Windy Oaks is nonstop busy these days. With three tasting rooms to take care of and a plethora of different wines to make, it’s a constant juggling act for proprietors Judy and Jim Schultze. But the good news is that their wines are very popular and fly off supermarket shelves—often selling out quickly.
I found the 2016 Pinot Noir in Aptos Natural Foods for about $27. It’s made with estate-grown grapes from the Schultzes’ Terra Narro Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where “a perfect blending of terroir, climate and personal attention gives Windy Oaks Pinot Noirs a complexity not usually found in Pinot Noirs outside France.” A garnet hue and aromas of cherry candy, underbrush, incense and fir balsam, plus deep flavors of strawberries, cherries and a touch of clove, make this wine very drinkable right out the door.
Windy Oaks’ main tasting room is on their property at 550 Hazel Dell Road, Corralitos, and they do a wine-and-cheese-pairing at their Carmel-by-the-Sea tasting room every Friday night.
More info at windyoaksestate.com, 786-9463.
Michael Termini’s Donated Dinners
Not only does Michael Termini run his busy company Triad Electric, he is also mayor of Capitola—and constantly on the go in the community. As a trained and talented chef, Termini has donated his special 10-course “Golden Egg Tasting Menu” dinners at local fundraisers for years—always raising much-needed funds in live auctions for local organizations such as Hospice of Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group.
He donates about 12 of these “Golden Egg” dinners a year. Recently, Michael and his wife Alexa prepared wonderful plates of food for 20 people at a private home in Santa Cruz—and two friends and I helped serve the courses. It was a ton of work, but drinking some terrific wines helped ease the burden, including Loma Prieta’s Pinotage, House Family Vineyards Pinot Noir and an exotic Pinot Noir by Kings Mountain.