Les Marchands Announces participating wineries for 2nd annual Santa barbara county wine futures tasting
First Tasting of Cuvees before Public Release to be Held on April 19, 2014 in The Funk Zone
Santa Barbara, California; April 7, 2014 — Master Sommelier Brian McClintic and Sommelier Eric Railsback, partners of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, the award-winning wine bar and retail shop in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, announce the 2nd Annual 2014 Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting. On Saturday, April 19, 2014, more than 40 of the hottest local wineries will gather for an exclusive tasting next door to Les Marchands at 131 Anacapa Street, which will be transformed into an indoor tasting room. Attendees have the rare opportunity to be among the first to taste and purchase special cuvees available prior to release at a 20% discount off standard retail price. The Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting will shine a light on the emerging local wine area and allow consumers and trade to secure allocations of the most dynamic and relevant producers of the region. Notable producers this year are Ava, Alma Rosa, Alta Maria, Au Bon Climat, Bien Nacido, Carlson, Cebada, Cent’Anni, Chanin, Clendenen Family, Domaine de la Cote, Goodland, Grassini, Habit, Jaffurs, Kunin, La Fenetre, Lieu Dit, Lutum, Mes Amis, Municipal Winemakers, My Essential Red, Native 9, Ojai, Piedrasassi, Presqu’ile, Qupé, Roark, Sandhi, Sillix, Star Lane Vineyards/Dierberg, Stolpman, Storm, Tatomer, Tyler, Vallin, Wenzlau, Whitcraft, WPA and Zotovich. Tickets for the 2014 Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant’s Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting are $70 for advance purchase on the Les Marchands website or $80 at the door. The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. next door to Les Marchands at 131 Anacapa Street in Santa Barbara. Parking is available on the street or adjacent parking lots.
An added component this year is a limited seating Winemaker's Dinner on Friday, April 18 at 6 p.m. at Les Marchands. Chef Weston Richards menu will be a harvest style celebrationwith winemakers and guests bringing and sharing superb wines. This concept was originally conceived in the 1920's by Count Lafon as La Paulee de Meursault, a celebration in Burgundy marking the end of harvest. Les Marchands has invited several winemakers including Zotovich, Ojai, Tyler, Wenzlau, Sillix, Chanin, Storm, Presqu'ile, and Sandhi with a few more in the works. The winemakers will bring fun, unique, aged, new, unreleased, large format Santa Barbara County wines from their cellars to make the dinner memorable. Guests are encouraged to bring their own favorite wine from Santa Barbara County to share with members around the table. Pricing is $85 per person, all-inclusive; tickets may be purchased by visiting the Les Marchands website.
The Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting exists to raise awareness of the pedigree and diversity of our local terroir. Santa Barbara County is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting regions in the country to make wine. Prominent figures in the industry from around the world are recognizing the tremendous potential of the inlying appellations: Santa Rita Hills, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Happy Canyon. The unique soil and climatic conditions of this coastal hamlet are inspiring ambitious new wine projects. Les Marchands intends to spotlight the small, hidden gem producers while paying homage to the pioneering wineries that paved the way.
In years past, the Wine Cask made the Santa Barbara County Wine Futures Tasting one of the premiere tasting events in the country. Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant aims to build upon the foundation that Doug Margerum and his team laid down and continue to grow the event in scope and importance.
About Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
Recently awarded the “Wine Bar of the Year” by Imbibe, Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant is a labor of love between two sommeliers whose wine trips to Paris and Burgundy have inspired a fresh and dynamic vision for retail, dining, and education. Translated as ‘the merchants’ or ‘the shopkeepers,’ McClintic and Railsback create an environment where intimate product knowledge meets personalized service. This philosophy is lived out nightly in the wine bar but is integral to every phase of their business from private cellar consultation to custom education classes to the launching of Les Marchand’s wine clubs. The great wine merchants Eric and Brian have admired over the years distinguish themselves by seeking out quality-conscious producers. Their import selections are Eurocentric, representing the most relevant producers in France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and beyond. On the domestic side, the focus relies heavily on local producers who are shaping and redefining the region.
