Hundreds of visitors poured onto the historic grounds at Old Mission Santa Inés in Solvang to uncork a variety of tasting opportunities provided by more than 50 area vintners celebrating Santa Barbara wine country's 38th annual Vintners Festival.

This year's event represented a return to pre-COVID days reminiscent of its 2019 run at Rancho Sisquoc Winery in Santa Maria, and was orchestrated by 349 staff who served more than 1,500 people, according to Alison Laslett, CEO of Santa Barbara Vintners.

"I have never seen a crowd so excited to return," Laslett said. "You could see people taking it all in, the oceans of tents, the delicious food, the new wines, that incredible view …"

Lisa André covers lifestyle and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record, editions of the Santa Maria Times.

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