Press Release:
The Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley

Photography by Chuck Place
Text by Rachel S. Thurston
*Lomita Publishing, November 2007


Chuck Place Photography: (805) 682-6089
Rachel S. Thurston: (805) 886-7484

      Short Description:

The Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley (Lomita Publishing, November 2007) is a sixty-nine page, full-color photography-driven book that captures the very qualities that have recently transformed the Valley into a renowned destination for travelers throughout California. Accompanied by a narrative, each of the chapters focuses on various aspects of Santa Ynez Valley, from its rolling oak savannahs to its lively communities, cultural events, and celebrated wine country.


With recent attention from Hollywood films and a burgeoning wine industry, Santa Ynez Valley has become a destination for wine lovers, epicureans, and cultural adventurers. The Valley is a blend of it all, its Old West roots mingling with a sophistication unique among rural communities. It’s a landscape where renowned wineries mix with leather saddlery shops and Danish bakeries…where refined bistros casually offer hitching posts for their patrons’ horses while their riders relax over mugs of hot coffee.

Unique among rural communities throughout America, it is what Santa Ynez Valley has retained from its past—the kindness of its people and the peacefulness of rural living—­that makes it truly stand out. Ask anyone who lives in the area: It’s difficult to spend any amount of time here and not be enchanted by the whimsy of Santa Ynez Valley.


Chuck Place has spent the past twenty-five years honing his ability to produce images with a strong sense of design and color. His award-winning photography has appeared in numerous magazines and books published by National Geographic, Time, Lonely Planet, and Smithsonian. His previous photography books, Ancient Walls and Pueblo and Missions, feature the cultures of the Southwest. In addition to his continued work with a wide range of publications, Chuck is also a photography instructor at the world-renowned Brooks Institute based in Santa Barbara, California. His website is:

Rachel S. Thurston has worked as an outdoor guide for the past twelve years throughout the American West. As a celebrated adventure writer and photographer, her feature articles and photography have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Santa Barbara Magazine, and the best-selling travel humor anthologies, What Color Is Your Jockstrap? and More Sand In My Bra. A self-confessed extrovert, Ms. Thurston leads Santa Ynez wine country trips with a local adventure company and performs with the retro rock n’roll band, “King Bee,” at events throughout the Valley. Her website is:

Copyright Rachel S. Thurston 2010. All rights reserved.
Last Updated November 22, 2010.