Les Marchand’s commitment to sourcing out the finest products starts in the cellar and spills over into the kitchen where quality meets execution and the simplest dishes on their menu aspire to greatness. Share some mainstays from their cheese and charcuterie program, such as Camembert with Straus Dairy butter and freshly sliced Jamon Serrano. Guests can drop in and enjoy seasonal offerings prepared by Chef Weston Richards including local Hope Ranch smoked mussels, pork rillettes, and local farmers market pickled vegetables. Stay up to date on special events and offerings by joining their mailing list, including weekly rituals, such as Ramen Noodles every Friday night and the renown Monday Night Special Menu and Flight of Wine.
About Brian McClintic
Brian brings 15 years of hospitality experience with him to Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, a career spanning the major restaurant hubs of Los Angeles, Aspen, San Francisco, and now Santa Barbara. McClintic was one of four subjects featured in the acclaimed documentary SOMM, which chronicled his journey to the elusive Master Sommelier title, becoming the 107th individual in the U.S. to attain this honor. SOMM, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films, opened in 2013, receiving rave reviews by the public and film critics. In addition to Les Marchands, Brian, and business partner Eric Railsback, have teamed up on a Santa Barbara Syrah project called Vallin, along with local winemaker Justin Willett and fellow Master Sommelier Dustin Wilson.
About Eric Railsback
Eric’s emergence in the wine industry began taking shape in Santa Barbara nearly a decade ago. After stints at the Wine Cask and the Hungry Cat, Railsback furthered his exposure to different regions and producers at Osteria Mozza and running the wine program at Gordon Ramsey in Los Angeles. Eric has a strong connection to the wines of Burgundy. Fluent in French and working harvests all over Europe, Eric brought his talents to Michael Mina’s RN74 – a premiere Burgundy-inspired restaurant in San Francisco. There, he led a team of sommeliers for over three years before bringing it back full circle to Santa Barbara with the opening of Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant.
l-r /Brian McClintic and Eric Railsback | photo Emily Railsback
for more information the public can visit
Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant
131 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101
at the corner of Yanonali and Anacapa
join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LesMarchandsWine
follow us on Twitter: @LesMarchandsSB
Shawn - also known as the Wandering Wino - is the Wine Bloggers Conference ambassador for the Santa Barbara Vintners. This is the first of a series of articles for conference attendees.
When travelers get to planning those fun and exciting trips, often the anticipation, research, and discovery can provide a lot of positive emotional mileage before one even gets close to an airport. Travel agents, Google maps, Yelp, suggestions of locals, concierge and, of course, our very own Santa Barbara County Wines can often be great resources.
For all the wine-blogging rock-stars headed to Santa Barbara County this July, consider this to be custom concierge "Cliff Notes." Good beer, wine, food, and anything fun within 1 mile or so from the host hotel (Buellton Marriott) is often considered gold. This is wine country, and taxi cabs are not exactly plentiful in Santa Barbara. Depending on a traveler's shoes, physique, and "condition" of his/her condition, the distance he/she will want to walk will vary. Climate, of course, will not be a factor; after all, this is Santa Barbara in July.
One Way Distance Key
Stone's Throw - 100 yards or less
Lace Up - 101 yards to .9 mile
Hitch a Ride - 1 mile +
Lace Up: Cold Heaven
92 2nd Street, Buellton, CA
Standing Sun - Next door
For those too "over-the-top" excited to get their wine-tasting experience started, stumble on over all the way across the street to Cold Haven. While we are only talking the distance it takes from home plate to second base, one might be challenged by playing "Frogger" across the 101, so put your high heels away for this .7 of a mile walk.
Around these parts, Morgan Clendenen is known as "the Queen." Most people think of Morgen as the Queen of Viognier; however, a few might suggest she's the Queen of comedic sarcasm. Cold Haven primarily produces stellar Viognier and Pinot Noir. Should you happen to trip out the door, you could find yourself inside another tasting room which is not currently a member of the association, so "Shhh" cause you didn't hear it here. Evenings at Standing Sun is often a party atmosphere with live music, wine by the glass/tasting/bottle, and good finger foods.
Lace Up: Ken Brown Wines
157 West Highway 246, Buellton, CA
For those looking to learn about Santa Barbara history, and the vineyards, visit master jedi Ben Kenobi, AKA industry legend Ken Brown. Bring your recording devices as you will not want to miss a thing. Ken Byron Brown has been producing wine in Santa Barbara County since the early/mid 1970's and continues to be a shining-star producing Pinot Noir's from several stellar vineyards. Ken Brown would likely be on many wine enthusiasts short list of people to seek out. Get those comfy shoes for this .7 of mile.
