Alisal Signature Experiences
Fall Women's Retreat: WILDWONDER™
October 1-4, 2023
We are excited to announce the third WILDWONDER™ retreat at Alisal Ranch and invite you to join us from Sunday, October 1 through Wednesday, October 4 as we cultivate our own Wild West community with a collection of inspiring women. For three nights, we celebrate the modern woman by learning from leading lady pioneers who tell their stories and share their skills with our guests.
WILDWONDER™ features female artisans, chefs, winemakers, cowgirls, wellness leaders, and other fearless women. This Fall, we will welcome back Jeanne Kelley for a demo followed by a fabulous meal with recipes from her cookbook Vegetarian Salad for Dinner. Celebrated chef and culinary anthropologist, Claudette Zepeda, will tell you her story as we enjoy her incredible food alongside a wine pairing with Camins2Dreams. Every guest will get their own Lovely Bird hat, with a custom hat band. Our final night will feature dinner by Joy Wilson and showcases recipes from her latest publication Camp Joy, an ode to her love of cooking outdoors. This dinner will at the rodeo arena and we’ll taste sake from Ysidro. You’ll take home a WILDWONDER™ swag bag including guest chef cookbooks and more goodies.
Explore Alisal Ranch’s 10,500 acres of western beauty by foot, on horseback or by boat on our private lake. Shop, cook, and share stories with other women amidst the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains. Adventure at the Ranch while making new connections and participating in experiences that spark self-discovery and growth.
Rates start at $820/night for single occupancy and $1,240/night for double occupancy. Nightly rate includes accommodation, meals, beverages, two horseback rides, scheduled yoga and wellness classes, hat + hatband workshop, wreath making class, cooking demo and class.
The 22 % Ranch Fee both helps offset the cost of various amenities made available to guests of the Alisal Ranch and funds additional compensation to the employees who provide service to our guests. The amenities provided include two branded water canteens, a bottle of wine in each room, Wi-Fi internet access, use of the fitness center, a shuttle to Solvang, bikes, scheduled and seasonal entertainment, tennis court use, fishing bait and tackle, use of non-motorized boats at Alisal Lake, and various children’s activities, including the barnyard and kid’s arts and crafts. Part of the Ranch Fee is distributed to our service employees as additional compensation to eliminate the need for tipping at the Ranch.
- All meals and scheduled WILDWONDER™ activities
- Two group horseback rides
- Event swag bag and Lovely Bird hat
- Yoga Classes
- Cooking Demos
- Wreath Making Class
- Guest Chef Dinners
- Enjoy wine tasting with local winemaker dinner
- Line dancing
Book this retreat
Call us directly and a Reservation Specialist will put together the perfect Alisal getaway for you!
Book by phone now
Day 1 – Sunday
1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 pm
Group Horseback Rides Available
Hatband Happy Hour – Pick out your Lovely Bird hat and make a custom hat band with wine from Alma Rosa
Welcome Dinner with Alma Rosa Wine
Day 2 – Monday
Breakfast at Leisure
Yoga at Alisal Lake with Jasmine Hanson
Lunch, Demo, and DIY Dukkah Bar with Jeanne Kelley. Ysidro Sake Tasting with Monica Epstein.
