Laurie Jervis: Solvang Arrowsmith’s Wine Bar Hosts ‘Cultural Sundays’ Lecture Series |
Solvang residents Anna and Tim Arrowsmith moved to California from England in 2014 after falling in love with the state while on vacation.
They first settled in Pasadena, relishing that city’s arts and film scene, before Anna wanted to live closer to UCSB to further her education and teach. The couple therefore moved to Solvang in 2017.
Both Anna and Tim are academics – she earned an MA in Philosophy and a PhD in Gender Studies after a successful career as an award-winning adult filmmaker under the name Anna Span – and he is pursuing his doctoral studies , which focuses on the history of motorcycle clothing worn between 1950 and 1970 in the UK. Anna spent two years as a lecturer at UCSB.
After a stint in the Santa Ynez Valley, they purchased the Solvang Wine Bar formerly known as The Wandering Dog, at 1539 Mission Dr.
They opened as Arrowsmith’s Wine Bar in November 2020, but fell prey to the pandemic shutdown a month later and remained closed until February 2021, Anna Arrowsmith recalls. The couple are endearing and kind, and share with their guests a passion for wine and gastronomy.
Anna detailed a favorite pastime in the UK – “philosophical evenings” in a particular London pub, where guests listened to random and intriguing lectures. “They were really interesting,” Arrowsmith said. Since November 2021, Arrowsmith’s has been hosting “Spoken Word” nights, welcoming poets and other writers to share their words, but longed for something more educational.
Enter “Cultural Sundays,” which launched in June and features various speakers — all but one from UCSB, where Anna also taught — with topics ranging from “The Evolution of Sex” (by Jared Wong, forthcoming on August 21) at “The Other Side of the Smartphone (by Lisa Parks, coming September 18) at “What Do Animals See? said. Each of the conferences takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
After a break this Sunday, the next in the series will take place on August 21 with Wong’s “Evolution of Sex,” and on August 28, Sara Caldwell will discuss “How Filmmakers Use Color to Shift Your Emotion.”
The Sept. 4 talk is yet to be determined, but on Sept. 11, Cheri Steinkellner’s “Cheers: Tales from the Script” will be presented, followed by Parks’ “Smartphone” discussion on Aug. 18, and on Aug. 25, Dr. Ian O’Neill will present “From the Arctic to Hawaii: How the Sun Shaped My World (And How It Shapes Yours, Too)”.
In October, “The Wine Culture War: Why Believe in Moderation?” (Dr. Victor Geraci, October 2); “Obscene Hollywood: US History of Film Censorship (Hannah Garibaldi, October 9); “Connecting Sound and Image: The Alchemy of Visual Music (Joao Oliveira, October 16) with October 23 still to be determined.
On October 30, weather expert Dr. Nina Oakley will present the timely “A few days make the year, and a few minutes make a mess: Extreme rainfall in Santa Barbara County.”
Entrance to Cultural Sundays is free, with charcuterie, vegetarian plates, chocolate truffles, espresso drinks, draft beers and a wide selection of wines, both international and domestic, available for purchase. Arrowsmith’s is only open to people 21 and older.
While Anna runs “everything” in their bar, Tim Arrowsmith manages the couple’s small Solvang vineyard, runs a side business and is working on his doctorate. Longtime winemaker Rick Hill (Tantara, Labyrinth) works with the pair to produce their namesake wine label, Arrowsmith.
Iris Rideau hosts signings at Los Olivos
Winemaker Iris Rideau, the first black woman in the United States to establish a winery, is on a reading tour to promote her memoir, “From WHITE to BLACK: A Life Between Two Worlds.”
Although Rideau has already completed several regional book signings, two more are on the way, both in Los Olivos:
» From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, August 13, at the Corner House Coffee
» From 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday, August 19, Cave Roblar
The memoir tells the story of Rideau to riches accomplishing the nearly impossible by a black woman born into a Creole family in New Orleans during the Jim Crow era.
