Doors – our program offering meeting space on a no-fee basis for over 100 non-profit and community-based organizations annually.
  • Serving as a Welcome Center, open all day every day for local residents, workers, and visitors with clean, open restrooms, an available Wi-Fi network, labyrinth, shaded courtyard, and other amenities (like ice water on hot days and treats and water for dogs) (this service continued every day during the pandemic).
  • St. Mark’s professional preschool which offered an entire school year of in-person early childhood education in 2020-2021 and is preparing for the 2021-22 school year with generous scholarship assistance.
  • The 41st Santa Ynez Valley Concert Series bringing world-class professional musicians to our community. St. Mark’s serves as a concert and arts venue for area music studios, artists, and arts education.

Regardless of attendance, donations to this community service work can also be made at or by texting SERVESYV to 44321.

The Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic is coordinated by volunteer leaders including Peter Wright, Karen Johnson, Kathryn Wrench, Kate O’Neill, Lisa Witt, Peter and Gabi Robbins, and Bill Hurbaugh, with help from Leslie Zuller, Silvia Lucatero, and many community members.