Vine & Dine

Burrell School Vineyards

wine redCabernet Franc 2008

Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite wines, and Burrell School makes a good one. The 2008 Cab Franc ($30) is a beautiful wine—made from estate grapes grown in Pichon Vineyard located on Mount Umunhum above Lexington Reservoir. With its aromas of green tea, tobacco and raspberry and lots of big fruit flavors in the mouth, this smooth wine takes Cab Franc to another level.

Along with his wife Anne, winemaker Dave Moulton started in the wine business back in the ’70s, so to say he has a ton of experience under his belt would be an understatement. I see him often at wine events—always cutting a notable figure in brightly colored pants and snazzy jackets. He’s an ebullient, forthright character—and his personality reflects in his wine, too. He makes big bold wines that are not for the weak-kneed.

Right now, Burrell School is having a sale on some of its wines, including a four-pack sampler of Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Syrah for $79—regularly $134. What a deal! If you have never visited their lovely tasting room, complete with sweeping views of their vineyards, you have a treat in store.

Burrell School will be pouring their wines at the last of the Farm to Table dinner series at Chaminade on Oct. 11 featuring a Field to Feast dinner with Route 1 Farms and Summit to Sea Wineries. Visit for more information. Burrell School Vineyards & Winery, 24060 Summit Road, Los Gatos, (408) 353-6290. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Organic Wine Trail Celebrates California Wine Month in September

In recognition of September as California Wine Month, wine lovers who want to learn more about sustainable and organic practices in the vineyard can visit the wineries on the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The three wineries on the trail, all with vineyards certified by the CCOF, will celebrate California Wine Month with vineyard tours and wine tastings each weekend during the month. The three wineries are: Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards in Saratoga; Silver Mountain Vineyards on Summit Road; Alfaro Family Vineyards in Corralitos. For cost and information visit

Chinatown’s Poorly Treated Animals

A friend and I went to a symphony concert in San Francisco recently and stayed overnight in a hotel on Union Square. After breakfast the next morning we took a long walk around Chinatown to visit food markets. It was disturbing to see so many live animals cooped up waiting to be purchased for meals –handsome turtles, princely frogs, and beautiful birds of all shapes and sizes piled on top of each other, hardly able to breathe; and fish kept in dirty shallow water, gasping for air. Animals deserve better treatment than this.

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