The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 152

HOT PROPERTY PHOTO COURTESY OF BACARA RESROT & SPA Revival on the Santa Barbara Coastline CHANGES ENHANCE BACARA RESORT & SPA'S ALREADY ALLURING IMAGE by Richard Carleton Hacker I centric potential of Bacara, the closest luxury resort to Santa Ynez Valley wine country, was Bill Foley, as three Foley Family Wines properties—Firestone Vineyard, Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery and Lincourt—are nearby. Consequently, in June Bill and his wife Carol announced their Foley Food & Wine Society test program, followed by the September 28 opening of the Foley Food & Wine Society Tasting Room, conveniently located just off the front entrance of Bacara's elegant circular courtyard entryway. Here, Assistant Manager Lila Brown enthusiastically conducts daily tastings of Foley Family Wines, including Kuleto Estate, Chalk Hill Estate, Sebastiani and Lancaster Estate. Custom flights, along with featured flights from "Wineries of the Month" are offered, such as five wines from Lincourt Estate for $15, or a flight of four whites for $10. In keeping with its renewed emphasis on food and wine, Bacara's casualChef Chris Turano, fresh from a winning stint on Food Network's Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell, now heads up the kitchen at The Bistro at Bacara Resort & Spa. dining restaurant, The Bistro, has been given a new personality. The bar formerly located left of the main entrance has been moved outside to the al fresco seating area (something you can do in a Mediterranean climate), and in its place is a comfortably furnished seating area. Traditional Italian dishes and locallysourced coastal cuisine are under the stewardship of newly-installed Chef de Cuisine Chris Turano, fresh from a winning stint on Food Network's Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell. Indeed, like Sandro Botticelli's classic 1486 painting The Birth of Venus, which depicts the Goddess of Love rising from the ocean to inspire an earthly appreciation of beauty, Bacara stands poised above the Pacific, ready to inspire a new era of luxury. PHOTO COURTESY OF BACARA RESROT & SPA t took $222 million and almost 20 years in the planning, but in 2000, Bacara Resort & Spa was unveiled, luxuriously stretching out along 78 acres comprising the verdant hills that slope down to meet a pristine two-mile stretch of Haskell's Beach, and overlooking one of the most scenic coastlines in Southern California. With the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop and the white capped Pacific Ocean literally lapping at its feet, Bacara has since become a dramatic getaway from reality, located just 15 miles north of Santa Barbara, near the slightly more laid-back town of Goleta. And yet, like most upscale properties, the recent recession had its impact upon Bacara, which wasn't helped by a turnaround series of corporate ownerships. But now, with its recent acquisition by Irvine, California–based Pacific Hospitality Group, Bacara has become part of the upscale Meritage Collection of luxury resorts, which includes the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in San Diego, Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, and The Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa. And enhancing Bacara's already alluring image, changes are taking place. One of the first to realize the wine- 56  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_034-65.indd 56 9/23/13 10:34 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - October 2013