It’s wonderful when a small, family-run winery is successful. A case in point would be DeVincenzi Cellars. I see their striking label, each one with a different-colored rose, all over town in supermarkets and in wine bars such as Vinocruz in Soquel. Rooting around in New Leaf’s wine section, I came across a 2016 DeVincenzi Sangiovese ($18), this time with a purple rose.
I love to have a glass of wine when I’m cooking dinner, and the Sangiovese rang some tasty bells as I toiled away over a hot stove. Aromatic notes of black cherry leapt from the glass, with lush tannins leading to a long finish. Winemaker Frank Virgil says the 2016 Sangiovese, a semi-sweet wine with high acidity, has bright fruit flavors of black currant and plum with toasted coconut, vanilla, and caramel undertones. Named after Jupiter, the king of the gods in Roman mythology, Sangiovese means “the blood of Jupiter”–an apt name for this voluptuous crimson wine.
With Virgil at the helm, DeVincenzi Cellars is producing some excellent wines at reasonable prices, including Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
DeVincenzi Cellars. 334-6083. Devincenzicellars.com.
The Point Chophouse
I heard from The Point Chophouse that they have recently renovated and updated their entire restaurant, including the bar. With a fresh coat of paint, added skylights, larger windows, and redesigned space, this popular spot is now much more welcoming. Coming soon is a covered patio space with outdoor seating. Brothers Erasmo Garcia and Joel Casillas have come onboard to oversee the kitchen. Keeping local favorites on the menu, they have also added some appetizing new dishes. Dinner is served daily and brunch is served on weekends.
The Point Chophouse, 3326 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-2744. Thepointchophouse.com.
Farewell to Cima Collina
Cima Collina Winery in Carmel Valley closed its doors at the end of December. With the passing of owner Dick Lumpkin in the spring of 2019, the family decided not to continue operating.