Between the San Rafael and Santa Ynez Mountains the summers are warm and rainless. The land is dense with wildflowers, shrub and stippled in gray pine, wild cotton and a long list of oaks. The narrow, steep ranges are considered young at five million years old. Alluvial soils of the valley bear the plants of myth: bay laurel, rosemary, grape and olive.
The Santa Ynez Valley is an artist's and a vintner's dream. Gravelly soil bakes white in the sun while thickets of slender olive leaves shake and bristle like birds in flight. Sunstone Vineyards and Winery was planted under a seafaring sky in the heart of this beautiful country.
We wanted the stationery to capture the essence of the light at Sunstone. We paired a pale clay-colored ink with soft white paper. Each piece of the suite and day-of details, including menu and escort cards, incorporate the silhouette of slender olive leaves and branches. The subtle design is reminiscent of a sun print - light waves patiently breaking down the fragile color bonds leaving only traces of color. The envelope and invitation enclosure are a nod to the local sandstone - a rock whose only memory is of the sea. Each envelope was lined with a monogram and olive leaf enclosure. The invitations were sent wrapped in a buttery white ribbon and completed with a golden wax initial seal.
When the Rice family founded Sunstone Vineyards and Winery it became one of the first organic vineyard estates in the region. Everything about their venture has remained true to the story of the land from sustainable viticulture to the incorporation of hillside caves among dense blankets of wild grasses and evergreen.
Antique wooden beams, once privy to the smells and sounds of a Victorian lavender factory were brought from England and integrated into the architecture. The villa is a testament to the materials and practices of the old world integrated seamlessly to meet modern standards. Thick walls of local stone were finished with imported French limestone and elegant terracotta roof tiles cool in the night - an architectural gem that simultaneously preserves the past and shapes the future.
Fine linens and freshly cut greenery were arranged on long tables with wooden benches and tawny pillows under the shade of the high walls.
The wedding cake arrived three tiered; quartz and marbled sky on teal.
We are so honored to have been a part of this incredible day among so many talented professionals at such an inspiring venue. Ashleigh and Erik Fine Art Photography captured the spirit of the day perfectly.
You can see the full feature in Issue 3 of Dear Gray Magazine.
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