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California’s wine industry is the focus of an upcoming report on “In Focus with Martin Sheen,” which is expected to air this fall on public television across the United States.

The show hosted by actor Martin Sheen highlights industries that exhibit growth through innovation, and contribute to their community. Each year, California’s wine industry produces more than $20 billion in revenue, trailing only France, Italy and Spain as the world’s top producers.

Our state’s wine industry is also a leader in its efforts to utilize sustainable farming techniques.

Sheen, who has nearly five decades in the entertainment industry and more than 60 feature films and television roles to his credit, hosts the series.

For more information on “In Focus with Martin Sheen”, visit, or via Facebook at


The Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association’s annual Celebration of Harvest festival will return to its popular fall location, Rancho Sisquoc Winery, on Saturday, Oct. 13.

I’ve enjoyed this event for the better part of two decades because the day affords me a perfect chance for a quick chat — quick because they are busy pouring — with both seasoned producers and those newer to the local industry.

While Celebration of Harvest is based on wine, it has evolved into a culinary delight that showcases locally grown produce, beef and seafood. Guests can nibble edibles from chefs hailing from the region’s top restaurants, among them the Ballard Inn, Bacara Inn & Resort and Hitching Post Restaurant, as well as caterers.

Tickets are available via the SBCVA,, and by phone, 888-330-6744.

Regular festival attendees know that the grassy lawn up the hill from the wine tents is an ideal spot to soak up the sun — or boogie to the live music that’s also a tradition at Celebration of Harvest. Soulful Donna Greene and The Roadhouse Daddies and folk artist Jen n’ General will provide the tunes.

The event’s silent auction always includes unique large format bottles, as well as collections of vertical and library wines, vacation packages and private winemaker dinners.

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A special element of the entire Celebration of Harvest weekend is the SBCVA’s Vintners’ Visa, a multi-day passport to a choice of 12 of the approximately 35 wineries and tasting rooms that offer special tastings for one price. Visit for up-to-the-minute information on participating wineries and tasting rooms.

Festival details: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 13, at Rancho Sisquoc Winery, Foxen Canyon Road. Parking available. Tickets: $65 advance, and $75 at door (if available); Vintners’ Visa: $35; Designated Driver: $25; Advance VIP tickets to festival, noon entry, $90 (wine only; food served beginning at 1 p.m.). Combination festival and Vintners’ Visa tickets are $90, and the trifecta — festival, Vintners’ Visa and early entry tickets — $115.

Rancho Sisquoc is located at 6600 Foxen Canyon Road, east of Santa Maria. 

It’s best to buy tickets in advance, as this popular event regularly sells out!


Freelance writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at Her blog is

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