Happy Earth Day!
Earth Day was born in 1970 after a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, prompted then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to rally the nation and help save our planet.
So today we celebrate our Mother Earth – and Santa Barbara County.
Not only did it survive the spill, it is now a burgeoning wine region. Much of it has to do with its unique geography and climate. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, while the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains sit in the east. So grapes like chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah and sauvignon blanc thrive in that environment.
There are six federally-sanctioned American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within Santa Barbara County, according to the Santa Barbara Vitners.
Santa Ynez Valley is by far the largest AVA and where the movie Sideways took place. Others include the Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Rita Hills.
And don’t be surprised if more AVAs and grapes are planted. The area is constantly evolving and new varietals like Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Gamay are being planted.
If you can’t get there, here are a few suggestions so can get a taste of Santa Barbara County and raise a glass to Mother Earth!
Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for Foxnews.com, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.