Chardonnay Symposium

by Nannette Eaton on July 17, 2011


poster for the 2011 Chardonnay Symposium titled Chardonnay in the mist with row of chardonnay grapevine with the fog of Santa barbara county

What are you doing the weekend of July 22-23? If you’re not going to be in Charlottesville, Virginia for the Wine Bloggers Conference or in San Diego for Comic Con, Wine Harlots suggest heading to bucolic Santa Barbara for the Chardonnay Symposium. Chardonnay isn’t just America’s favorite white grape, it’s the United States favorite wine, outselling all other wine varietals by a wide margin.

In Friday, tour the Sierra Madre Vineyard with winemaker Steve Rasmussen and owner Doug Circle and learn about the terroir of Santa Barbara and the diversity of chardonnay. There will be an in-depth panel discussion with experts in chardonnay. You’ll get to experience tasting barrel samples and finished wines. The evening event is a Barbeque at Sierra Madre where they’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of the vineyard. If you haven’t tried Sierra Madre, you must. Wine Harlots declared the Sierra Madre Chardonnay 2007 “the best chardonnay in America.”

Saturday starts with The Great Oak Debate with Steve Heimoff at Bien Nacido Vineyards. To oak or not to oak? That is the question. Next up is Taking Back Chardonnay with Karen MacNeil at Tantara Winery where the discussion centers on how to win the hearts and minds of the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) camp and sway them to discover the wonders of chardonnay done right. Saturday afternoon features the Grand Tasting with over 50 wineries pouring and pairing the wine with gourmet foods.

Wine Harlots say head  to Santa Barbara and celebrate the golden grape.

poster for the Chardonnay Symposium 2011.
painting Chardonnay in the Mist by Maggie Bowker ©2011

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