Megan Bell greeted me outside the Holy Cross Parish Hall in Santa Cruz. I was on my way to a function there, and it seemed like a good central spot to meet up. Smiling broadly, bottle of wine in hand, Bell had emailed me about her new endeavor, Margins Wine.
She named it Margins, explains Bell, because she is crafting wines using grapes from “as many underrepresented regions, vineyards and varietals as possible.” Right now, her first production consists of Chenin Blanc 2016 with grapes harvested from Wilson Vineyards in Clarksburg, Yolo County.
Opening the wine the very next day to enjoy with dinner, I was impressed with its aromas of flowers, honey and apples, and flavorful acidic punch. And as you won’t find an abundance of Chenin Blanc on most liquor store shelves, kudos go to Bell for making this varietal.
“Much like people living on the margins of society,” says Bell, vineyards can be outcasts, too. Margins draws attention to grape varietals, regions and vineyards throughout northern and central California that find themselves on the margins without the recognition they deserve,” she says. It looks like Bell is about to change all that.
The Chenin Blanc 2016 sells for $24, and you can contact Bell is you want to try some. Visit marginswine.com for more info.
Sparkling Wine at Cantine
I met with a friend for a glass of wine at one of my favorite places, Cantine Winepub in Aptos, and she urged me to try a sparkling wine called 3B Rosé Extra Bruto. The 3B is from Portugal and it’s a blend of Baga and Bical, two native grape varieties. Pink and sassy, it’s a fun drop of bubbly that sells for around $25. We ordered one of Cantine’s delicious small plates of food to pair with the bubbly, and then polished off the rest of the bottle. Cantine is a cozy spot for a glass of wine in a casual and welcoming atmosphere. Cantine Winepub, 8050 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 612-6191. cantinewinepub.com.