BUELLTON, California - EconAlliance along with Santa Barbara Vintners held a seminar in Buellton discussing Santa Barbara wine country and how viable the future looks.
This year they are concentrating on wineries and tourism in Santa Barbara that is falling short against their competition.
“Santa Barbara has lagged on the business side for at least 20 years," said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Wine Group. "Santa Barbara is really dead last now. Among all its competition anywhere in California it’s last.”
According to Stephen Pepe, Presidnet of EconAlliance, Paso Robles is overpowering Santa Barbara in wine tours.
“Paso does 1.5 million wine tours and Santa Barbara does 860-thousand,” said Pepe.
Pepe says its because Paso Robles is more wine friendly.
“For example in Paso you can put a restaurant or hotel on any vineyards. You can’t do that in Santa Barbara," said Pepe. "People want to see where their products are grown and they want to go out and hear the stories and talk to their wine makers.”