Category Archives: Autumn 2008

Autum 2008

Louis Lucas & Royce Lewellen-Wine

Louis Lucas and Royce Lewellen at the annual Santa Barbara Vintner’s Foundation wine auction,  a charity fund-raising event held at the Bacara.
Louis Lucas and Royce Lewellen at the annual Santa Barbara Vintner’s Foundation wine auction, a charity fund-raising event held at the Bacara.

Thirty-odd years ago, the Santa Maria Wine and Food Society welcomed new member Louis Lucas, a grape grower who was about to jump-start Santa Barbara County’s viticultural scene.
Over a meal and several glasses of wine, Lucas chatted with Royce Lewellen, a Solvang judge with a penchant for community service, and the pair launched what would prove to be an enduring friendship.
In the early 1970s, Santa Barbara County was celebrated more for its university and surf culture than for its wine industry, which remained but a dream in a few forward-thinking minds. Though the members of the Santa Maria Wine and Food Society regularly savored delectable wines, none of their selections bore local labels.
“Those were interesting times,” remembers Louis Lucas, who pronounces his name “Louie”. “We were growing grapes when there were no wineries here and shipping most of our fruit to the big producers up north.
“People thought you could only grow grapes in Napa,” he continues, “but we’ve proven you can do it in a lot of places, especially here. Our climate is ideal, with the long season you need to grow grapes with lots of flavor and color.” Continue Reading

From Solvang to Beijing

It’s no surprise that the physical beauty of the Santa Ynez Valley attracts celebrities looking to escape the limelight. They often find the accoutrerments of fame and fortune—superficiality, social hierarchy, snobbery—are surprisingly absent here, as if the Valley enfolds residents so protectively they are free to be themselves. If they gain local recognition, it’s normally… Continue Reading

Creation Station

After successful careers in the medical field, Patrick and Dawn Farrier took the unlikely step of filling a converted, ’70s-era bowling alley in Buellton with an array of goodies for people who love to sew. Initially driven by a simple desire to make new friends, they launched a creative revolution that reaches well beyond the boundaries… Continue Reading

Happy Beginnings, Happy Endings

When I was four years old and living on Calzada Road in Santa Ynez, I saw a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest, picked it up and went crying to my mother for help. Being the devoted animal lover she is, she agreed to help, but the nest was way up in… Continue Reading

From Figueroa Mtn Autumn is Toyon season.

The Toyon is also known as the California holly and Christmas berry. PHOTO, Cheryl Morris: Toyon berries, top, usually ripen by Thanksgiving and can be seen all through the Christmas season. The flowers, below, are a favorite with bees. Though a tempting decoration, Toyon is protected by state law. Fall is a great time on… Continue Reading

The Honen Runs Again

Solvang’s Honen Thrives under the Care of the Orona Family. As the decades unspool, new buildings crowd the streets of Solvang, sometimes obscuring local history under signboards and sale items. One family, however, celebrates the region’s past by plying those same streets in a remarkable Danish conveyance known as a Honen. Pulled by two Belgian… Continue Reading

Chef Maili Halme Brocke

From the one-room schoolhouse in Ballard to the patios and parlors of Montecito’s glitterati, Maili Halme Brocke has traveled a winding road of hard work and well-deserved opportunities. Today, she channels her culinary talents into a prosperous catering business, while deftly cultivating her children’s well-being and future success through the simple magic of home-schooling. “My… Continue Reading