This past Tuesday, I was asked by The Wine Institute and California Association of Wine Grape Growers to participate in an event up in Marin County called California’s New Generation Vintners and Growers. Among the Santa Barbara County attendees were Andrew Murray of Andrew Murray Vineyards and Nick DeLucca of Dierberg Vineyards. Overall I think there were 20 wineries present who, in addition to pouring their wines, also participated in breakout panels on topics ranging from sustainability, to multi generational wineries, to social media. One of the aspects of the event that most impressed me was the turn out of the media. Because most of the wine/food media in California seems to be based around the North Coast / Bay area – this event that took place on a Tuesday afternoon was extremely well attended. It highlighted to me the challenge we face here in the Santa Maria Valley to carve off our piece of the media attention, but also impressed upon me how much more impressive it is that we have the interest we do. It’s the strength of the quality of wines that come out of the Santa Maria Valley that get our story heard as opposed to the convenience of events that take place in the “backyard” of writers looking for a story.
For more information about this event, check out this article by Steve Ferree with the California Wine Examiner: “Meet the New Generation of California Winemakers”.