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Sunday Brunch & Bubbles + Happy Mother's Day

It’s time to celebrate Mom! And what better way than with brunch and sparkling wine, whether you head out to a fun spot in Orcutt, Los Alamos or Los Olivos, or host a brunch at home. Actually, Sunday brunch and bubbles are a great plan every weekend! Read on for tips.

Find Your Brunch Happy Place

The first thing to do when hosting brunch is determine the number or attendees so you can pick a great location at your home. Keeping the attendee number small means you can find any cozy, adorable spot inside or outside your house for a late morning or early afternoon get-together.

Host a Spring Brunch at Home for Mother's Day

The bar in the kitchen is a great place for a casual brunch, as is your eat-in kitchen or casual dining table. These are relaxed spaces for your guests, and you won’t be far from the stove and the fridge. Outdoor spaces are also perfect, from your front porch to your back patio, at a backyard table or in a little nook or lounge area.

Make it Pretty

In whichever space you choose, make sure to spruce it up a bit. Fresh flowers and plants make a gorgeous setting, as do pretty linens and dishes. You can go through your house and yard to find pretty glassware, plants, collectibles, candles, pillows or artwork to move to the kitchen or outdoors for the occasion. Consider using some pretty vases or jars as a focal point, each with a few flowers, or a towering plate of fresh fruit. You can find a pretty ice tub to chill the drinks, make the wines a feature centerpiece, or keep things simple and just use the view as a focal point.

Host a Spring Brunch at Home for Mother's Day

Bring on the Deliciousness

The easiest brunch food is something you can make ahead of time, that you can serve buffet style. Your guests can select what they’d like to eat, and you don’t have to jump up and wait on people.

Some staple brunch dishes that are super easy:

  1. Charcuterie or cheese plate

  2. Fresh fruit platter

  3. Make-ahead egg dish

  4. Baked goods, and don’t forget the cupcakes...or donuts!

Host a Spring Brunch at Home for Mother's Day

Here are some make-ahead brunch recipe ideas, or consider buying your staple dishes pre-made. Near Rice Ranch in Orcutt, we have two outstanding bakeries: Orcutt Bakery and Cups & Crumbs. Or grab some specialty cheeses and meats, or fun frozen brunch treats at a local grocer.

The Bubblies

We are a bit spoiled, with Rice Ranch being in the middle of the Santa Maria Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) in Santa Barbara wine country. Renowned sparkling wine (and Pinot Noir) producer Riverbench Vineyard & Winery is on Foxen Canyon, and the gorgeous modern Presqu’ile Winery, also known for Pinot Noir and various sparkling wines, is only 4 miles away. Venture a bit further south, and you'll find cool, new sparklers as well as heritage ones.

Host a Spring Brunch at Home for Mother's Day

A few ideas:

  • set out your sparkling wine with fruit juices for a do-it-yourself mimosa bar

  • create a cupcake or donut pairing with the wines

  • brown-bag all the bubblies, and have a blind tasting to see which one you truly love best.

Closest Sparkling Wine: Presqu’ile Winery

Presqu’ile specializes in cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are 2 of the main grapes in Champagne, so they are perfectly positioned for French-style sparkling wine. They have 5 sparkling wines in total, but 4 of them are for wine club only.

The Presqu’ile Non Vintage Brut Cuvee Sparkling wine is produced in the traditional méthode champenoise in-house at Presqu’ile, just 4 miles from Rice Ranch. It’s crisp and clean, made from 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir. It was fermented & aged for 5 months, and has that apply, brioche toasty flavor that you expect from Champagne.

Most Sparkling Wine: Riverbench Winery

Photos by Riverbench

Riverbench produces 6 different sparklers! They are also the only Champagne maker on the Central Coast to make a 100% Pinot Meunier sparkling wine from their own estate Pinot Meunier grapes. In Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are the main grapes for sparkling wines, and Riverbench specializes in all three.

  • Demi Sec – This off-dry sparkling has an attractive and pleasant palate of apple and pear.

  • Blanc de Noirs – Deep, complex, and suitable for special occasions.

  • Blanc de Blancs – Soft and lush, yet bright and fresh, this traditionally made sparkler is a beauty.

  • Brut Rosé – Light, fresh, and fruity, this wine is perfect for a warm, sunny day. Pairs nicely with a picnic basket.

  • Cork Jumper Cuvee – A unique and delicious blend of the three main grapes used in Champagne, France: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.

  • Sparkling Pinot Meunier – Santa Barbara County’s only sparkling Pinot Meunier exhibits a stunning palate of berry, caraway, and a touch of yeast.

Heritage Sparkling Wine: Laetitia Vineyard & Winery

Laetitia has the oldest heritage of sparkling wine on the Central Coast, having planted the estate estate vineyards were planted in 1982, and the first wines were released in 1984 under the estate’s former name, Maison Deutz. The French-owned winery in San Luis Obispo County once produced 30,000 cases of sparkling wine annually. Laetitia still produces sparkling wines in the same manner, and with the same French basket press, on display at the tasting room.

  • Brut Cuvée – Gala apple, streams of bubbles and soft melon notes meet to create this festive sparkling wine comprised of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, respectively. Lemon chiffon and sultry pear framed by freshly baked challah bread come forward on second approach of our house sparkling wine, great for pairing with pork with an apple-celery root slaw or our winemaker’s favorite: potato chips.

  • Cuvée M – A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, this sparkler opens with an enticing orange blossom bouquet and crème brûlée. The palate is dense and creamy with flavors of honeydew melon, Granny Smith apples, and vanilla crème. The full mouthfeel leads to a very round and long finish.

  • Sparkling Brut Rose – Composed of our best estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, this alluring sparkler opens with fresh aromas of raspberry, blackberries, and red currants coupled with subtle hints of lime. Round and full in the mouth, flavors of freshly cut peaches and tangerine ride on a balancing acidity, leading to a long and savory mouthwatering finish.

Coolest Sparkling Wine: in Los Alamos

Photos by Lo-Fi,, and Municipal

Los Alamos has a free spirit, and so cultivates the same in its wines. There are 3 wineries along Bell Street that produce sparkling wine in smaller quantities. This means they pop up at various times of the year, sell out fast, and tend to be made with more nontraditional grapes.

Lo-Fi’s 2019 Sparkling Pinot Noir was made from Pinot Noir around the SkyView Hotel in the traditional method, but the winemaker is constantly creating new sparklers. Coming this spring is a sparkling Chenin Blanc and a Pét-nat Mondeuse rosé. Keep your eye on this winery, as they may release even more bubbles next year.

Municipal Winery’s 10-Year Fizz is a riff on the great sparkling Shiraz wines in Australia. It has a ripe, rich Syrah base wine from 2008, aged in wood for 18 months before being bottling with addition of sugar and yeast. It aged slowly and gained complexity as it lay on its lees in the bottle for 10 years. Now, bottles are disgorged, dosage is added, and they are ready to be capped and finished.

A Tribute to Grace’s Gracias Madre is made from Winemaker Angela Osbourne's favorite wine grape; Grenache. Osbourne makes her bubbly from that grape to accompany laugher, sunsets, and freshly harvested scallops. This Gracias Madre Blanc de Noirs is made in the traditional method, and named in honor of her mother.


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