Vine & Dine

Artesana Winery Tannat-Merlot 2011

wine redArtesana Winery is a premium winery based in Uruguay which concentrates on Tannat, a red wine grape historically grown in South West France. First introduced by Basque settlers, Tannat is now a prominent grape of Uruguay and plantings are increasing each year. 

Artesana Winery is in the acclaimed Canelones region of Uruguay, a prime location for the Tannat grape. Their artisan wines are made from 100 percent estate-grown grapes and hand-crafted by two women winemakers.

Here, Artesana has blended Tannat with Merlot, producing a full-bodied wine with ripe fruit flavors and an exotic, spicy character. The rich flavors of dark fruit layered with allspice, ripe tannins and toasty oak are bold and delicious. Artesana also makes a Tannat on its own—not blended—which is equally impressive—a Zinfandel and a Tannat-Zin-Merlot.

Artesana is a small-production, artisanal estate winery specializing in single vineyard, terroir driven Tannat wines, Uruguay’s signature varietal. This Tannat-Merlot bottling was made in small lots fermented separately, aged for 12 months in French and American oak, custom-blended and bottled without fining or filtration—and 580 cases produced.

Artesana Winery’s Tannat-Merlot ($20) and Tannat are sold all over California and locally, including Soif, Vino Prima, Gabriella Café,  burger., Mint, and Oak Tree Ristorante, and distributed by Epic Wines in Capitola.

And if you should find yourself in Uruguay, Artesana offers a tour of the vineyard, led by the winemakers, and followed by light appetizers or lunch on the terrace or in the vineyard. I spent a very short time in Uruguay years ago, but never got to explore the wine country, unfortunately. Visit for more information.

Wine Events

Surf City Vintners’ annual Art & Wine Fair the day after Thanksgiving
From noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29 you can escape the Black Friday shopping frenzy and enjoy the day after Thanksgiving with the Surf City Vintners. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting while they shop for gifts of art made by local artists at the dozen wineries that make up the Surf City Vintners. Each winery will feature different artists. Visit for more information.

Seascape Beach Resort’s Wine Wednesdays
Seascape Beach Resort’s popular Wine Wednesdays will be starting up again for the fall/winter season on Dec. 4, with Storrs Winery featuring their fine wines. From 5:30-7 p.m. wine will be poured by the featured winery and small plates of food, tapas style, will be served. Cost is $15. Upcoming wineries are Bargetto, Hunter Hill, Chateau St. Jean and Beringer, with more to follow. Seascape Beach Resort, One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, 688-6800,

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