Off the Vine

The harvest party after-parties in Santa Barbara wine country

In the midst of picking and pressing grapes, the Santa Barbara County vintners find time for the Celebration of Harvest festival, which takes place this weekend. But while the main event is a draw, some of the best parties happen at the wineries and tasting rooms all over Santa Ynez Valley. Here are the best satellite soirees:

Andrew Murray Vineyards You can taste Murray's Rhône-style wines at his Los Olivos tasting room, but the actual winery is only open for harvest weekend. Wander around the barrel room and sip wine, snack on sausages and cheeses and listen to live music throughout the afternoon ($10). Vaca Station Rd., Los Olivos (go to Firestone and look for the AM signs); 805-693-9644 or andrewmurrayvineyards.com

Lafond Winery For $5, taste six of Bruce McGuire's new releases, like the Arita Hills Pinot Noir, then gorge on tacos, kebobs, cheeses and other complimentary snacks. Take a load off and sit on the lawn while listening to live music. 6855 Santa Rosa Rd., Buellton; 805-688-7921 or lafondwinery.com

Clendenen-Lindquist Vintners There are over 10 different labels produced at this off-the-beaten-path winery, including cult favorites like Au Bon Climat, Qupé and Verdad, and it's only open to the public twice a year. Taste all of the wines at the Sunday event ($15), enjoy a complimentary lunch and get big discounts on purchases. Click here (PDF) for directions. 4665 Santa Maria Mesa Rd, Santa Maria; 805-688-7111