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Walnut Creek Magazine

Visit Santa Barbara Virtually Via Its Wonderful Wines

Apr 06, 2020 01:14PM ● By Fran Miller

Folded Hills Tasting Room. Photo by Jessy Lynn Perkins, courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

By Fran Endicott Miller

While social distancing best practices may not allow us to travel to our favorite wine country destinations, guidelines certainly don’t discourage us from being good consumers from the comfort of our couch. This S.I.P. (Shelter in Place) wine story takes us south, to Santa Barbara and its bevy of world class wineries, many of which are hosting virtual tastings on their social media pages. Santa Barbara Vintners, the local wine association, is hosting some of these weekly through May:

And several Santa Barbara wineries are also currently offering deep discounts and shipping deals:

Area 5.1 Winery: All wines discounted up to 30%.
Au Bon ClimatCall to receive shipping promos between $0.01 in CA with GSO and $20 flat rate elsewhere. Restrictions apply.
Babcock Winery: Offering special pricing on wine and shipping. Contact
Beckmen Vineyards: Shipping included on all orders when you enter PURISIMA at checkout.
Brewer-Clifton: Automatic shipping included on all orders.
Cambria Estate Winery: Offering 15% of all purchases and any 3-bottles purchases will include a bottle of 2015 Mesa Terrace Pinot Noir. Shipping included on all orders.
Carr WineryTake advantage of $1 shipping on all orders placed online. Offer valid until the winery and tasting room can be reopened.
Deep Sea Conway Family Wines: Use online code “TEN” at checkout to receive a $10 giftcard to spend on wines

DV8 Cellars:  Order bottles online or call (818) 535-5050 to place an order for shipment.
Fess Parker Portfolio: Offering $10 flat-rate shipping per/online orders, now through the end of March.
Folded Hills: Offering $25 shipping on all purchases of 6 bottles or more. Try the Essential Stay at Home Introductory Collection of three best selling and award-winning wines.
Grassini Family Vineyards: Shipping is $1 for wine club members and $5 for non-members on any size order.
Jamie Slone Wines: Take advantage of free shipping on online orders of 3 bottles or more with added discounts, now through March 31, 2020.
Melville Winery: Offering $1 flat rate shipping on all orders of three bottles or more to locations within the continental U.S.
Municipal Winemakers: Receive free shipping and 20% off all online orders.
Nielson WinesAutomatic shipping included on all orders.
Pali Wine Co.: Stock up on your favorite Pali, Tower 15 and Neighborhood wines. Purchase online with one cent shipping on all orders of 6 bottles or more. Additional offers include 20% off 6 bottles or 30% off 12 bottles.
Presqu’ile Winery: $150 minimum for $25 flat rate shipping anywhere. Enter “WINE” at checkout.

Santa Barbara Winery: Waiving the minimum online order policy
Zaca Mesa Winery: Use online promo code: ZM5SHIP to receive $5 shipping on all orders.

Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara

In addition, a new podcast and video series on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, “Two Glasses In,” celebrates Santa Barbara County’s unique wines through its winemakers and their lives. The nine-episode series was created by longtime area wine professionals Rafael A. Ruiz and Bion Rice and co-produced by Visit Santa Barbara.

In each 45-minute episode, host Bion Rice, a third-generation winegrower (formerly of Sunstone Winery and, currently, Artiste Winery), sits down with a fellow Santa Barbara County winemaker for a candid, in-depth conversation on their wines, the craft, and their lives. The twist? Both Rice and his guest chat over two glasses of wine. Listeners can view the show notes to follow along and drink what the podcasters are drinking.

Bion Rice and Frank Ostini. Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara 

“I’ve lived and breathed the bounty of Santa Barbara wine country for the past two decades, and believe there’s no better place on Earth to grow wine and cultivate this craft,” said Bion Rice. “We have one of the most diverse grape-growing regions in the world, with more than 70 varietals of grapes, so the stories and ways to taste are endless.”

Podcast episodes are released each Wednesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with a companion webisode released each Friday on Visit Santa Barbara’s website, Each webisode includes footage of the podcast filming, while providing a glimpse into the life of the featured winemaker.


And finally, would-be Santa Barbara wine travelers can do some armchair travel by watching “Sideways,” writer/director Alexander Payne's iconic, Oscar-winning road trip/buddy film that put Santa Barbara's wine scene on the map way back in 2004. Trailer: (Currently on Amazon Prime's Starz and Hulu's Starz subscriptions). 

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