Taste, Sip and Enjoy | Food, Wine and Travel

Kick-off Summer with Polo and Wine

Kick-off Summer with Polo and Wine

Summer solstice is June 20th and four days later we suggest a stupendous kick-off of your summer activities.  Saturday, June 24th, 2017, the outstanding 6th Annual Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic will return to the rolling hills of Piocho Ranch at Happy Canyon Vineyard.



It is always a day of polo ponies and thundering hoofs, while guests indulge in superb wine and food.  In addition, the ladies are able to enter a hat competition.  I feel this lady must have worked months to put together this incredible creation.


The day begins as the colorful Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Posse leads the mounted polo players onto the field for the playing of the national anthem.


And then, it’s match on!



Sometimes the ponies really “kick up their heels.”  Or, should I say “hoofs?’


It is always nice to see the broad smile of Tom Barrack, owner of Piocho Ranch.


Galloping by, at a rapid clip, is Argentine polo player, Nacho Figueras.  As one of the top 100 players in the world, he is part of the Black Watch Polo Team.  He is most easily identified as the face of Ralph Lauren’s Black Label.


Happy Canyon Vineyard wines are a delightful part of the afternoon. On the warm afternoon their 2015 Chukker rosé was my top selection.



It is best to not drink wine without consuming food.  The belief is that alcohol is absorbed much faster on an empty stomach.   The menu gave everyone a wide range from which to choose so we would not be put in the “empty stomach” situation.



The roasted garlic/chipotle chili on the colorful Mexican Street Corn provided an unusual and delicious divergence from the typical butter.


Wood fired tri tip and chicken……

were added to vegetables, salad and tortillas to make a brimming plate.


Following a hearty meal, ice cream was the welcoming light and cool finishing touch.


The chefs had selected, and prepared, a meal that pleased everyone.


After the mountains of food, getting up to walk for the divot stomp was a welcome relief.


For a moment I thought the wine was causing me to have double vision.  I blinked a couple of times and realized there were twin girls heading out to help with the stomping.  What a cute duo!


Of course there is always a winner of the match and we can see they were proud of their trophy.


If we look at the day, in general, our conclusion would be that Piocho Ranch and Happy Canyon Winery are also huge winners.  Without a doubt, the setting and wines, courtesy of Tom Barrack and Sean Pitts, are spectacular.

Start your summer with polo and wine.  Celebrate with old friends and make new ones. We encourage you to reserve your space now by going to the Santa Ynez Valley Polo Classic, select the ticket option you prefer and make your reservation today.






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