Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 6:07 pm | Fair 69º



New Signs Uncorked on Foxen Canyon Wine Trail

New wine trail sign designed to help travellers. Click to view larger
New wine trail sign designed to help travellers. (Courtesy photo)

Thanks to collaboration between wineries and a grant from the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), new signs are in place to help wine tourists find just what they’re looking for in Santa Maria Valley wine country.

“The Foxen Canyon Wine Trail community has wanted to update and repair its signs for a number of years now,” said Elizabeth Gunn-Bauman, sales office manager for Foxen Vineyard & Winery.

“Our roads are built on old cow paths, so it’s easy to get turned around. Also, mobile phone reception is spotty, so having a literal arrow pointing the way can be vital for our visitors,” she said.

Some of the original signs, which were first installed in 2008, had been vandalized; others represented wineries that were no longer on the trail; still others were needed to represent wineries newly added to the trail, Gunn-Bauman said. All of this was adding to the confusion of travelers.

Using profits from its annual Summer Sipping and Christmas on the Trail events, members of the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail alliance began work on the new signage earlier this year.

Gunn-Bauman said, “First, Anna Blair, assistant winemaker for Martian Ranch & Vineyard, created a large map that included photos of each sign. Next, Kristen Murray, proprietor of Andrew Murray Vineyards audited each sign to see which arrows needed to be removed, replaced or added.

"Meanwhile, I coordinated the project with a local sign company,” she said.

Gunn-Bauman also approached the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau regarding a potential grant, and was delighted when VCB agreed to provide significant funding.

In the end, a sign was replaced at the corner of Foxen Canyon Road and Alisos Canyon Road, while two other signs were updated at the corners of Foxen Canyon Road/Zaca Station Road; and Foxen Canyon Road/Highway 154.

“The three signs were installed a couple of weeks ago and we’ve already received comments from visitors on how helpful they are," Gunn-Bauman said. "Our hope is get more signs made and installed at major intersections on and around Foxen Canyon Road.”

— Malei J. Weir for Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau.

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