New series explores region’s unique wines and winemakers in nine episodes available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify
Santa Barbara, Calif. (February 2020) — A new podcast and video series celebrating Santa Barbara County’s unique wines through its winemakers and their lives, “Two Glasses In,” launched Feb. 5 on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The nine-episode series was created by longtime area wine professionals Rafael A. Ruiz and Bion Rice and co-produced by Visit Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara South Coast’s destination marketing organization.
From left, Bion Rice, host of Santa Barbara County wine podcast “Two Glasses In,” and Frank Ostini, winemaker at Hitching Post Winery, are featured in the debut episode.
In each 45-minute episode, host Bion Rice, a third-generation winegrower (formerly of Sunstone Winery and currently, Artiste Winery), sits down with a fellow Santa Barbara County winemaker for a candid, in-depth conversation on their wines, the craft and their lives. The twist?: Both Rice and his guest chat over two glasses of wine. Listeners can view the show notes to follow along and drink what the podcasters are drinking.
“At Visit Santa Barbara, we’re always looking for innovative ways to promote travel to the region,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, president/CEO of Visit Santa Barbara. “With podcast consumption at an all-time high, ‘Two Glasses In’ is a way to reach potential travelers outside of traditional print and digital marketing in a way that doesn’t feel like a marketing campaign and with the authentic voice of Bion Rice, one of the area’s highly respected winemakers. With this series, we’re excited for listeners to learn about renowned wines, discover new favorites and feel inspired to taste it for themselves by visiting Santa Barbara.”
From grape to glass, Santa Barbara County offers travelers a wide range of wine-tasting experiences, from the tasting rooms along the Santa Barbara’s walkable Urban Wine Trail to the scenic vineyards of the valley. “I’ve lived and breathed the bounty of Santa Barbara wine country for the past two decades, and believe there’s no better place on Earth to grow wine and cultivate this craft,” said Bion Rice. “We have one of the most diverse grape-growing regions in the world, with more than 70 varietals of grapes, so the stories and ways to taste are endless.”
The podcast’s first episode features Frank Ostini, iconic owner of Hitching Post 2 and co-owner and winemaker of Hitching Post Winery. The movie “Sideways,” which featured Hitching Post 2, won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay and put Santa Barbara County wines on the map when it came out in 2004. Ostini discusses the “Sideways Effect” on merlot, what makes the Santa Barbara County wine region special, and the inner workings of his restaurant and winery.
Future episodes will feature winemakers Bryan Babcock of Babcock Winery, Doug Margerum of Margerum Wine Company, and Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars, among others. The series was also co-produced by Jessy Lynn Perkins of Visit Santa Barbara.
Podcast episodes will be released each Wednesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with a companion webisode released each Friday on Visit Santa Barbara’s website, TwoGlassesIn.com. Each webisode will include footage of the podcast filming, while providing a glimpse into the life of the featured winemaker.
ABOUT VISIT SANTA BARBARA
Visit Santa Barbara is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization jointly funded by the City of Santa Barbara, County of Santa Barbara, South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District and a membership of hospitality businesses. Its mission is to inspire overnight travel to the Santa Barbara South Coast in order to enhance the community’s economy and quality of life. VSB’s primary vehicles are tourism marketing, PR and sales channels that lead to overnight bookings, increase business and tax revenue, and support jobs. Annual spending by travelers to the South Coast totals more than $1.9 billion, supporting more than 13,000 jobs and generating more than $56 million in yearly tax revenue, according to Destination Analysts, a tourism market research firm.