Birichino
Food & Drink

Birichino’s 2018 Pétulant Naturel Cinsaut

Vines planted in 1886 provide the grapes for rare Santa Cruz wine

PHOTO: COURTESY OF BIRICHINO

John Locke recently invited me to his Birichino tasting room in downtown Santa Cruz to try a new release. And what a wine!

I was bowled over with his 2018 Pétulant Naturel Cinsaut. But then, Locke likes the challenge of making something different, and this outstanding wine meets all the criteria.

Grapes are harvested from the Bechthold Vineyard nestled in the Mokelumne River area of Lodi. Planted in 1886, this vineyard is dry-farmed and the oldest Cinsaut on Earth. We should give thanks to Birichino owners Locke and Alex Krause for always tracking down the very best grapes.

Locke and Krause founded Birichino in 2008 with the aim of attaining the perfect balance of “perfume, poise and puckishness.” Their playful way with words is echoed on their wine labels, too, but they’re serious when it comes to making a fine product.

“Forecast: cloudy with a chance of amazeballs,” they say of the Cinsaut, adding that it’s supposed to be cloudy since the wine is unfiltered as it finishes fermentation. “Pétulant Naturel is Birichino’s querulous answer as to how to produce a complex and delicious lightly ‘pétulant’ wine using traditional lo-fi methods that don’t require luxury-group-funded production equipment, nor marketing fluff.”

In other words, this talented duo are making a “vividly refreshing and fragrant wine—with a special savory richness” and selling it for a mere $25.

When you enter the portals of Birichino’s fascinating tasting room, note the live carnivorous plants decorating the space. If you have never seen a Venus flytrap, then now’s your chance!

Birichino, 204 Church St., Santa Cruz. 425-4811, birichino.com.

High Time for Tea

The Aptos Chamber of Commerce is presenting a High Tea, Fashion & Shopping event to benefit Caroline’s, a nonprofit thrift shop in Aptos.

Fashions will be provided by Cinnamon Bay Clothing, Fleet Feet Sports, Hopscotch, Kickback, O’Neill Surf Shop, Pacific Wave, Sockshop & Shoe Company, Xandra Swimwear, and more. A buffet spread will include sandwiches, scones and chocolate-dipped strawberries—with bottomless mimosas for $25. Tickets $60.

11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 14. Seascape Beach Resort, Aptos. aptoschamber.com.

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