Hitch a Ride: Loring/Cargasacchi
420 E. Hwy 246, Buellton, CA
Two wineries, one glass! Brian Loring and Peter Cargasacchi paired up in one location just 1.2 miles from the Marriott. Both wineries produce a few different varietals, however, both find common ground in Pinot Noir. Brian sources fruit from various parts of California and Oregon, while Peter picks from his two local vineyards Cargasacchi/Jalama just a short distance away. The Jalama vineyard just might be the closest vineyard to the ocean inside of Santa Barbara County, while Cargasacchi is part of the Sta Rita Hills AVA. Brian and Peter couldn't be more unique in both personality and wines. Be sure to bring your sense of humor and sarcasm dictionary, unless of course you are fluent.
Lace Up: Hitching Post II
406 East Hwy 246, Buellton, CA
Feeling hungry, nostalgic, thirsty, or just want to see one of the best Santa Maria Style red oak BBQ spots around? Then walk .7 of a mile to The Hitching Post II. I have had the pleasure of eating there since the late '90's back when reservations were not as highly suggested as they are now. The movie Sideways has thrusted the restaurant into the limelight. If travelers aren't familiar with the great BBQ, well, it is on the suggested list. BBQ master Frank Ostini and wine business partner Grey Hartley have been producing their own Hitching Post II Pinot Noir for many years and have lots of local wines available in the full bar.
Lace Up+ or Hitch a Ride: Ostrich Land USA
610 East Hwy 246, Buellton, CA
If you are still feeling Sideways enthralled, then stop by Ostrich Land USA past the Hitching Post II. This is only suggested for those with extra comfy shoes and interest, as this one stretches way past stumbling distance. If you're curious about this tasty bird, it has been a Hitching Post II menu item for years. This bird does not taste like chicken, but, in fact, just like steak.
Lace Up+ or Hitch a Short Ride 1.4 miles away: Avant Tapas and Wine
35 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA
If movie location shoots aren't your thing, then maybe tapas might have you at "Hello." Avant Tapas and Wine offers nearly 50 small/local producers by the ounce, glass, and bottle. Their full menu includes small/medium/large plates, pizzas, and tapas. Many smaller wine labels have their wine produced inside of this custom crush facility, named Taravant. Here at Avant, a guest can purchase a card to the self-serve great wall of wine, where one can create a personal wine-tasting experience.
Barefoot is really not suggested, but it really is that close.
Stone's Throw: Firestone Walker Brewing Company
620 McMurray Rd, Buellton, CA
It is often said, "It takes a lot of good beer to make great wine." Recently I was talking with a sommelier at World of Pinot Noir. He shared his experience at Firestone, and described having three kegs of beer in his hotel room for the sommeliers' party. Who doesn't love a good palate cleanser, and what better than beer?
Firestone gratefully is one of the closest spots on our list, but be patient, as they do not open the doors until 4:00 PM. Firestone needs little introduction to the typical Californian; but, for those visiting, this is the same family that was in the tire business so many years ago. The story of how Firestone beer started is a great one, and well worth stumbling a straight path half a block to do some journalistic investigation.
Hitch a Ride: Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
45 Industrial Way, Buellton, CA
Still got the buzz of beer interest, or just want to switch it up, then hitch a short ride to Figueroa Mountain Brewery. The nearest of their three locations isn't far from Avant, just about 1.5 miles from the Marriott. I think any visiting Oregonians might be pleasantly surprised.
Hitch a Ride - 1 mile: Industrial Eats
555 McMurray Rd, Buellton, CA
The big buzz in the area over the past months has been one of the newest restaurant editions to the area, Industrial Eats. Anyone, by now, may have seen the trend, yes, this fun eats is also located on Industrial Way. Lots of cool stops to visit on this small stretch of road that also is home to the California Highway Patrol. Stay safe all, and walking with a group can be a lot of fun.
Lace Up: Antonio's Pizza & Pasta
280 E. Hwy 246, Buellton, CA
After a long day of drinking, many might have a short list of dinner items that tend to please: Steak - Hitching Post II, Sushi - ARU Japanese (225 McMurray Rd), Mexican - Taco Roco (245 Avenue of Flags). Curious to continue down the local wine path while sharing a pizza with friends, then head over to Antonio's Pizza & Pasta. This locals pizza spot also carries a few local brews, to keep you emerged in Santa Barbara.
Interesting stories from Santa Barbara Wine County.