South Coast Winery Resort and Spa kicks off holiday season with tree lighting

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa holds its annual Tree Lighting Festival Sunday, Dec. 1, in the courtyard of the winery. Valley News/Jeff Pack photo

South Coast Winery Resort hosted about 300 of its closest friends and wine club members Sunday, Dec. 1, at its annual Tree Lighting Festival in the winery’s courtyard.

The event featured a photo booth, Mad Hatter craft station, rides on tractor and horse-drawn carriages, cookie decorating, choir and caroler performances and of course, photos with Santa Claus.

Three young members of the Carter family helped throw the switch to light the tree.

“We’re a big family. I am the youngest of seven kids and so we’ve always celebrated in a big way with a lot of people,” Jeff Carter, chief financial officer of South Coast Winery Resort, said. “So, this is kind of like bringing everybody in close to have a family celebration. Involving the kids is important to us because sometimes in wine country it’s all about the parents having fun, but there’s also a time and a place for the kids to have fun as well.”

The event featured a buffet dinner and plenty of wine. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

“It means a lot to the wine club members and spa members. The people who stay with us all year-round like to come out and celebrate their special holidays with us,” Karl Kruger, managing director of South Coast Winery Resort, said. “But what it means to us also is we get a chance to reach out to new customers and bring them in. We get many people who come out, enjoy the wine and the event and stay overnight. Then they’ll come back for a Vineyard Rose dinner for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We like the events.”

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa also serves as an official Toys for Tots drop-off location, and guests brought in new, unwrapped toys to donate to needy children.

For more information about upcoming events at South Coast Winery Resort and Spa, visit

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at