Working in wine production since 1994, winemaker at Cima Collina Winery Annette Hoff Danzer is no stranger to the ins and outs of turning out good quality wine. She produced Cima Collina’s first vintage in 2005 from the winery’s Hilltop Vineyard in Carmel Valley—and the delightful 2013 Pinot Blanc ($24)is a testament to her skills.
A refreshing wine with good acidity, this crisp Pinot Blanc has characteristic aromas of pears, apples, and a touch of almond extract and quince, as well. A delightful spring wine—just perfect to take on a picnic—Cima Collina suggests pairing it with chicken cordon bleu or spring vegetable stew.
Grapes were grown in the Antle Vineyard, also known as “Pinnacalitos Chalone,” and an ideal spot for Pinot Blanc grapes with its granite-gravelly sandy loam. The hand-picked grapes were then pressed whole-cluster and fermented in both old oak barrels and a stainless steel tank. Fortunately for us, Hoff Danzer made 402 cases of this delicious Pinot Blanc, which you can try in their Carmel Valley tasting room. They also do a Picnic on the Patio every Thursday from 1-5 p.m. It is $25 for two people and includes a cheese platter with four kinds of cheese, salami, bread, fruit, and chocolate along with two glasses of Cima Collina wine. Orders must be placed and paid for in advance by 10 a.m. Thursday.
Also, mark your calendars for Cima Collina’s Summer Solstice Founders Dinner to be held at the winery’s historic tasting room on Friday, June 17. Join founders Hoff Danzer and Dick Lumpkin for a strolling dinner and barrel samples under the Carmel Valley stars. Cost: $72, club members $56.
Cima Collina Winery, 19 E Carmel Valley Road, Ste. A, Carmel Valley, 620-0645. cimacollina.com
Mountain Wine Club
Eric Kennedy has taken over the operation of the Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains from Shannon Torres. This wine club represents every winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation and ships hard-to-find premium wines directly to you. Quality wines from this region are from boutique, family-owned vineyards that have been producing since the late 1800s. I met Kennedy at a recent wine event, and he’s simply thrilled to be more involved in the vino biz. For more info visit wineclubsantacruzmountains.com.