Tasting room manager Samantha Macneil, left, and owner Gretchen Lieff have big plans for La Lieff in the Funk Zone.
Tasting room manager Samantha Macneil, left, and owner Gretchen Lieff have big plans for La Lieff in the Funk Zone. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

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The Funk Zone just got more feminine.

Gretchen Lieff has opened La Lieff, a wine tasting room at 210 Gray Ave. in Santa Barbara. A woman-owned company, it’s a place that “exudes feminine energy.”

“At low times in my life, there has been a great deal of comfort from women, from sisters and friends,” Lieff said. “It just feels good. It just feels better to be part of something and to know you’ve got support.”

She inherited the winery from a difficult divorce, she said. The company had a very “masculine” feel, so she wanted to make a change. 

“The branding wasn’t resonating with me, so I decided to feminize it,” Lieff said.

She added a “La” in front of the name, and added Gaia, the goddess of Earth and the mother of all life.

“We found each other, and Gaia gave me the strength to continue and to expand,” Lieff said.

All of La Lieff wines are made from Estate Grapes grown at Alamo Creek Ranch. The vineyard sits along the southern edge of San Luis Obispo County.

Lieff plans a grand opening on Friday, when it will release a new lineup of wines, including two styles of rosé of grenache, a sauvignon blanc, a grenache, a syrah and valkerie, a grenache-syrah blend. A sparkling rosé of grenache will be released later this fall, according to a news release.

Samantha Macneil, tasting room manager, worked as a winemaker in the Santa Ynez Valley for five years.

“I am really excited to be part of a women-owned and -operated winery,” Macneil said. “I think this is going to be a fabulous community of women. We really are going to stride to elevate women in business and throw lots of wonderful events here and do community outreach and make it a really wonderful space.”

Lieff is the founder and president of the anti-animal abuse group Davey’s Voice and the Lutah Maria Riggs Society. She is also the board vice president of the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

She plans regular events that bring women together at the wine tasting room. 

“I think particularly in America and in the world right now, women need to stick together,” Lieff said.

Hope Ranch Estate 

Randy Solakian Estates Group, a team affiliated with the Montecito office of Coldwell Banker Realty, has listed 4689 Via Roblada in Hope Ranch — dubbed “a sophisticated estate” on nearly 1.5 acres — for $14.5 million.

The home has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.

“Situated in a highly desirable location in Hope Ranch, this sophisticated estate blends old-world distinction and craftsmanship with a layout and amenities that suit a contemporary lifestyle,” Solakian said.

The property includes a pool, formal gardens, a pond, a sport court, a lawn, various mature fruit trees, a giant chess set, a greenhouse, and a room to add a guesthouse and/or horses, according to a news release.

The estate offers a private gate to More Mesa open space and beach.

Among the amenities are French doors that open to a garden terrace with a fireplace and a barbecue. The upstairs features five-bedroom suites, including the primary bedroom with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace, an in-suite bathroom with a soaking tub and an expansive private balcony with mountain views, according to a news release.

To view the home, contact Randy Solakian Estates Group at 805.886.6000 or partners@montecitoestates.com.

Big Lots Coming

Discount home retailer Big Lots will host a grand opening Dec. 10-11 at the Lompoc store, 1009 North H St.

“Our team has been working hard to bring the Lompoc community an amazing new store, and we’re so glad the day is finally here,” said Bruce Thorn, Big Lots president and CEO. “We’ve put a lot of thought into the layout, design and presentation to make the experience the best it can be. Whether they’re new to Big Lots, or haven’t visited in a while, we hope that shoppers will stop by during our grand opening weekend to meet our friendly associates and explore the store.”

Big Lots “offers a unique shopping experience” that is part treasure hunt, part bargain hunt and part everyday necessities, according to a news release. 

The 31,423-square-foot store offers deals on home products and home decor items, including Big Lots exclusive brands such as Broyhill furniture. It also offers variety of products from national brands and an assortment of private labels.

For more information on Big Lots and job openings, visit biglots.com or follow Big Lots on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Baby Boutique

Trudie Lopez, owner of Beach Baby Nannies, has opened a new children’s store in Goleta with her business partner, Andrea Herz.

The Beach Baby Kids Boutique, 270 Storke Road, Suite A, is next to the Rusty’s Pizza and specializes in kids’ attire from ages 0 to 8 years old.

The store, according to a news release, sells shoes, hats, baby things, gifts and toys, water/swimming supplies, jewelry and more.

“We want to provide a positive and friendly experience of shopping with a local retail store for families,” Lopez said. 

Solvang Store

Bangles & Bourbon Boutique has opened in Solvang, at 446 Alisal Road. 

According to a social media post, owner Krista Payne plans to hold Botox parties, “galentines” events, and sip and see festivities. 

The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Joshua Molina

Joshua Molina, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at jmolina@noozhawk.com.