A bright spot on the horizon is the return of Restaurant Weeks in the Santa Ynez Valley for the 12th consecutive year.
Starting Monday and for two weeks, area restaurants — and several wineries — will offer special prix fixe prices that showcase the region’s culinary delights.
As with years past, participating Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks restaurants will feature chef-driven, three-course prix fixe menus for $30, $40 or $50, plus tax and gratuity.
The participating wineries and tasting rooms will offer various specials, among them two-for-one tastings, special tasting flights and discounts on bottle purchases. A list of the participating businesses is available at DineSYV.com.
“After the events of the last two years, we’re all looking for meaningful ways to reunite or reconnect with family, friends and loved ones,” said Shelby Sim, president and CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley. “While Santa Ynez Valley Restaurant Weeks is an opportunity to celebrate the bounty of our local farmers and immense talent of our chefs, patron safety remains a top priority.
“With that safety in mind, restaurant participants and hours are subject to change, and the latest hours and participants can be found at www.DineSYV.com. County and state mask mandates remain in place.”
Lompoc’s Restaurant Week will take place Feb. 21-27; details can be found at the website here.
While Santa Maria has in previous years also celebrated Restaurant Week, no information about the 2022 series was available.
Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance Names ‘Person of the Year’
Every year, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance membership recognizes one of its own who has exemplified promoting the region’s spirit with leadership and vision.
William “Billy” Grant, business development head and partner at McPrice Myers Wines, will receive the 2021 Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year Award as voted on by his peers. A special “Where Wine Takes You” podcast will feature Grant and his efforts.
Grant has been involved in the Paso Robles wine industry since 2002, and during that time has served as partner, investor, consultant and a resource to wineries, vineyards and affiliated businesses. Affectionately known as the “loudest guy in the room,” Grant has promoted the Paso Robles wine region by increasing market reach for brands with both creative and unconventional approaches.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur, and seeing other entrepreneurs and businesses thrive is what I love the most about getting involved. I’m a true believer in the saying, a rising tide lifts all boats,” Grant said. “My passion for Paso is rooted in the sense of community and true nature of what we do here.”
Grant enjoyed early success in the banking industry as a founder of an electronic payment systems company in the Bay Area.
While in Napa entertaining bankers and clients, he was bitten by the wine bug and, in 2002, invested in making a little Naked Chardonnay with his childhood friend turned winemaker Christian Teitje and partner Susan Mahler (Sam) of Four Vines Winery — and the rest, as the story goes, is history.
Grant’s high-energy sales approach helped build Four Vines from 8,000 to 120,000 cases in six years with a successful exit for the brand and its partners.
In 2008, he met Janell Dusi while she was driving her tractor and picking grapes. Together 14 years now, Grant works with her on growing and developing J Dusi Winery.
In 2017, Grant joined McPrice Myers as a consultant and grew into a partner who now leads business development.
“Working shoulder to shoulder with Mac at McPrice Myers has been a highlight of my work in Paso. Mac embodies the authenticity and renegade nature of Paso Robles winemaking. I couldn’t be more excited about selling Paso Robles coast to coast once again,” Grant said.
While the Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year is typically bestowed at an annual winter gathering of the membership, the 2022 celebration will occur when outdoor temperatures are warmer.