Women Winemakers raise funds for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
To celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8, Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers have an annual Women Winemakers Celebration that brings together local female winemakers in a show of support for each other and for other working women worldwide.
Each year’s event — this past year, a Sunday Brunch held at Roblar Farm in Santa Ynez — features approximately two dozen female winemakers alongside some of Santa Ynez Valley’s leading culinary ladies who collaborate to create multicourse feasts, served with a selection of their winemaker colleague’s wines.
This year, however, the organization has taken a different tack because of the COVID-19 pandemic — a holiday drawing to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. The “Cheers for the Foodbank Wine Tasting” will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard in Solvang.
“Women Winemakers Celebration participants have donated bottles of wine to the drawing and tickets for future experiences. All drawing ticket proceeds will be donated to the Foodbank to aid in the organization’s much-needed food distribution efforts stemming from increased demand this year due in major part to COVID’s effects on the county’s economy,” said Karen Steinwachs, co-founder of the celebration, winemaker at Buttonwood and owner of Seagrape Wine Company.
“At this time of year, we are usually in the beginning phases of planning for next year’s Women Winemakers Celebration, and while there are still many uncertainties and possibilities for a March 2021 event, we can still make a difference in other ways — when it is most needed.”
She added that the Dec. 14 “happening won’t be a mass gathering of people. Anyone buying a ticket to the event is essentially just reserving a wine tasting appointment at Buttonwood for that afternoon, and they are following all current COVID guidelines for wineries/wine tasting facilities.”
Friday is the deadline to purchase the tickets, which are available on three levels:
— $15: Entry to the “Cheers for the Foodbank Wine Tasting Event” from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 14 at Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, 1500 Alamo Pintado Road in Solvang. Reservations are required.
— $50/drawing ticket: One case of Santa Barbara County Women Winemaker-made wine (12 by 750-milliliter bottles), with a total value of at least $500.
— $25/drawing ticket: One-half case (six bottles) of these wines, estimated to be $250 in value.
— $50/drawing ticket: A “digital gift basket” filled with passes to the various winemakers’ tasting rooms, special coupons for online specials, intimate “meet the winemaker” sessions and more items, TBD; value estimated to be $500.
“In the nine months since the COVID crisis struck Santa Barbara County, the Foodbank has provided over 15 million pounds of healthy food and fresh produce to more than 150,000 community members who did not know where their next meal would come from,” said Judith Smith-Meyer, Foodbank marketing communications manager. “For comparison, we normally distribute only 10 million pounds in an entire year. The county has seen double the usual need for food.
“We’re here for the long haul and will continue to work with our 300-plus local partner organizations to make sure everyone who needs food assistance can count on having a healthy meal. That said, we can’t do it alone,” she added. “Caring participation from individuals and organizations like the Women Winemakers is what makes this essential work possible.”
Ms. Steinwachs said she was inspired to help organize the Santa Barbara County Women Winemakers by a 2015 Oscars speech by actress Patricia Arquette.
“Although I’ve worked in male-oriented professions my entire career, I didn’t really think about glass ceilings or the power of women until that speech. Then I pondered, ‘Why don’t we tout our inclusion here in the Santa Barbara wine community?’ Sonja Magdevski and I organized a casual tasting by women winemakers at her tasting room in Los Alamos that year, and the next year our founding committee was formed to create the annual Women Winemakers Celebration held on International Women’s Day,” recalled Ms. Steinwachs.
Those participating in this year’s event include the following:
Kristin Bryden, Zaca Mesa.
Brooke Carhartt, Carhartt Vineyard and Winery.
Clarissa Nagy, C. Nagy Wines.
Brit Zotovich, Dreamcôte Wine Co.
Sonja Magdevski, The Feminist Party.
Marisa Clendenen Matela, Bevela Wines.
Lane Tanner, Lumen Wines.
Kathy Joseph, Fiddlehead Cellars.
Helen Falcone, Falcone Family Vineyards.
Tara Gomez, Kitá Wines.
Mireia Taribó & Tara Gomez, Camins 2 Dreams.
Jessica Gasca, Story of Soil.
Angela Osborne, A Tribute To Grace Wine Company.
Wynne Solomon, Peake Ranch Winery.
Rachel DeAscentiis, Say When Wine.
Gretchen Voelcker, Luna Hart Wines and Piazza Family Wines.
Magan Kunin, Kunin Wines.
McKenna Giardine, E11even Wine.
Samra Morris, Alma Rosa Winery.
Anna Clifford, Jill DelaRiva Russell and Denise Shurtleff, Cambria Winery.
Laura Roach, Loubud Wines.
Dana Volk, Dana V. Wines.
Alison Thomson, Lepiane Wines.
“We’re not sure what we’ll do in 2021, but these women are creative and fierce, and we’ll definitely figure it out!” said Ms. Steinwachs.