Something exciting is happening in the Santa Ynez Valley. Beyond its rustic beauty, exceptional climate for growing fruit, steadily improving wines, and somewhat superlative location, it now appears to be poised on the launch pad of cultural relevance.
Summer bumper crops can be beautiful. And overwhelming. But here's the other side -- we waste up to half of our food in this country. Toulze puts everything to use, something he learned from his mother. "My mom has always pickled and jarred as long as I can remember," he says.
California's first vineyards were planted starting in 1779 by Franciscan missionaries. The vines planted were what have become known as Mission grapes, or Criolla, a term that covers a few varieties traditionally used for sacramental wine.
Sondra Bernstein is not an overnight sensation. But a sensation she is, as the proprietor of three of northern California's dining gems; overseer of a farm that grows biodynamic fruits and vegetables, creator of a "branded" line of food products, and "Mamma Cass" to 200 families in the area.