Dining Reviews

Bargetto Winery La Vita 2009

wine glassOn the day of Bargetto Winery’s 80th anniversary celebration, Dec. 5, 2013, I headed to their tasting room to give my congratulations—where a celebratory atmosphere was most definitely to be found. There are not many wineries in this country that can boast of 80 years of winemaking, even continuing through the days of Prohibition when wine was permitted to be made only for religious purposes. The Bargetto family has a lot to be proud of—not the least of which is their ability to make fine wines—and their story goes back generations.

John Bargetto is the author, along with Geoffrey Dunn, of a beautiful book on the history of the Bargetto family—starting with the first immigrants from Italy up to the present day. Entitled “Vintage Bargetto,” the book can be bought at the winery or online for $19.95. It is on display in the tasting room, and, the day I was there, a collection of Bargetto wine bottles going back decades was also on display as part of the celebration.

One of the wines I tasted last month was the impressive La Vita 2009 ($60), the latest release of the Bargettos’ series of this extraordinary wine. A blend of 38 percent Refosco, 36 percent Dolcetto and 26 percent Nebbiolo, this deep garnet nectar has a distinct spicy bouquet and rich complex flavors—one of which is of oak from its long barrel aging.

Made from estate grapes grown on Bargetto’s well-known Regan Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the summer release of La Vita has now become a much-anticipated annual event. Also at the release party, the artistic label is revealed—a different one every year—and also the nonprofit recipient of part of the proceeds of sales of this wine. The Bargetto family has always made generous donations to nonprofits over the years and continues to support the community in many ways.

One of the few local tasting rooms open daily, Bargetto Winery is a lovely place to visit. I suggest you head there to try some of the many different wines they produce—especially their La Vita. Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258. Bargetto.com.


Big Sur Foragers Festival’s Grand Celebrity Chef Dinner – An exciting event for all you mycophiles out there is the Big Sur Foragers Festival. One event of this culinary extravaganza takes place at Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 and tickets are $175. For information visit bigsurforagersfestival.org.

Shadowbrook Restaurant – This is simply a shout-out to Shadowbrook for hosting the Good Times crew in the middle of December for our annual Christmas party. In our own private room, we experienced exceptional food and attentive service—and lots of merriment as the wine and cocktails kept flowing. Visit shadowbrook-capitola.com.

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