1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 pm
Group Horseback Rides Available
Claudette Zepeda Dinner paired with Camins2Dreams Wine
Day 3 – Tuesday
7:00 -10:00 am
Breakfast at Leisure
Sound Bath with Jasmine Hanson
Cailloux Cheese Tasting and Lunch
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Fall Wreath Making Class
Lelamooi Jewelry Trunk Show
Dona Loca Tequila and Mezcal Tasting & Cocktail Class
Dinner with Joy the Baker
Linedancing and Music
Day 4 – Wednesday
7:00 – 10:00 am
Breakfast at Leisure
Breakfast Horseback Ride to Adobe
Haywagon Ride to Adobe
Yoga at the Spa
Check-out and departure
Women of the West
Claudette Zepeda is an award-winning, San Diego-based celebrity chef and culinary entrepreneur known for her fearless style and bold approach to regional Mexican cuisine. A celebrated culinary anthropologist, Zepeda draws upon 20+ years of experience working in restaurant kitchens, as well as her extensive travels around the world and throughout Mexico that inform her vast knowledge of indigenous ingredients and cross-cultural expressions of cuisine. Zepeda’s multi-faceted expertise is showcased in her role overseeing the creative vision as Founder of Chispa Hospitality which started in the Spring of 2022, including food concepts in Australia and Mexico. VAGA restaurant in San Diego’s North County is where she authors a love letter to her hometown with a menu that celebrates local flavors and immigrant influences. Previously, Zepeda garnered more national acclaim for her time as the executive chef & partner behind El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in the area. During her tenure, El Jardín received a glowing review from the New York Times, inclusion on Esquire’s 2018 Best New Restaurants, and recognition from Michelin on their 2019 Bib Gourmand list. Zepeda was named both Eater San Diego and San Diego Union Tribune’s Chef of the Year in 2018, and was a James Beard Best Chef West semifinalist in 2019. Prior to El Jardín, Zepeda was chef de cuisine at Javier Plascencia’s celebrated Bracero. She has competed on US & Mexico’s Top Chef , as well as Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, winning her challenge & Iron Chef México where she successfully won her challenge and tied in the finale.
In 2019 Zepeda Founded Viva La Vida, LLC., establishing micro businesses with single mothers throughout Mexico’s seven regions to import their heirloom ingredients previously unavailable in the U.S. Through Viva La Vida, Zepeda helps Mexican women support their families without sacrificing their safety. Named for a famous Frida Kahlo quote, the company celebrates the colorful life and death Mexicans lead, with plans by 2023 to grow into a 501c3 fund dedicated to helping Hispanic women break from generational poverty in the United States.
Jeanne Kelley is an award-winning author of six cookbooks. A food writer, culinary educator and food stylist, she was a contributing editor at Bon Appetit magazine for twenty years. Jeanne is an edible garden expert who specializes in seasonal and sustainable cooking. Her articles have appeared frequently in the Los Angeles Times food section, Fine Cooking and CookingLight magazines
Joy Wilson is well known for her daily dabbles in butter and sugar as her blogging alter ego, Joy the Baker. A California girl who now splits her time between New Orleans and Houston, TX, Joy is a 100% taste buds taught baker and home cook. Since 2008, Joy has shared her indulgent and comforting yet approachable recipes through her popular blog joythebaker.com, inspiring home cooks of all ages to try new things. Joy is also a three-time cookbook author, and editor-in-chief of the bi-annual Joy the Baker Magazine.
Through it all, Joy proves baking is not about all the latest gadgets and high-tech gizmos; it’s about stepping into the kitchen with a monster sweet tooth and coaxing something beautiful out of the oven. Joy has won numerous awards for her online work including Savuer’s Best Baking Blog and being named one of the Top 50 Food Blogs by The London Times. Joy has been featured on Food52, NYMag, TheKitchn, Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, and Country Living to name a few. Joy has spoken at Cherry Bombe Jubilee and been seen on The TODAY Show. She has her own baking and breakfast mixes product line with Williams Sonoma, and a capsule collection of culinary themed necklaces and earrings with Delicacies Jewelry. You can keep up with Joy on Instagram @joythebaker and her cake-based passion project @drakeoncake. On any given day she can be found with a bag of cookies and a pound of butter in her purse.
Started by CEO Karen Ashworth and by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Dana Rodriguez, Doña Loca is a women-owned and run company offering award-winning organic tequilas and artisanal mezcals that are additive-free and made with 100% organic agave. With a deep love for all agave spirits, our founders sought out the best distillers in Mexico to create Doña Loca. Though it took a few years to find the right partners, we are incredibly proud to work with small multi-generational, family-run distilleries in Mexico that use traditional techniques and ancestral recipes for an authentic ‘farm-to-bottle’ approach, resulting in beautiful tequilas and mezcals with full expression and great taste that we are proud to serve.
