biking the winery trail through the Santa Ynez Valley with the Santa Barbara Ski Club. (or rather...driving around picking up everyone's wine purchases)
The historic Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma has been sold to the Foley Wine Group.
...Foley Wine Group, based in Santa Barbara, manages a portfolio of vineyards and wineries in California and the Pacific Northwest, including Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery, Lincourt Vineyards, Firestone Vineyards, Merus, Altus, Goodnight Cellars and Three Rivers Winery. - San Francisco Business Times
The history of Sebastiani Vineyards dates back to 1825. In that year, the Franciscan fathers of nearby mission San Francisco Solano, assisted by local native Americans, first cleared and planted land for their vineyards. These vineyards are among the oldest vineyard sites in northern California. They were acquired in 1904 by Samuele Sebastiani, the founder of our family winery, who immigrated from the wine producing region of Tuscany, Italy in 1895. - Sebastiani Vineyards
The decision by the Sebastiani family to sell their namesake winery rather than conquer their internal divisions will bring to an end a family business that formed Sonoma's wine identity for more than a century.
"This is a benchmark transaction because the Sebastiani name has been synonymous with Sonoma and with California," said Robert Nicholson, principal of International Wine Associates of Healdsburg. "I am sure it was a difficult decision within the family of pioneers in the wine business. But sometimes selling is the right decision. - Santa Rosa Press Democrat
With a background in professional snowboarding and no money, self-taught filmmaker Robert DaFoe decided he wanted to leap into the winemaking business.
With a camera at his side, DaFoe was compelled to track his experiences from harvest to bottle, and all the strife in between — mainly the struggles to find cheap or free wine-related essentials. Things like grapes. And barrels. Oh, and a place to produce it all.
But what’s notable about DaFoe’s film, “From Ground to Glass,” is that he goes beyond merely tracking his own successes and failures — he’s able to get a rare glimpse into the livelihoods of some of the biggest names in the tri-county wine industry. Though the film premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival two years ago, it was released earlier this month on DVD, bringing the faces and histories behind the area’s biggest labels into mass distribution. - Pacific Coast Business Times
Now that the smoke has begun to clear from North Coast vineyards, questions are swirling about whether it will linger in the 2008 vintage.
Grape growers and winemakers closest to the wildfires are concerned that the vines may absorb enough of the unsavory smoke compounds to taint the wines.
...Firefighting helicopters have been regular visitors at winery irrigation ponds, and vineyard workers have been sent home many days out of concern for their health. With the start of harvest just a few weeks away, concern is turning to the health of the grapes.
"We certainly have a concern that something could happen, but we really don't know," Sawyer said. "We're basically just waiting to see what develops."- The Press Democrat
An estimated 200 residents were evacuated monday evening in an area east of Santa Barbara's wine country as the stubborn Zaca wildfire spread and crept closer to homes and ranches.
Officials issued the evacuation order — the first since the fire began on July 4 — about 7:30 p.m. the 25,000-acre blaze burning in the Los Padres National Forest and San Rafael Wilderness moved east and south, coming within about two miles of some residences, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow.
A voluntary evacuation order also was issued for 1,000 residents living in and around Los Olivos, he said. - Latte Times
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department has issued an "Evacuation Order" for the residents of Happy Canyon Road above Baseline Road, including the communities of Tunnel Ranch, Peachtree Canyon, Rancho De Los Vistadores, and the Sedgwick Ranch. The Zaca Fire is at McKinley Ridge and is an immediate threat to life and property. Residents who live in or around the identified communities are advised to immediately evacuate. - InciWeb