vineyard at sunset
Food & Drink

Crisp 2015 Vin Gris from Birichino Wines

A shining star in a sea of mundane Rosés

Grapes picked before sunrise at Santa Ynez Jurassic Park Vineyard during Birichino’s 2015 harvest. PHOTO: ALEX KRAUSE

When it comes to “blush” or “pink” wines, the 2015 Vin Gris from Birichino Wines is a shining star in a sea of often-mundane Rosés. It’s also an excellent deal—purchased at Deluxe Market in Aptos for $15.

The talented duo of John Locke and his partner Alex Krause are responsible for turning out this beautiful wine made from the red Mourvedre grape.

“Provencal dreams led us to graft legitimately imported Mourvedre from Beaucastel (in France) onto promising blocks within the 105-year-old Besson Grenache vineyard,” the winemakers say of the road to produce this Vin Gris. “As those grafts have matured, we’ve increased the proportion of this noble red variety in our pink.” They say they “happily reconnected” with the Del Barba family in Contra Costa County, who have owned and farmed exceptional Mourvedre in the deep, almost pure sand soils for more than a century.

The crisp, dry Vin Gris, made with sustainably farmed grapes, has lovely scents of watermelon and raspberries, with refreshing berry, spice and white peach flavors. Pair it with shellfish, antipasto, sushi, Caesar salad, and tuna.

Birichino (pronounced biri-kino) is a small-production winery and doesn’t have a tasting room, so your best bet is to head to Soif, where Locke is the wine director, and taste his wines there.

Soif Wine Bar & Restaurant, 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-2020. soifwine.com and birichino.com.

A Heartwarming Story

Recently, a customer’s credit card accidentally dropped out of the check presenter at Paradise Beach Grille and into the ocean. One of the restaurant’s servers, Christina Raciti, immediately ran outside the restaurant and jumped into the lagoon to retrieve it. Seeing a shiny “something” in the water, she took a chance and dived down to get it. Luckily, it was the lost card. Drying herself off as best she could, she then handed the credit card back to the owner.  “She’s a very caring person,” says co-owner Leslie Wetsel, and I would agree.

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