Itinerant traveler, veteran event-goer, Weekly contributor and gifted director-videographer Dan Dronsfield pretty much wrapped it up when I told him the news that Big Sur Food & Wine was taking a year off for 2015.
Dronsfield's reaction: "Too bad: My favorite of festivals."
I repeat: No BSFW this year.
Founder/director Toby Rowland-Jones explained why it's on ice earlier today.
Hint: Natural disasters are involved.
But first the good news. Even if we don't have BSFW 2015, we do have a video we planned to release in the run up to tide us over a touch.
The previously unreleased—and fittingly Big Sur outlandish/out-there/interpretive—video appears here:
As he readies for Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, Rowland-Jones reports a spooky weather outlook with El Niño, which wreaked landslides, isolation and general chaos on the South Coast on its last visit, had a lot to do with the decision.
(The community's already bracing for it in other ways, as the Weekly reported last month with "Big Boy’s Coming: Local agencies, residents react to forecasts of a strong El Niño winter.")
"All indications are for an early start to the winter, and a long, hard sustained weather pattern," he says. "Morally, we couldn't risk injury or worse to anyone associated with the event because of falling tree limbs, rock or mud slides, etc.
"Given that we're mostly outdoors, and/or in tents, it's just too risky. We've received such great support from so many people and businesses in and around Big Sur, and in talking about this decision, we've received some really positive feedback. It just gives us the chance to make next year that much more special."
He does have a point. Last year was as memorable as any, but the memories included a shortage of food at a range of tastings. An extra year hopefully wipes that out.
Rowland-Jones adds this: "It's a shame to postpone it, as there were so many people really excited about coming back from all over the country, but I am hoping they understand."
Participating wineries might be among those pouting. With record early harvests due to drought, they aren't in the throes of wrapping harvest as they have been in years past and are therefore better suited to bask in the proceedings.
But as Rowland-Jones concludes, "C'est la vie!"
Here's a bonus video from Dronsfield to honor the BSFW and further stave off cravings: