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The Passion of Wine: Exploring Santa Barbara’s Artisanal Wine Country

Program Number: 20529RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/17/2013 - 6/21/2013; 5/18/2014 - 5/22/2014;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Solvang, California
Price starting at: $945.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 10; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Although it inspired the hit movie “Sideways,” Santa Barbara is a relatively young and unknown wine region. Out of this youthfulness springs a passion. Experience this exuberance and artisanal pride as owners and managers convey their vineyards’ “terroir” — the character of the land. Learn about the wine-making process, from grape to barrel to bottle. Get hands-on experience blending the perfect wine yourself, learn what to look for in a wine, and hear from chefs how to pair wines with foods. Join us as we taste our way through the secrets and stories of beautiful Santa Barbara wine country.




Highlights

• In visits to vineyards, learn about varietals, trellising, harvest and different growing philosophies: traditional, organic and biodynamic.
• Enjoy lunches in the vineyards, under the oaks accompanied by wine from the vineyards.
• Learn how the “terroir” — or characteristics of the land — influences the wine by tasting wine from different vineyards.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile each day, some uneven terrain.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Solvang

Settled in the early 1900s by Danish educators, Solvang — or “sunny field” — is a haven for those seeking an Old World atmosphere in which to enjoy the region’s premium wines. The vineyards of the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County cover more than 18,000 acres and produce many outstanding varietals, including chardonnay and pinot noir.



Accommodations
European style hotel just steps from the village of Solvang.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Bob Dickey

Bob Dickey immerses himself in wine in every way, except literally. He has studied winemaking, wine growing and wine business at Hancock College and UC, Davis and attended wine conferences throughout the state. From pruning to pouring Bob has participated in every aspect of winemaking. He has co-hosted a radio wine show and leads excursions through the Santa Barbara Wine Country. He photographs the local wine country for local and national publications and major wine events.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hadsten House Inn & Spa
  Solvang, California 4 nights
 Hadsten House Inn & Spa
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Hadsten House is a luxury, wine country inn centrally located in the European village of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley, the heart of Santa Barbara's Wine Country. Just 35 miles north of Santa Barbara, the village of Solvang is a gateway to the region's award-winning vineyards which stretch over miles of gently rolling hills dotted with California oaks and enchanting wineries. One can even take a stroll through Hadsten House's on-site mini vineyard. The Inn is conveniently situated within a few blocks of the village's quaint shops and delectable bakeries. Local attractions include many wineries featuring a host of outstanding varietals including, but not limited to, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot. Inn guests may rejuvenate in the heated indoor pool and day-spa before savoring the Inn's daily local wine tasting and hors d'oeuvres reception.
  Contact info: 1450 Mission Drive, Solvang
Solvang, CA 93463 USA
phone: 800-457-5373
web: www.hadstenhouse.com
  Room amenities: Hadsten House features uniquely appointed guest rooms boasting a refined, romantic European style, decorative fireplaces, classic French furnishings, and luxury, custom mattresses – the Hadsten House Celestial Bed with soft high thread-count sheets and custom bedding. All rooms are non-smoking and equipped with flat-screen HD TVs with premium channels; DVD players; in-room coffee-makers with gourmet coffee; hair dryers; microwave ovens; refrigerators; telephones with complimentary local calls; daily maid service; and blackout drapes/curtains. WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS: All rooms provide complimentary high-speed Internet access.
  Facility amenities: Having recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, Hadsten House Inn & Spa offers guests a rich and comfortable ambiance and generous set of amenities including 75 all non-smoking rooms; onsite day-spa featuring massage and aesthetic skin care treatments; complimentary glass of wine with cheese and fruit from 3 PM to 5 PM daily; large, heated indoor pool with outdoor whirlpool and fireplaces; Concierge services; common area high-speed Internet access; complimentary transportation. The hotel also offers a complimentary American breakfast buffet.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call hotel for availability Call the hotel for availability and rates for pre-and post-program stays.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call hotel for availability Call the hotel for availability and rates for pre-and post-program stays.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is at the hotel in a designated area from 3:30-5:00PM. Inquire at the front desk for assigned location. You will be staying at Hadsten House Inn & Spa that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after breakfast at the hotel. You will be staying at Hadsten House Inn & Spa the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Health & Safety Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Solvang, California
  Nearest city or town:  Santa Barbara, California
  Nearest highway: Hwy 101
  Nearest airport:  Santa Barbara Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Solvang, California
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) to Solvang

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Roadrunner Shuttle
phone: 800-247-7919
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$79 one-way per shared van ride
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 45 minutes depending on traffic and time of day 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles from SBA to Solvang hotel

   

Roadrunner Shuttle offers door-to-door van service, but 2-day advance reservations are required. CALL FOR CURRENT RATES. Website: www.rrshuttle.com (for online reservations and fare information) Local taxis: Santa Barbara Airport Taxi at 805-895-2422; or Yellow Cab at 805-965-5111; or American Taxi at 805-689-0683; or Crown Cab at 805-689-0234 Also consider renting a car at the airport as this may be a less expensive alternative than a shuttle or taxi and afford greater travel benefits.

