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Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard Partners with Napa Valley Wine Academy to Launch Wine Education Classes in Santa Barbara County


May 3, 2024 – Solvang, California – Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard (www.buttonwoodwinery.com), a picturesque winery nestled in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, is proud to announce its partnership with Napa Valley Wine Academy (NVWA; www.napavalleywineacademy.com), a leading wine education service provider. The collaboration marks the launch of wine education classes at the newly established NVWA’s Santa Barbara County campus at Buttonwood, offering an immersive learning experience in one of California’s most diverse agricultural regions.

Santa Ynez Valley is renowned for its agricultural biodiversity, boasting a rich tapestry of row crops and permanent crops, a broad array of fruit and vegetables, and wine grapes. The unique environment provides an optimal setting for the wine-curious to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of wine and the diverse growing environment found in Santa Barbara County. Initially offering introductory and intermediate WSET courses which begin in June 2024, the plan is to expand to coursework at all levels serving students from wine enthusiasts to industry professionals.

“We can’t imagine a better partner than Buttonwood for providing our students with hands-on learning opportunities, and offering them the ability to see different cycles in the vineyard or different stages of wine production in the cellar. Some things you can’t easily learn in a book, and together with Buttonwood, we will be creating unforgettable learning adventures,” commented NVWA founder Christian Oggenfuss.

In an effort to continue the flourishing path of Santa Barbara County’s wine region, the new educational opportunity will provide world-class, in-person instruction to industry professionals, raising the bar across the region both in wine knowledge and enhanced hospitality and service. Furthermore, students will gain a deeper understanding of the region’s terroir and the intricate process of winemaking, from vine to bottle.

“Education is fun and connecting students directly to the land can provide a strong experiential and semantic link to learning. We endeavor to bring people closer to the land and their food sources,” says Anthony Curci, Managing Partner of Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard. “We are excited to partner with Napa Valley Wine Academy to offer these enriching experiences, allowing our students this very dynamic educational opportunity in the heart of Santa Barbara County’s wine industry.”

Buttonwood vineyard walks and field studies will provide students direct interaction with the vineyard, allowing them to observe and learn viticultural techniques firsthand, from soil management to grape harvesting. Wine tasting and evaluation classes will entail guided wine tastings by WSET educator experts, affording students the opportunity to develop their sensory evaluation skills, crucial for any wine professional. Students will also delve into sustainable farming practices, learning about the diverse ecosystem at Buttonwood Farm & Vineyard which serves as an example of sustainable agriculture, aligning with NVWA’s commitment to promoting environmentally responsible viticulture.

Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard, regionally known for its beloved annual events, has also started a new series of seasonal cooking classes, continuing with a June 1, 2024, special class and picnic lunch with Chef Pascale Beale. Buttonwood’s expansion of its farm and vineyard experiences also includes the addition of horseback rides, launching in May, featuring an hour-long vineyard ride concluding with a food and wine spread. Weekly happenings include live music in the Buttonwood garden on Saturdays, and as summer sets in, Buttonwood’s popular “Red, White, and Blues” concert and benefit returns, this year on Saturday, July 6.

For more information about the new wine education classes at Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard, please visit: www.napavalleywineacademy.com/where-to-study/santa-barbara-wine-school. Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard is online at www.buttonwoodwinery.com, and on social media at @buttonwoodwinery and facebook.com/ButtonwoodFarm

About Buttonwood Farm and Vineyard

Santa Barbara County wine country’s Buttonwood Farm & Vineyard currently comprises a 42-acre estate vineyard, onsite winery facility, tasting room and gardens, a two-acre orchard, small hop yard, and 11 acres of rotated seasonal produce. The agriculturally historical property, founded in 1968 on a principle of sustainability, was first utilized as an equestrian operation, followed by the planting of organic fruits and vegetables, and in 1983, the initial planting of the vineyard.

Buttonwood Farm & Vineyard, located at 1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA 93463, is currently open daily for wine tasting experiences and bottle purchases, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Advance tasting reservations are recommended. Wine tastings at Buttonwood are family- and dog-friendly.

About Napa Valley Wine Academy

Napa Valley Wine Academy is America’s Premier Wine School™ based in Napa Valley, California with locations across the United States. The Academy is proud to be the largest approved program provider of the internationally recognized WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in the United States and the only school to win WSET’s Best Educator of the Year multiple times. The Academy offers a host of other in-person and online courses including the Champagne Specialist, American Wine Expert, Oregon Wine Expert, Napa Valley Wine Expert, Wine 101 and Wine 201. The Academy recently released its innovative and proprietary TasteCoach tasting skill programs, joining shipped wine kits with an interactive program that improves tasting skills and instills confidence in those taking wine exams.