It’s harvest season: Head to Santa Barbara wine country to celebrate

The Santa Ynez Valley is the setting for the Harvest Celebration, hosted by Mattei's Tavern near Los Olivos in collaboration with Terroir, a collection of wineries owned by Charles and Ali Banks.
(David Langford / Associated Press)

On Saturday afternoon, Mattei’s Tavern on the outskirts of Los Olivos in the Santa Ynez Valley will host a Harvest Celebration in collaboration with Terroir, a collection of wineries owned by Charles and Ali Banks.

The historic tavern’s partner and chef Robbie Wilson has planned a special menu that includes okra tempura with whipped French onion dip, shaved Wagyu beef with vine-smoked tuna and anchovy mayonnaise, charred beets with Turkish urfa pepper and mint, crispy beef tendon and salmon chorizo.

But what sounds really intriguing is the cotton candy station “executing adult-flavored beehives.”


The bigger draw, though, may be the chance to taste the entire lineup of wines from Terroir’s portfolio. That means such highly lauded wines at Sandhi and Qupé from Santa Barbara County, Wind Gap from Sonoma County, Evening Land from Oregon, California and Burgundy and Mayacamas Vineyards from Napa Valley, and more.

The festivities will be helped along with live music from “a very special guest,” according to the release. Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased at Mattei’s Tavern, 2350 Railway Ave., Los Olivos, (805) 688-3550.

The following Saturday, Oct. 11, Santa Barbara Vintners — nearly 120 of them — will be pouring at the largest Santa Barbara County wine event of the year. Dubbed the Harvest Festival Grand Tasting, (part of the weekend’s Celebration of Harvest Festival) this year it will be held outside on the front lawn of Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang.

Just about every Santa Barbara County winery you can name will be in attendance. As a sign of how dynamic the wine scene is, a dozen new wineries will be pouring this year too: Artiste Winery, Carivintas, Cebada Vineyard, Crown Point, Ferguson Crest, JCR Vineyards, J Ludlow Vineyard, Lavender Oak Vineyard, Scar of the Sea, Solminer, Turiya and William James.

And of course, no wine without food, so a number of local restaurateurs will be on hand to provide bites for the wine tasting. Those cooking include the Ballard Inn & Restaurant, Chocolats du CaliBressan, Far Western Tavern, J & D Stone Oven Pizza, the Hitching Post II, Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe, Industrial Eats, Petros Los Olivos, Terravant Winery restaurant, Trattoria Uliveto and more.

Look for pop-up wine seminars, live music from the Occasional Mustache(!) and Donna Green and the Roadhouse Daddies.


Tickets start at $75 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at

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