You may think wine when you think Santa Ynez Valley, but you can also think vodka and whiskey because Ascendant Spirits Distillery, the first legal distillery in Santa Barbara County since Prohibition, is located in Buellton, the heart of wine country.
We stopped by Ascendant Spirits on a recent trip up to wine country. After all, a few tastes of vodka and whiskey are a great start to a weekend filled with wine. Owner and Distiller Stephen Gertman was on hand to give us a tour in between the fermentation taking place that day. We got a first hand tour of the process to make Sempre Fi Corn Whiskey.
Last Sunday, the sun was shining when the fourth annual L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade benefit for pediatric cancer research was held on the lawn of Culver Studios. Founded in 2000, Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004) was a four-year-old neuroblastoma patient who held a charity lemonade stand in front of her home to help raise money for cancer. In one day, she raised $2,000 and by the time she passed away in 2004 at the age of 8, she had raised, with the help of others, more than $1 million. Almost 10 years later, more than $60 million has been raised to fund over 300 research projects with the goal of ending childhood cancer.
Los Angeles Chef Suzanne Goin and her business partner Caroline Styne (AOC, Lucques, Tavern), along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat) created LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand and each year an extraordinary group of chefs, vintners and mixologists donate their time for one of Los Angeles’ best and most worthy food and wine events. To date, the Los Angeles event has raised more than $1 million and this past week’s event raised more than $530,000.