Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 1:25 am | Overcast 48º


Fiesta in the Vines Event Fetes the History of Santa Ynez Valley Wine Industry

Party at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and held in conjuction with the 'Uncorked' exhibit features more than 20 wineries

Royce Lewellen, left, Ann Lewellen and Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum board president Randy Jones enjoy the Fiesta in the Vines celebration at the museum.
Royce Lewellen, left, Ann Lewellen and Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum board president Randy Jones enjoy the Fiesta in the Vines celebration at the museum. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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This year, the popular annual summer Fiesta party at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum returned with a new twist. In celebration of its “Uncorked: Evolution of Wine in the Santa Ynez Valley” exhibit that showcases the history of the wine industry, the museum held an expansive wine-tasting event featuring more than 20 valley wineries, including local favorites as well as several new, boutique wineries pouring some awesome wines.

Accompanying the liquid refreshments, bountiful food stations full of tasty hors d’oeuvres (including a mammoth bowl of guacamole!) provided sustenance during the friendly social hour. Entertainment was provided by popular Fiesta dancers, including 2016 Spirit of Fiesta Alexis Simentales and Junior Spirit of Fiesta Sarah Naretto.

Event sponsors included Coastal Vineyard Care Associates, Montecito Bank & Trust, C&D LLP, Jeff Cotter Consulting, Hometown Insurance Services, Art and Susan Lacerte, Wealthsource Partners, Patty and A.C. d'Augustine, and more.

Lerin Winter headed up the Fiesta in the Vines Committee and coordinated a number of event volunteers, including Kay and Walt Alves, Barbara Mitchell, Linda Fiorentine, Diandra Dee, Debbie Oquist, Gary Bippert, Stefani Taliaferro, Marla Taliaferro and staffers Teresa Mills, Christopher McCarthy, Dottie Bennett and Marge Maggee, as well as, of course, gracious museum Executive Director Chris Bashforth.

Other volunteers were Siobhan Shinn, Susan Kelly, Diane Fly, Bonnie Bisiglio, Karen Litle, Kathy Foss, Tom Florentine, Carol Campbell, Art Knight, Sharon Jungehandel, Susie Simpson, Suzanne Bingham, Veronica and Efrain Meza, Sarah Sterner, and Carla and Ken Canby.

Flamenco guitarist John Stephen played during dinner in the Parks-Janeway Carriage House, and the popular Low Down Dudes band performed a variety of styles and dance tunes before and after a lively auction of magnums of premium wine donated by local vintners.

Museum board president Randy Jones, owner of Hometown Insurance Services in Buellton, helped orchestrate the live auction and told the nearly 200 guests that fundraiser proceeds go to support the museum’s educational programs and history exhibitions.

The event was a family affair — from left, El Presidente J.C. Gordon with Avianna, Olivia and Jamie.
The event was a family affair — from left, El Presidente J.C. Gordon with Avianna, Olivia and Jamie. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Wes Hagen from Clos Pepe served as the master of ceremonies.

Fiesta in the Vines also featured an exciting Starter Wine Cellar Raffle, which included an unparalleled first prize of 100 bottles of premium Santa Ynez Valley wine valued at about $5,000. The second prize was $2,000 in cash. Third prize was Wine Barrel Stave Furniture by Eco-Wine of Solvang, and fourth prize was "Los Olivos Vineyard" by Philip Gerlach Nature Photography.

Board members Jeff Conway and Dan Conaway took to the stage and spoke enthusiastically about the future of the museum and hinted that a new $1 million campaign will bring big improvements and enhancements to the already beloved museum.

Board members also include Sue Eisaguirre, Lee Eisaguirre, Curt Cragg, Margaret Wilkinson, Wayne Natale, Joe Olla, Jeanette McKibbin, Kristin Reynolds, Steve Graves and Debbie Oquist.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House celebrate the rich history of the Santa Ynez Valley, its pioneering settlers and the five early townships that formed the foundation of this unique region. Through its collection, exhibits and educational programs, the museum honors the valley’s past for the enjoyment of generations to come.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum officially opened on July 4, 1961, in a two-room building in the heart of the Santa Ynez township. From this modest beginning, the museum has grown into an attractive series of rooms of history and memorabilia surrounding a patio courtyard. The museum is composed of exhibit spaces that include the Native American Room, the Museum Gift Shop, the Pioneer Room, the Jeannette Lyons Costume Room, the Valley Room and the Ellen Gleason Library that houses the museum book and archive collection.

Located adjacent to the old Santa Ynez jail (1885-1913) and across the museum’s courtyard is the 7,500-square-foot Parks-Janeway Carriage House, renowned as one of the finest authentic carriage collections of its kind in the United States. The Carriage House displays more than 36 carriages, including a variety of wagons, carts, stagecoaches and other historical modes of horse-drawn transportation.

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum is located at 3596 Sagunto St. in Santa Ynez. For more information, click here, call 805.688.7889 or email [email protected].

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. This article includes reportinf Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Volunteers Barbara Mitchell, left, Linda Fiorentine and Diandra Dee. Click to view larger
Volunteers Barbara Mitchell, left, Linda Fiorentine and Diandra Dee. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
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