Vine & Dine

Ventana Vineyards Chardonnay 2012

Wine ChardonnayVentana Vineyards’ wines are pretty well known on the Central Coast—their wines can be found all over. And with a brand new label, they are easy to spot on wine store shelves.

The labels are designed to tell the story of Spanish explorer, Gaspar de Portola, who came ashore in Big Sur in 1769. He proceeded inland through what is now called the Ventana Wilderness and looked upon the fertile Salinas Valley through a gap formed in the Arroyo Seco Canyon. The explorer called the gap ‘La Ventana,’ the Spanish word for window. These easy-to-read new labels show exactly what the wine is—in this case an estate-grown Chardonnay, 2012 vintage from Arroyo Seco Vineyards in Monterey, and all sustainably produced.

This lovely Chardonnay ($22) is fresh and light with aromatic notes of mango and pineapple. Apple, pear and spicy floral overtones lead into hints of vanilla and honey. It has distinct tropical touches and a delightful softness on the palate as well.

Ventana’s tasting room is situated in the historic Old Stonehouse, built in 1919. Surrounded by redwoods, it has a nice little patio and you are encouraged to take a picnic lunch. Ventana’s next-door neighbor is the well-known restaurant Tarpy’s Roadhouse, built in 1917 and with quite a bit of history itself. When you have finished a tasting at Ventana, you are welcome to take a bottle of wine into the restaurant to enjoy with your meal, which includes complimentary corkage. Ventana Vineyards, 2999 Monterey-Salinas Highway, #10, Monterey,

831-372-7415 or 1-800-BEST-VIN. The tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


Cooking Class at New Leaf with Scott Delk
I recently wrote about local honey maker Scott Delk of Delk Bees Honey—and the wonderful flavored honey he produces from his own bees. Delk is also a talented chef and is doing a cooking demonstration at New Leaf on the Westside from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21 entitled “Cooking with Honey: Sweet & Savory Holiday Entertaining.” Cost of the class is $25—and for more information visit

House Family Vineyards Dinner
House Family Vineyards will hold an exclusive dinner and tasting from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 15. The event takes place in the historic Mountain Winery in Saratoga and tickets are $110. You will meet winemakers, taste hard-to-find library wines in addition to new releases from the Santa Cruz Mountains, bid on wines in an auction—and then dine on a special menu prepared by Mountain Winery executive chef David Sidoti. Visit the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association ( to buy tickets and for more information.

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