 

Santa Maria Airport (SMX) to Solvang

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Central Coast Shuttle
phone: 805-928-1977
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

About $25 prepaid one-way individual fare (if reserved in advance)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 45 minutes depending on traffic and time of day 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles from SMX to Solvang hotel

   

Advance reservations are required. Shuttle makes a regular scheduled drop-off in nearby Buellton, but will drop off at the hotel in Solvang if pre-arranged by phone. Website: www.ccllax.com (for exact fares & reservations) Central Coast Shuttle local phone number: 805-928-1977 Local taxis: Santa Maria Cab at 805-937-7121, or Gold Coast Limo at 805-937-5466. One-way taxi service costs about $100. Also consider the benefits of renting a car at the airport.

 

Santa Barbara/ AMTRAK to Solvang

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperRide Shuttle
phone: 800-977-1123
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

About $75 one-way for individual passenger (less p/p if shared)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

About 35 to 45 minutes depending on traffic and time of day 

 

Distance:

 

About 33 miles from train station to Solvang hotel

   

SuperRide Shuttle offers door-to-door van service, but 2-day advance reservations are required. Website: www.superride.net (for online reservations and fare quotes) SuperRide local phone number: 805-683-9636 Local taxis: Yellow Cab at 805-965-5111; or American Taxi at 805-689-0683; or Crown Cab at 805-689-0234

 
Driving Directions
  From Northern California to Solvang-Hadsten House Take US Hwy 101 South to State Hwy 246 at Buellton (Exit 140A toward Lompoc/Solvang). Turn right and go 3 miles into downtown Solvang. In Solvang, State Hwy 246 becomes Mission Dr. Hadsten House Inn & Spa will be across the street on your right, between Nykobing Rd. and 5th St.
  From Southern California to Solvang-Hadsten House Take US Hwy 101 North to State Hwy 246 at Buellton (Exit 140A toward Lompoc/Solvang). Turn right and go 3 miles into downtown Solvang. In Solvang, State Hwy 246 becomes Mission Dr. Hadsten House Inn & Spa will be across the street on your right, between Nykobing Rd. and 5th St.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals
(Monday, June 17)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into Hadsten House after 3:00pm.

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet which we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: Begins before dinner. We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

The vineyards and wineries listed in the tentative itinerary below are examples of venues we will visit during the program. Final destinations will depend upon availability of vineyard owners and winemakers.

 Dinner: Dinner at the Hadsten House

Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants.

 Evening: CROSSING POINTS: Participants introduce themselves to the rest of the group.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discovering what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning

   
Accommodations: Hadsten House Inn & Spa
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Sensory Perception; Visits to Larner Vineyard and Rusack Vineyard & Winery
(Tuesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: American breakfast buffet at Hadsten House
 Morning: CLASS: Brief History of Wine in Santa Barbara County

WALKING FIELD TRIP AND CLASS: Presidio Tasting Room

Walk over to Presidio Tasting Room where winemaker/owner, Doug Braun, will talk about his organic vineyard, why grow organic, and what's involved.

To understand wine, one needs to taste it. Taste wine with Doug who will help us identify the various components of the wine's aroma and taste using our sensory perception.

 Lunch: Lunch at Larner with wines from Larner Vineyards
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Rusack Vineyard

Nestled in picturesque Ballard Canyon in the center of Santa Ynez Valley, amidst oak-studded rolling hills lies Rusack Vineyards, a boutique vineyard and winery dedicated to growing top-quality grapes and producing outstanding handcrafted wines.

Walk through Rusack Vineyard with John Falcone, winemaker, and hear John's scientific reasons for how/what he planted using state-of-the-art technology.

A tour of the winery is followed by a tasting of Rusack wines on their beautiful deck, under the oaks, overlooking bucolic Ballard Canyon Road.

 Afternoon: BUS FIELD TRIP: Larner Vineyard

The Larner Vineyard is a small, family-owned vineyard located at Ballard Canyon and managed by the second generation, Michael and Christina.

Michael, who has a PhD in wine from UC Davis, will meet us and walk us through part of the vineyard, explaining terroir, trellising, and different philosophies like organic, sustainable and biodynamic. We'll sit at tables to taste wine from his vineyard from a couple different producers and discuss differences in the wines, even though they came from the same vineyard.

 Dinner: Dinner and wine tasting at Fresco Cafe; serving daily specials using local fresh ingredients in a tranquil setting.
   
