Alumni and special friends of Antioch University Santa Barbara gathered together for an enchanting day trip to Hearst Castle and Hearst Ranch Winery on May 14th. Friends, community members, and alumni made new connections from the moment we shared fresh coffee and pastries boarding the Santa Barbara Airbus.
Upon our arrival in San Simeon, we began our “Experience Tour” of the five-story Hearst Castle Theater to watch ‘Hearst Castle: Building the Dream’. Combining vintage clips and stills from the 1920s and 30s, the documentary was a classic cinematography delight. The weather and mood at the castle were both bright and cheery as we toured the sprawling gardens, terraces and beautiful buildings of the Hearst Castle, including Casa Grande and Neptune’s Pool.
Following a fine lunch at Hearst Castle, the bus headed to Hearst Ranch Winery in Paso Robles. We were greeted by AUSB President Nancy Leffert, her husband Mark Leffert, and their son Jeremy Leffert – Hearst Ranch Winery viticulturist and winemaker.
Time on the tours allowed our group of alumni and guests to engage in inspiring conversation, sharing life stories. “We really bonded as a group, while our senses were quenched with fine art, good food, quality wine, and laughs!” commented alumna Lorrie Thomas.
For the wine aficionados, we were treated to a special tasting and enjoyed sampling the 2008 ‘Glacier Ridge’ Chardonnay and the 2007 ‘Lone Tree’ Cabernet Franc. We had the opportunity to taste a pre-release of the Hearst Ranch Vineyards stellar vintages making their debut, including the 2009 "Babicora" Malbec and the 2009 "Chileano" Tempranillo. One of the highlights of our private wine tasting was the limited release 2010 “Solace,” a Tempranillo Rosé which benefits the Hearst Cancer Resource Center located in San Luis Obispo, California.
All who attended had a spectacular time, and we’ve shared our photos here. AUSB alumni and our special guests hope to make this one of many annual events to make friends and have fantastic conversations. We hope to see you there next year!