Getting together with my Wild Wine Women group is always fun. We share a variety of wines over lunch, visiting different wineries and restaurants in the vicinity. At our last meetup at Café Mare in downtown Santa Cruz, winemaker Nicole Walsh brought an outstanding 2015 Graciano made under her own label, Ser Winery. I was immediately smitten with this delicious wine.
Graciano is native to the La Rioja province of Spain and typically blended with Tempranillo. There aren’t a lot of Graciano wines out there, but Walsh always takes the bull by the horns and comes up with something different. Her well-made Graciano has just 3 percent Tempranillo added.
Grapes are harvested from the warm climes of John Smith Vineyard in San Benito County, and the end result is aromas typical of this grape—floral notes, especially violet, with black pepper. “It is extremely complex on the palate,” says Walsh, with “wonderfully integrated, woody undertones and notes of vanilla, nuts and spices.”
This fabulous 2015 Graciano ($32) can be found at local markets, or head to Walsh’s tasting room in Saratoga and try her other wines as well. Ser Winery has joined forces with Silvertip Vineyards, so you can do a double-whammy in their joint tasting room.
Ser and Silvertip, 14572A Big Basin Way, Saratoga. 901-7806, serwinery.com.
Wine-tasting at Seascape Sports Club
Looking for a fun event to kick off the weekend? Head to Seascape Sports Club for the first in a series of monthly wine-tasting events. The first one will be from 6-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, with Alfaro Winery, then continue on the third Friday of the month. There will be music, wine and appetizers for $20.
Seascape Sports Club, 1505 Seascape Blvd., Aptos. 688-1993, seascapesportsclub.com.
Twisted Roots Winery
At Twisted Roots in Carmel Valley, seize the opportunity to enjoy their fine wines and check out a newly renovated tasting room during spring happy hour from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, April 26.
Twisted Roots Winery, 12 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley. 594-8282, twistedrootsvineyard.com.