Accommodations: Hadsten House Inn & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard; Ken Brown Winery; and Terravant Wine Company
(Wednesday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: American breakfast buffet at Hadsten House
 Morning: CLASS: American Viticultural Areas, Viticulture Methods and Winemaking (no wine)

FIELD TRIP: Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard

In 1987, actor Fess Parker known for his portrayals of frontiersmen Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, purchased a 714 acre ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he established Fess Parker's Winery & Vineyard.

At Fess Parker's Winery and Vineyard, meet the assistant winemaker who will take us to the edge of the vineyard and describe the varietals they grow, the trellising, the terroir.

The winery tour will include a thorough, back of the house look at their winemaking practices from 'bin to bottle' highlighting practices such as hand-sorting, small lot fermentations, basket press, etc. The tour will be followed by an intimate, detailed sit-down tasting of small-lot wines in the Estate Room.

 Lunch: Lunch at Fess Parker winery with a glass of wine
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Ken Brown Winery and Terravant Wine Company

After lunch, take the bus to Ken Brown, an artisanal winery in Buellton that sources the same varietal from a number of different vineyards. Taste each varietal and hear how the terroir differs with each vineyard and why each wine tastes as it does.

Visit Terravant, a state-of the-art winemaking facility specializing in private label creation and custom winemaking services.

 Dinner: Dinner on your own. This gives you an opportunity to sample one of Solvang's diverse restaurants.
   
Accommodations: Hadsten House Inn & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Curtis Winery; Tasting on your Own; Wine & Food Pairing Dinner
(Thursday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: American breakfast buffet at Hadsten House
 Morning: CLASS: Winemaking and Blending Wines

FIELD TRIP: Curtis Winery

Curtis Winery is an artisanal winery owned by the Firestones, of Firestone Tires. Firestone Winery was established in 1972 as one of the first estate wineries. The Firestone family later started Curtis Winery to specialize in high quality, small lot wines. The Firestone Winery was sold to Foley in 2007 and the Firestone family concentrated on Curtis Winery.

Winemaker, Chuck Carlson, will first take us through the winery, explaining their winemaking process. In their VIP room, we will taste the current release of one of their Rhone blends as well as the various components, e.g., syrah, Grenache, mouvedre. Chuck will lead us through a blending exercise so we can blend what we think is the best combination of the varietals.

 Lunch: Lunch at Curtis Winery, overlooking the vineyard, under the oaks. Enjoy a glass of Curtis wine with your lunch.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy free time to wander the delightful town of Solvang. A map of the town's winery tasting rooms will be handed out, along with a description of which wines each winery is famous for, so you can taste on your own.
 Dinner: Food and Wine Pairing Dinner

During dinner, explanations are given as to why the specific food and wine pairings were chosen for our final dinner.

   
Accommodations: Hadsten House Inn & Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Independent Departures
(Friday, June 21)
   
 Breakfast: American breakfast buffet at Hadsten House

HOTEL CHECK OUT: This concludes the program. We hope you have enjoyed our Santa Barbara Artisanal Wine Country program and will join us for other rewarding adventures in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Solvang, California Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Assoc.
P.O. Box 1918

Santa Ynez, CA 93460

(800) 742-2843 For additional information, visit www.syvva.com

  Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 70

Solvang, CA 93464

(805) 688-6144 or (800) 468-6765 For additional information, visit www.solvangusa.com

Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


ONE VINTAGE: A Year in the Vineyard


Author: Chris Jones


Description: Award-winning ONE VINTAGE, an elegant volume bound in natural cork, tells the story of one year of farming wine grapes in a small Santa Barbara County vineyard. In words and photographs, the author reveals the everyday reality of work on the farm, from pruning to harvest. Through her personal reflections, Jones illuminates that reality, exploring the connection between the seasons of the vineyard and the great cycle of life.



Aged in Oak, the Story of the Santa Barbara County Wine Industry


Author: Otis L. Graham, Jr. (Author), Kirk Irwin (Photographer), UCSB Graduate Program in Public Historic Studies


Description: Produced by the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association, this is a history of over 200 years of grape growing and a current tour of the most dynamic premium wine growing region in California. The volume is filled with maps and 80 color photos, and is an engaging and well researched exploration of the region's viticultural and wine making evolution from Mission days to present.



New Classic Winemakers of California: Conversations with Steve Heimoff


Author: Steve Heimoff (Author) with Foreword by H. William Harlan


Description: Wine critic and writer Steve Heimoff, inspired by Robert Benson's Great Winemakers of California (1977), traversed the state of California to record lively and informative conversations with more than two dozen winemakers and grape growers who represent today's leaders and visionaries. He reveals the personalities, intellects, philosophies, and passions of the individual winemakers, as well as their opinions on recent high-alcohol vintages, globalization, and the "cult" wine phenomenon.





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