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Natural History Museum’s Autumn Wine Event on Tap Oct. 23

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History introduced two bookend events this year to complement the Santa Barbara Wine Festival.

The first — Women Winemakers — was a sold-out affair this past spring.

The upcoming autumn symposium“In the Beginning: The Early Years in the Santa Barbara Wine Country,” will feature an all-star panel of Santa Barbara winemakers from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 23 in Fleischmann Auditorium at the museum, 2559 Puesta del Sol.

Panelists include: Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), Fred Brander (Brander Vineyards), Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines), Bob Lindquist (Qupe), Lane Tanner (Lumen Wines), and Rick Longoria (Longoria Wines). Antonio Gardella, a local fine-wine specialist, is scheduled to moderate the panel with an hour-long Q&A.

The event begins with wine-tasting from 1-2 p.m., followed by the Q&A and finishing with socializing and tastings.

The six panelists will have their wines poured at the event, as well as Zaca Mesa, Mosby and Whitcraft. Local food purveyors such as Village Modern Foods, Pete Clements Catering, Jessica Foster Confections, Pico Restaurant, C’est Cheese, and The Shop Café will be showcasing their sweet and savory bites.

“These six winemakers have a wealth of information that they will share with the intimate group of guests and guests will have a chance to interact with all of them during the tastings,” said Meridith Moore, event manager for the museum.

Tickets for the event are $75 for members, $100 for non-members, and are available at www.sbnature.org/tickets. For more information, contact Moore at 682-4711 ext. 112 or [email protected]

Following is some information about the panelists.

Bob Lindquist, Qupe: Bob has been instrumental not only in developing the Rhone varietal movement on the Central Coast, but also in America. He has been producing world class Rhone varietal wines since the early 1980s and continues his quest with the same zeal he started with. Consequently, Qupe has been deemed one of the Wineries of the Year for Wine & Spirits Magazine every year since 1999. In March 2015 Bob received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rhone Rangers.

Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat: In 1989 and 1990 Au Bon Climat was on Robert Parker's short list of Best Wineries in the World, and in 1991 was selected by Oz Clark as one of 50 worldwide creators of Modern Classic Wines. Dan Berger of the Los Angeles Times named Clendenen the "Los Angeles Times Winemaker of the Year" in 1992; Food & Wine magazine named him "Winemaker of the Year" in 2001. In 2004, Germany's leading wine magazine, Wein Gourmet, named Clendenen “Winemaker of the World;” and in 2007, Clendenen was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.”

Fred Brander, Brander Vineyards and Winery: Brander’s pursuit to produce the best Sauvignon Blanc in California is documented in various publications and by the numerous awards his Sauvignon Blanc has received. He recently put the same effort, dedication and fervor into creating exceptional small lots of estate Cabernet Sauvignon that push the quality envelope for red Bordeaux varietal wines produced in Santa Barbara County. He's earned his place in the wine world, often being called “King of Sauvignon Blanc” in California.

Rick Longoria, Longoria Wines: Longoria says, "From the beginning of my career I felt that the Santa Barbara wine region had the potential to produce world class wines and it's been very gratifying to see that belief realized over the more than 30 years I've been here. It's also been rewarding to have had the good fortune over the years to have some of my wines contribute to the acclaim of our wine region."

Over the years, Longoria has experimented with different vineyard sources and grape varietals and has added more wines to his portfolio. His pursuit of excellence requires the production of his wines to remain small even after 30-plus years in business. Longoria wines are handcrafted in small quantities, from 50 to 700 cases. Total annual production currently averages 3,000 cases.

Ken Brown, Ken Brown Wines: Brown is recognized as one of Santa Barbara County’s pioneering winemakers and innovators. He was among the first vintners to realize the huge promise for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in this cool-climate appellation in the mid 1970’s. He was also the first winemaker to introduce the Syrah grape, as well as Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, to Santa Barbara County.

Lane Tanner, Lumen Wines: Tanner was one of the first female winemakers in Central California, and the first to dedicate her entire winery to Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Her knowledge of the Santa Maria Valley dates back to her first vintage in 1981, as oenologist for Firestone. She later made wine for Zaca Mesa and the Hitching Post, and finally under her own label in 1989. Her wines are notable for being low in alcohol and sulfites, a practice that she continues to this day.

— Sherri Frazer for The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.


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