Creating a brand is more than just the product in hand, but one that is forged by embracing the spirit of it’s inception – for Monica Epstein it’s a culmination of determination and recognition of the importance in enjoying the moments that make you want to slow down, beverage in hand.
Monica spent her formative working years in management roles for GAP in San Francisco; and in Boston, Portland and North Carolina before transitioning from retail to showcase her inherently imbedded creative skills. Creative life began with an apprenticeship at an interior design studio in Venice, CA, and eventually lead to a role in post production. Epstein’s acute knowledge of the ins-and-outs of managing successful businesses through strategic recruitment, analyzing profits, running projections, and setting financial goals planted an entrepreneurial seed, leading Epstein to launch what would become the first of many companies – a handbag line – which graced the shelves of Bergdorf Goodman and Barney’s New York. During her time away from office life while raising her children, Epstein refocused her entrepreneurial spirit to kitchen-focused designs, exemplifying her keen sense of style and expertise in the fashion industry working with leather and textiles to create high-end aprons, partnering with reputable brands throughout California.
After having lived for an extended stint in Los Angeles, Epstein’s inspiration was once again drawn after moving to Montecito, where living is carefree, the community is enriching and the lifestyle embraces an idyllic bliss that resonates on the California coast. Leveraging but departing from her fashion and creative production industries’ background, Monica dreamt of creating a beverage brand that would transport drinkers to her homestead. The result is Ysidro Sake Spritz – an effervescent escape to Montecito ideal for bright conversations and warm embraces that launched after a literal dream encounter had led to its inception. Named after Saint Ysidro, the patron saint of gardeners and farmers, the drink embraces simple living and quality time with other likeminded people. ‘Ysidro is about capturing the moment and being present,” says Epstein. “We want our drinkers to feel like they’re strolling in the sand, watching the sunset cascade into the Pacific without a care in the world. We’re proud to have created something that is bright, fresh and doesn’t compromise on its purpose.” Epstein and the Ysidro team see the brand as an opportunity to inspire consumers to experience and develop an appreciation for the beauty and potential of a well produced canned beverage and she continues to find inspiration from local farmer’s markets for fresh, seasonal ingredients to pair with the spirit as its stronghold on the market expands. When not sipping on Ysidro, Monica Epstein supports Santa Barbara’s Organic Soup Kitchen, and enjoys spending time with friends and family, planning her next trip, looking at trends and always thinking about food.
Mireia was born and raised in Catalunya, in the northeastern part of Spain. Her interest in wine started at a very young age. Growing up in Spain, wine is considered a food and was part of almost every meal. Mireia knew from a young age that she wanted to learn more about wine. Mireia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona and then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Enology at the University of Rovira and Virgili. When she was in her last year of studies, she came to California as an intern for a harvest season, which is where she met her wife, Tara Gomez. When that harvest finished, Mireia went back to Spain. In 2008, she accepted a harvest position at Castell d’Encus, astart-up winery in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain. She quickly earned a winemaker position and worked there until 2014. While working at Castell d’Encus, Mireia went back to school to earn her Masters in Enology, Viticulture, and Marketing of Wine. Meanwhile her relationship with Tara grew and they traveled the world and visited all the wine regions together. In 2014, Mireia moved to California and began working as a wine broker and wine consultant.
In 2017, she started Camins 2 Dreams, a new adventure with her wife, Tara Gomez, making wine together and sourcing fruit from selected Sta. Rita Hills vineyards and coolest sites from Santa Barbara County.
When she’s not working, Mireia enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and her dogs. She loves nature and hiking but also enjoys relaxing at home with a glass of wine and a good book.