Rideau (née Duplantier) was born in New Orleans in 1936. She grew up in the city’s 7th Ward, a Creole section of the city considered a relatively safe haven for the family. However, the cruelty that Rideau suffered under the harsh rule of Jim Crow led her to decide at the age of 10 that she should leave the South for a better life in California.
The arc of Rideau’s life is traced in his memoirs, highlighting periods of turmoil, including sexual assault and racism. At 16, she was a single mother working in a sewing factory while attending evening classes. Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center, said of Rideau’s memoir, “An inspiring and often provocative read…a wonderful and poignant story of triumph and transcendence.
After a year, Rideau left that sweatshop and got her first job with an insurance agency, a move that helped launch her career. After the Watts Riots in 1967, Iris founded Rideau Insurance Agency to provide insurance to thousands of ineligible homeowners, black-owned businesses, and non-profit organizations such as city leagues that insurance companies “white” insurance would not touch.
In the late 1970s, Rideau founded his second company, a securities firm specializing in public employee pension plans. Its success caught the attention of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. He hired her to provide casualty insurance for the city’s federal programs and set up the city’s supplemental pension fund run by the Hartford Investment Group.
After running both businesses for 30 years and later selling both, Rideau left Los Angeles and moved to the Santa Ynez Valley, where in 1997 she founded Rideau Winery. Rideau has sold the label’s Rhône-style wines directly from its historic adobe tasting room and at many memorable Creole-inspired wine events.
More information: www.irisrideau.com
Trailblazer Kathy Joseph introduced Vintner at Memorial Scholarship fundraiser
Kathy Joseph, winemaker and owner of Fiddlehead Cellars and alumnus of the University of California, Davis, was the featured winemaker at the annual Gabriel Gomez-Sandoval Memorial Farmworker Scholarship fundraiser and auction. the California Farm Labor Contractor Association in Sacramento on August 4.
Fiddlehead Cellars, based in Lompoc, produces around 4,000 cases a year of grüner veltliner, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.
Founded in 2009, the California Farm Labor Contractor Association (CFLCA) has a long history of advocating for thoughtful labor management practices throughout the California wine and agriculture industry. The annual scholarship fund was established in 2016 to support the education of students who work in the agriculture industry or are the children of farmworkers.
“This is an organization close to my heart and one that I am honored to have supported over the years,” said Joseph. “This scholarship program will help many needy students achieve their dreams, and our primary goal is to create a positive legacy of a better future for so many worthy students. It is so important that we support the men and women who work tirelessly in our vineyards, and I believe one of the best ways is to help their families and the next generation.
In 2022, the RAC scholarship will fund 30 students with scholarships each ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. To date, over $240,000 has been distributed.
“This year, the scholarship program has been renamed the Gabriel Gomez-Sandoval Memorial Scholarship for Agricultural Workers,” said Guadalupe Sandoval, who was Founder and Executive Director of RAC before her retirement in 2021. “Gabriel is my son who lost his four-year battle with leukemia. in 2005. He had just completed his first semester as a student at California State University, Sacramento, and had yet to realize his dream of becoming a teacher. Companies like Fiddlehead Cellars and people like Kathy Joseph have been extremely generous in supporting this scholarship program.
More information: https://www.calflca.org/Scholarships
Alma Rosa Peace of Mind Walk Raises At Least $176,000
Alma Rosa Winery’s Third Annual “Peace of Mind: 10,000 Steps in the Right Direction” Fundraising Walk Raised Over $176,000 to Support Community Mental Health Services and Research and Treatment mental health,” said Debra Eagle, executive director.
The funds will be split between two recipients, One Mind and the Santa Barbara County Mental Wellness Center.
More than 180 participants walked through the 628-acre Alma Rosa estate in the Sta. Rita Hills on July 23 to participate in the 10,000 step (or approximately 4.5 mile) march.
— Laurie Jervis tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.