The Santa Lucia Highlands Gala (also called the SLH Gala) is an event put on each year that showcases 40 plus local wines grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area...fancy talk for a grape growing region). On top of premier wines, the event has small bites of some of the best local flavors. This year the event was held at Mer Soleil Winery and Vineyard. Surrounded by vineyards and sunshine, it was the perfect setting for a wine party! This event is really unique because only wineries that produce wines from grapes grown in the SLH are invited. You can taste anything from dry Rieslings to bold Syrahs. Some of our favorite wineries attended such as Morgan Winery, Joyce Vineyards, Boekenoogen, and Scheid Vineyards. We found a few new favorites along the way though. The Odonata winery had a very dry riesling which was fun to try. While we were talking to the winemaker Denis, he mentioned having a sparkling wine down the road at his wine tasting room and winery. So naturally we stopped in for a glass on our way home, and left with two bottles. Oops! Here is a link to their online shop.
As for the small bites, options ranged from a huge cheese table presented by the local Star Market grocery store, to waffles with fresh sweet corn topped with lobster from Chef Soerke from Basil. Just delicous! If you needed a break from the wine you could stop at the Bar Cart Cocktails Co. table where Katie was serving chilled herbal tea made from ingredients picked on the Apex Vineyard in the SLH.
On our way home we stopped at Joyce winery to regroup with friends. We caught a glimpse of their new tasting room (scheduled to open this summer) and jumped in a few tanks before heading home. Shout out to our dear friend J for hooking us up with tickets to this event! It was fab!
xxx Ivy & Eve
What a view!!!
YUMM from Chef Todd at Tarpy's
Delicious Noodles from Shiho at Ocean Sushi
Eve used to work at a tasting room so when Morgan needed a helping hand, she gladly stepped in! Photo by: Morgan Winery
Katie from Bar Cart Cocktails Co. pouring some of her tasty tea!