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Drink in Autumn at Lompoc Wine Country Events

Harvest season is underway in Lompoc, which is known for its small-production wineries specializing in pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, sauvignon blanc and other cool-climate varietals from the surrounding Santa Rita Hills.

The annual Celebration of Harvest Weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 2,  provides and to sample regionally produced wines. Held in various locations throughout Santa Barbara Wine Country, the event includes wine dinners, vineyard excursions, winery open houses and tasting events.

One way to sip and sample at your own pace is the Harvest Experience Passport which allows holders to taste wine at up to 12 different locations for $50 per person.

Participating Lompoc wineries include: Ampelos Cellars, Babcock Winery, Cebada Vineyard, Fiddlehead Cellars, JCR Vineyard, Longoria Wine, Melville Winery, Montemar, Pali Wine Co., Palmina Wines, and Zotovich Vineyards & Winery.

Flying Goat Cellars will host a Harvest Lunch & Barrel Tasting 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 30 at the winery, 1251 West Laurel Ave. in Lompoc.

Winemaker Norm Yost will enlighten guests as they sip on 2016 barrel samples, and Flying Goat wines will be paired with a lunch featuring vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Tickets are $50 for wine members, and $70 for non-members.

Other autumn events planned locally:

» La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is celebrating fall with Harvest Mission Life Day 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. Visitors can stomp grapes and thresh wheat at the end-of-the-season harvest.

On Oct. 7, at the annual Candlelight Tour, guests will be escorted on a candlelit tour through the mission's historic grounds and entertained by docents who reenact scenes from the past. While on the tour dinner will be served in La Sala. Tickets are $50 per person. Advanced reservations required.

La Purisima Mission, set on a 2,000-acre park with 25 miles of hiking trails, offers a glimpse into early California history. The mission is at 2295 Purisima Road, Lompoc. Parking is $6 per vehicle and free guided tours are offered  at 1 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

» Sanford Winery invites visitors to a Friday Night Wine Down 4-6:30 p.m. Sept. 22 at 5010 Santa Rosa Road. There will be live music, food specials and wine. Cost is $20 per person, or $10 for wine club members.

» Family owned and operated Dare 2 Dream Farms is offering a Scenic Farm Tour 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. Visitors will be guided on a narrated tour of the farm and see goats, ducks and chickens while learning about sustainability and organic farming.

The tour is $15 for adults, $5 for youth ages 5-17, and free for kids under age 5. A dozen eggs is included with the price of admission. The farm is tucked away in a canyon on La Salle Canyon Road, three miles west of downtown Lompoc off Hwy. 246.

» Longoria Wines hosts its Harvest Open House & New Releases Party noon-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at its winery and tasting room, 415 E. Chestnut Ave., Lompoc. Longoria will pour its newest wine releases and feature live music by Moonlight Trio.

Wine tasting is $15 and wine can be purchased by the glass or bottle. Food will be available for purchase from Cubanissimo Cuban Food Truck.

— Janis Flippen for Explore Lompoc.


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