Bring Your Hat - Santa Barbara California wine weekend

I recently took a quick trip out to Santa Barbara for the vintner’s auction. Quick, meaning I left my house at 4:30 am EST on Friday and was back home in Florida for dinner on Sunday.

We stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Bacara overlooking the ocean. We had a private villa and were hosted by our good friends from the Samsara winery who I partnered with to donate a custom hat along with a tasting for two at their Goleta tasting room. Both Samsara’s tasting rooms as well as the Bacara carry my wine hats for local purchase.

The auction preview and welcome event was Friday night. There were 40 wineries pouring and an amazing spread of heavy hors d’oeuvres. I did a video of the event that is up on my Instagram page.

The next morning, still on Eastern standard time I was up to catch the sunrise. It was stunning. Santa Barbara jets out into the Pacific Ocean so you can see both sunrise and sunset. This was from my morning walk. No filter needed. 

After breakfast and coffee at the Bacara’s beautiful café we had valet bring our car around and drove north east to the most nostalgic town of Los Olivos California. This town itself is worth visiting on its own, but if you are ever in Santa Barbara and haven’t been you definitely need to make the 45 minute drive. There are countless wineries shops and places to get a bite. Samsara also has a tasting room here along with some of my other favorites. Holus Bolus, Future Perfect and Bien Nicado.

Next we went to a magical place that has been on my bucket list for a while now. The Fess Parker ranch, vineyard and winery. This amazing place was purchased in the 80’s and backs up to what used to be Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The first part of our visit was spent for an hour and a half on horseback with the founders granddaughter Katie leading us through the Wagyu cattle pastures, the vineyards, hills and mountains. The second part of our visit was on the patio of the tasting room in front of the massive fireplace enjoying a full tasting flight. Again a must visit place if you’re ever in Santa Barbara. The short drive and absolutely worth it.

That night was spent in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Bacara for a formal dinner and wine auction. Everyone was dressed in their best and the excitement was palpable. An incredible amount of money was raised for a great cause, good food, excellent wine and new friends were made. I am still waiting for the photographer to post her pictures from that event so I can share them with you.
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