Tara’s passion for wine began when she was young and her parents used to take her wine tasting throughout the Central Coast. When she was a child she enjoyed looking at life through a microscope and it was the connection of wine to nature and science that made her want to pursue an Enology Degree.
Tara graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Enology from CSU Fresno. She worked for a few wineries, including Fess Parker and J. Lohr, at the same time she started her first label — Kalawashaq’Wine Cellars (named for the village where her Chumash ancestors once lived) — sourcing fruit from her friend and mentor Larry Gomez, from Via Vega Vineyards in Paso Robles. Tara left her job at J. LohrWinery in 2008, and put Kalawashaq’ on hold while she went to explore the world. During that time she worked two harvests at Castell d’Encus in Spain, the same winery where her wife, Mireia was the winemaker. When Tara returned to California in 2010, her Chumash Tribe had purchased Camp 4Vineyard and she started Kitá Wines, a small, premium winery in the Santa Ynez Valley where she was the winemaker. Kitá Wines closed its doors in the summer of 2022. She is the first recognized Native American winemaker in the country and brings a unique perspective to her winemaking style.
In 2017, Tara was ready to bring her personal project, Kalawashaq’ Wine Cellars back to life, and along, added a new label with her wife Mireia. Thus, Camins 2 Dreams was born out of their shared love for wine, winemaking and each other. They source fruit exclusively from vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills, a unique appellation in Santa Barbara County. Her focus is on minimum intervention, natural winemaking. She sources fruit from vineyards that share in the same values of respect for the land and their workers and works exclusively with organic, biodynamic, and SIP Certified vineyards.
Tara’s most recent accolades include “2021 Winemaker of the Year” by VinePair and “2022 Winemaker of the Year” by The Hue Society. She is honored and humbled to receive such prestigious awards back to back and see all of her hard work, dedication, and perseverance not just seen, but celebrated. She was also awarded 2022 ChangeMakers by the American Association of University Women, Lompoc-Vandenberg Branch. Tara is also about building community and is a part of many groups which include The Hue Society, Advisor for Woman-Owned Wineries, Advisor for The James Beard Legacy Network, Board of Director for The Vinguard, and a Mentor for The Roots Fun
Upon completion of her first yoga teacher training in Santa Ynez, Jasmine embarked on a spiritual journey to India to study the more traditional modes of yoga and yoga training.
Jasmine weaves foundational breathwork throughout her classes, applying ancient wisdom to our contemporary western world in a useful and tangible way. Her goal is to encourage and support growth of the physical and spiritual self; citing the interconnectedness to each other, the world, and the universe.
Jasmine aims to give her students a safe place to befriend their body and reclaim their mind, offering a space to return to again and again by bringing awareness to breath and body.
I’m Kristen Hawkes the founder of lelamooi. I was raised in Marin County, California in the ’60s and ’70s, an artistic and memorable time and place. I have found myself drawn to the creative process in both my life and my career ever since. Over the years I have studied and worked in various aspects of art and design throughout the United States and Europe. I currently reside in Santa Barbara, California, where I’ve raised two daughters, established myself as a working painter/fine artist and launched lelamooi.lelamooi (lay.la.moy) loosely translates as beautiful divine stories, which for me says it all. This business combines a passion for creativity and fine art, a love of life’s mysteries and a desire to serve others. lelamooi is a family run business and a true collaboration. I feel very grateful to be supported by a group of talented and inspiring individuals. All of our jewelry is hand-crafted in California. At lelamooi a lot of love and detail goes into each piece, from the first sketch to the final polish. We deliberately partner with eco-conscious gem suppliers and old-world inspired master metalsmiths, who support the lelamooi vision. From our hands to yours, it’s all about good vibes!lelamooi is committed to donating 10% of all sales profits to our favorite charities; Friends of the Earth, One Tree Planted & Surfrider Foundation.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay in touch with Alisal Ranch.
Sign up to hear the latest on special offers, news, and events happening at Alisal Ranch.