Harvest on the Coast showcases local wines, benefits Food Bank Coalition of SLO
Combine the Central Coast’s greatest qualities, the ocean and vineyards, and you’ve got the SLO Wine Country Association‘s Harvest on the Coast. The event is a weekend-long festivity where locals and wine enthusiasts alike can enjoy all the varieties that the Central Coast has to offer.
Going into its 27th year now, executive director of the association Heather Mura said that this event is unique to the area because it celebrates the end of the harvest for vineyard farmers.
“This event really takes place at the tail end of the harvest so it really gives winemakers a chance to let their hair down and enjoy it,” Mura said.
While the harvest is a way to showcase farmers and their crop, the event also features a local nonprofit that the association feels has made a difference to the county. This year the Food Bank Coalition of SLO will be the beneficiary of money raised from the “fund-a-need” portion of the live auction that takes place on Nov. 4.
Mura said that the food bank was selected and approved by the board of the association because it educates children about making healthy food choices by way of its farmers’ market program.
“Their program is really helping connect food to children and to teach them where their food comes from,” she said.
The food bank partners with schools and after-school programs across the county to provide fresh produce to students in need. The program creates the feeling of a real farmers market by providing students with reusable bags and mock money, or what they call “food bank bucks.” The students are then given the opportunity to choose which produce they would like and how much they would like to purchase to take home to share with their families. On average, students take home 15 pounds of produce, typically in-season items such as potatoes, oranges, cabbage, pears, and red-leaf lettuce, to name a few. The goal of the program is to teach students how to shop for fresh produce while also learning about each item’s nutritional value.
Mura said at last year’s Harvest on the Coast, the SLO Wine Country Association was able to raise about $15,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of SLO County.
“Raising this kind of money really changes the game for a lot of these local nonprofits that are really helping their communities,” she said.
Harvest on the Coast is an event that allows attendees to try the varying wines that farmers have created over the season, particularly the chardonnays and pinot noirs that excel in this coastal region.
From Friday, Nov.3, to Sunday, Nov. 5, attendees can enjoy the sea breeze and ocean views at the Avila Beach Golf Resort along with a Grand Tasting and Wine Auction. In attendance will be more than 50 local winemakers, chefs, and artisan food producers. Participants will also be entertained by the soulful sounds of B and the Hive jamming out in the background.
Saturday’s attendees also have entry to the Surf’s Up Sunday event occurring Nov. 5 with their grand tasting wristband and wine glass from the day before. Individuals will have the opportunity to visit participating tasting rooms for all-inclusive wine tasting, hor d’oeuvres, live entertainment, and wine discounts.
For more information about tickets or the event visit slowine.com.