IF EVER... there was a time of year to dip in amber and put under a beautiful blown-glass bell jar, it's probably the second weekend of April. The March gusts have settled down, and the June Gloom -- and its BFF May Gray -- haven't quite started their journey into Southern California quite yet. So flowers pop and grass grows and trees sway and, for a few days, if everything works as Aprilishly as it should, the outside world is glorious. And if ever there was a place that could also sit in an art display, under a bell jar, it's the wine country around Santa Barbara. There isn't really a bad time of year in the area, but April gets especially lovely-of-flower and pretty-of-sun. So what else is there to do but throw one of the region's largest wine parties of the year, a celebration that comes with an educational side and music to boot?
IT'S CALLED... Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend, and over 100 of the area's wineries will be chatting with fans and talking vines and yes, pouring, pouring, pouring. Highlights? A Vineyard Hike with Wine at Baehnier Fournier Vineyards, a scavenger hunt at Buttonwood Farm, and Kalyra Winery's Food & Wine "Around the World"-themed food and wine pairing. Oh yes, and then there are two biggies: a Farm-to-Table Picnic Concert, featuring Americana rockers Jamestown Revival, and a Vintners Festival Grand Tasting. You probably can't do everything, but you can do both of those -- Grand Tasting's on Saturday and the picnic-concert is on Sunday -- and you can take in a hike or pairing or something else.
IF... that is, you can pull yourself away from the soft springtime sunshine. You'll probably stand outside marveling that you're in Santa Barbara wine country, in April and that is worth marveling about. If only life's harder to-dos could take place in wine country in April, we'd be all over them.