Big Bottle Bash Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend at Presqu'ile
Spring is a beautiful time in Wine Country. The Vineyards are just budding out and the grapevines are bright green. In Santa Barbara County, you can find vantage points to see the ocean when it's clear, like from Presqu'ile in the Santa Maria Valley.
The evening began with the drive and the views. An hour or so before sunset we were driving through the vineyard to Presqu’ile with the vines bright green in the spring. Part way up you can see the Winery and tasting room. It’s a stunning design with the winery above and the tasting room below with windows are reflecting the light.
The views from up here are vast and beautiful. In the distance you can see the ocean,
...and looking inland the San Rafael Mountains.
Presqu’ile wants you to enjoy this view, so the terrace is expansive with nooks to sit in, enjoy a glass of wine and the view.
As guests arrived we were directed to the outdoor lounge, usually reserved only for club members.
The beautiful courtyard has a fire pit, as well as a foosball table and multiple cozy seating areas.
The garden is beautiful and the atmosphere at sunset set the mood for the evening.
As beautiful as the gardens were, upon entering, immediately everyone headed to the bar. Here smaller bottles were being popped, with something for everyone.
This dinner by Chef Nick Barainca was served family style at two long tables
The magnums of wine were poured by several amazing Sommeliers, including Rajat Parr who is also the owner of Sandhi, Dustin Wilson (from the Movie Somm) and Eric Railsback, one of the founders of Les Marchands in Santa Barbara and a founder of Lieu Dit Winery.
Dinner began with Gougeres (a savory choux pastry with cheese) , Comte (a French cow’s milk cheese), Aged Ham and Pickled mustard seeds.
Soon after a beautiful platter of Lacinato Kale Salad with fennel, bread crumbs and a verte vinaigrette arrived. Lacinato Kale is a Tuscan kale that is often called black kale.
The main dish came in a dutch oven and was smoked short ribs with spring barigoule, pea tendrils and ramps. A Barigoule is a traditional Provençal dish with braised artichokes and vegetables in a savory white wine sauce. Ramps…if you are not familiar with them, are a wild onion, they tend to be smaller like a green onion, but with leafier tops.
Dessert was Savarin with ripe and unripe strawberries and a brown butter crème fraiche. Savarin is dry brioche that is soaked in a syrup (often rum) and served with crème and fruits. The combination of the ripe and unripe berries added a depth to the dish. And…it’s so pretty.