Chardonnay grapes on the vine
Food & Drink

Grenache Blanc from Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

A mutation of Grenache, Grenache Blanc originated in Spain, and makes for an interesting varietal

A mutation of Grenache, Grenache Blanc originated in Spain, and while it’s often a blending grape, winemaker Jeff Emery uses it on its own.

You can’t go wrong with anything made by Jeff Emery. This talented local winemaker can make wine blindfolded! Never content with producing run-of-the-mill wines, he turns out the most delectable and interesting varietals, including those made under his Quinta Cruz label, which includes Tempranillo, Touriga, Graciano, and Rabelo.

At Gourmet Grazing on the Green in September I tasted Emery’s beautiful Grenache Blanc 2014 (about $19), made under his regular Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard label, a refreshing elixir on what was a scorching hot day. Grapes are sourced from Clay Station Vineyard, Borden Ranch, and Emery turns them into a delicious unoaked, dry, crisp, aromatic wine.

“Grenache Blanc originated in Spain as a mutation of Grenache (a red grape),” Emery says on his label. “Though it is often blended with other white varieties, it also makes a very interesting wine on its own.” It has flavors of peach, mandarin orange, and tropical fruits wrapped around a honeyed richness that fills the mouth. Emery says it can be enjoyed with a wide range of food or alone as an apéritif.

Emery’s wines can be found all over, including at New Leaf and other local markets.

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz, 334-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 426-6209, santaccruzmountainvineyard.com.


Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting

If you love a good Cab, you will want to attend this exclusive tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon at the Toll House in Los Gatos, where Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and many others will be pouring. Enjoy small bites and a silent Cabernet wine auction. 3-6 p.m. on Nov. 12. Tickets are $65. Visit scmwa.com for more info.


PAMF’s Toast to the Town

At the beginning of October, I attended the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Toast to the Town fundraiser to benefit cancer care at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox. I always enjoy dinner at the Paradox’s Solaire Restaurant, and I particularly loved the hors d’oeuvres of stuffed mushrooms, sweet red peppers with goat cheese, and some outstanding crab cakes. Pete Martinez is the Paradox’s interim executive chef—and kudos to him for good presentation and food with flavor.

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