It is almost fitting that the inaugural seminar for the Urban Wine Trail will feature the Syrah grape. Much like the off-beat style of the Funk Zone wineries, the Rhône varietal can be considered an underdog contender in a mostly Pinot-centric town. Six winemakers are coming together. this Saturday February 16th, in the heart of the Funk Zone at the Goodman Reed Warehouse on lower Santa Barbara Street, heralding the virtues of a grape that is very much establishing its own root hold on Santa Barbara County soils. “We decided to focus this seminar on Syrah since most of the Urban Wine Trail wineries produce Syrah and we want to highlight a varietal that is overpassed many times, says Doug Margerum, owner and winemaker of Margerum Wine Company. He is one of six winemakers featured at the symposium, which will also include: Christian Garvin of Oreana Winery, Craig Jaffurs of Jaffurs Cellars, Martin Brown of Kalyra Winery, Dave Potter of Municipal Winemakers and Bruce McGuire of Santa Barbara Winery. They all plan on tasting you through their own personal path with the grape. “Tasters will come away knowing that Santa Barbara County Syrah can rub shoulder to shoulder with Rhônes from the rest of the world”, says Craig Jaffurs, 56, Owner/winemaker at Jaffurs Cellars, and one of the first wineries to set up shop in downtown Santa Barbara, back in 2001.
“Syrah is one of the varieties Santa Barbara County does best,” says Ryan Carr, 36, Chairman of the Urban Wine Trail and owner/winemaker of Carr Winery. “It can grow in the different, cool, moderate and hot climates of Santa Barbara and this tasting will show the different perspectives of the grape from each producer.”
The seminar will be moderated by Santa Barbara News-Press columnist, Gabe Saglie. While guests will have a chance to sip through and learn about the most popular Rhône varietal at the symposium, later on in the day there will be an opportunity to try the different wines from 17 of the Urban Wine Trail wineries at the Grand Tasting. “It’s the first time we are all together in one spot”, says Christina Gumpert, 39, General Manager of Oreana Winery. True to those words it is interesting to note that this is in fact the first time the Urban Wine Trail members have organized a collaborative tasting and seminar, a sign of maturity for a group that has proved rather popular with both the tourist and local foot traffic near Cabrillo Blvd. A sign perhaps, that the group is not only growing but has created quite the trendy destination amongst the myriad of downtown attractions.
Also at the Grand Tasting, the urbanites are collaborating with local charity, the Arts Fund, in an effort to raise money for local artists through an auction and art sales. Displayed throughout the venue there will be 17 pieces of art produced by local artists and inspired by each of the Urban Wine Trail wineries. A live auction to raise money for the charity will be held on the evening, and will include travel packages to Sonoma, San Francisco, Malibu and Los Angeles.
Participating Urban Wine Trail wineries include: Au Bon Climat, Carr Winery, Cottonwood Canyon, Deep Sea, Grassini Family Vineyards, Jaffurs, Kalyra, Kunin Wines, Margerum Wine Company, Municipal Winemakers, Oreana Winery, Pali Wine Company, Sanguis, Santa Barbara Winery, Silver, Whitcraft Winery, and Summerland Winery.
Saturday, February 16th 2013
Syrah Seminar – 10am – Noon
Grand Tasting from 5:30pm – 9pm
Both being held at Goodman Reed Warehouse, 120 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101
$100 — Syrah Seminar + Grand Tasting Package
$75 — Grand Tasting Only
$50 — Seminar Only
Tickets are available on the events page of the Urban Wine Trail website:
Or directly at the ticket site: