We consider the annual Central Coast Wine Classic simply the greatest way to enjoy the fantastic wines of this region while having the time of your life. This year, August 10-14, will be the 31st time winentrepreneur Archie McLaren has organized this remarkable 5-day extravaganza of barrel tastings, auctions, dinners, lunches, tours, and symposia that offer not only a rare opportunity to taste the very best California wines, with an emphasis on Central Coast wines, but also to rub shoulders with the talented men and women who craft them.
Mr. McLaren has outdone himself this year at all price levels. Yes, there is still an exceptional, magical $1250 gourmet dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon. But there are impressive $115 to $150 dinners at countless wineries, resorts and homes of important patrons, too.
The events kick off Wednesday the 10th with a barrel tasting ($75), barrel auction ($75) and winery dinners ($115) at an Arabian Horse Ranch in the Edna Valley. On Thursday the 11th there is are vineyard tours and luncheons at remarkably located Tablas Creek Vineyard & Winery ($75) and Daou Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles focused on California Rhone Varietals and Bordeaux Varietals respectively ($75), and the impressive Hearst Castle experience.
Friday’s offerings include Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande Valley tours and tastings ($75), a Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara County tour and tasting with light luncheon ($75), a Santa Barbara Funk Zone Chardonnay and Pinot Noir symposium ($75), a Central Coast Pinot Noir symposium, featuring nine iconic producers, at the newly remodeled Santa Barbara Inn ($75), and two winemaker dinners, one with vintners Fred Brander (Brander) and Bob Lindquist (Qupe) in the historic Mural Room of the Santa Barbara Courthouse ($150), and the other with Bion Rice of Sunstone and Brian Babcock at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club ($150). There is also a very special Rare Wine Dinner in the private dining room of the exclusive Santa Barbara Club with exceptional, stratospherically-rated French, Spanish and Australian wines ($750).
Things really up on Saturday the 13th with a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon symposium at the Summerland polo estate of Pat Nesbitt, Bella Vista, ($95), a Champagne Louis Roederer and Black Caviar symposium also at the polo estate ($95). There is a 10 AM to Noon auction preview with entertainment and exotic automobiles at Mr. Nesbitt’s polo estate followed by the Classic’s famous Rare and Fine Wine and Lifestyle Auction ($175 for all of the auction aforementioned). We have never seen such a bounty of cruises, travel, outstanding wines and experiences at auction like this auction has always provided.
Sunday closes the events with an Australian wine symposium featuring Sparky Marquis of the renowned Mollydooker Winery ($75). The festivities close with a gala VIP Champagne Luncheon of Louis Roederer Champagne and Black River Caviar at Stella Mare adjacent to the beautiful Bird Refuge ($95).
If you are interested in attending one of the events or more than one (There are attractively priced packages that include several activities at a price that is easier on the wallet), visit http://www.centralcoastwineclassic.org for details, and then contact Archie McLaren, firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 878-3124 for reservations.
This is an event not to be missed, a joyous celebration of wine, food, people and life’s finer things, organized by a dedicated gentleman whose sense of style is unmatched. While it is worth the price of admission just to spend some time with the delightful Mr. McLaren, the Central Coast Wine Classic opens the stunning world of Central Coast wines in all their glory to all.