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Santa Maria Valley Wine Country Offers Vineyard Tours

Tour North County vineyards and meet the people who grow the grapes and make the wine

Anxious to park the car and take a tour of some of Santa Barbara County’s top-notch vineyards? The Santa Maria Valley Wine Country has just the ticket.

Santa Maria Valley Wine Country, or SMVWC, is offering the public a series of free vineyard walks. On the second Saturday of each month through October, various vineyard managers will lead tours of their properties. Topics of discussion will include commercial vineyard practices, stages of vine growth, climate issues and more.

The first vineyard walk took place April 11, at Bien Nacido Vineyards east of Santa Maria, and was led by James Ontiveros, director of sales and marketing for Bien Nacido Vineyards, as well as for Solomon Hills Vineyard, French Camp Vineyard, the Central Coast Wine Services and the Paso Robles Wine Services.

Future walks start at 10 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month. Dates and the participating vineyards are May 9, Cottonwood Canyon; June 13, Costa de Oro; July 11, Riverbench; and Aug. 8 and Sept. 12, still to be announced. On Oct. 10, Bien Nacido Vineyards will host another walk, this one during the 2009 harvest.

Click here for more information and directions to participating vineyards, or call 866.480.5194. To join the Santa Maria Valley Wine Country mailing list, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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