It’s always interesting to come across a brand new winery, and Dancing Creek Winery is one of the latest to open up. Formed very recently by Jim and Robin Boyle, the husband and wife duo were the featured winery at Vinocruz for a tasting one afternoon, and my husband and I went there to try their wines. I tell the Boyles how much I admire the amount of work it takes to get into commercial winemaking. They agree wholeheartedly, but tell me that their winemaking journey has been a labor of love.
Wineries generally do a lot of research to come up with an eye-catching label—a hefty purchasing point for anything packaged—and Dancing Creek has one that really stands out. It pictures a weathered wooden garage with a red airplane flying by, and a couple dancing. “Why Dancing Creek?” it says on their website. “We’re from Santa Cruz. We live in a crazy yellow house in a Happy Valley on a dancing creek.” So there you have it in a nutshell.
All the wines made by the Boyles are hand crafted, and everything else is done by hand as well. The Chardonnay I bought ($22) is aged in French and American oak barrels, producing a crisp and buttery wine. “If the silky aromas of butterscotch and apricot don’t set your toes a tapping, the finishing hit of pineapple will surely make you swing,” the Boyles write on the label—with a sense of humor.
This wine obviously impressed judges at the 2010 West Coast Wine Competition as the 2008 Chardonnay won a silver medal; and their 2008 Merlot took bronze. Both these wines are their first commercial releases. They also produce Pinot Noir and a “saucy blend” from the Santa Cruz Mountains called Mambo.
Dancing Creek Winery does not have a tasting room, but they are members of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) so you will be able to taste their wines at all Passport events, held every January, April, July and November on the third Saturday. For more information on Passport contact SCMWA at 685-8463 or [email protected] Check Dancing Creek’s website to see where you can buy their wine and for events in which they will be participating: dancingcreekwinery.com or [email protected]
The Capitola Art & Wine Festival is coming up this weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival combines art, wine, music and food, all in Capitola village. Breathe in some salty air as you peruse wonderful artwork and sample good local wine. About 16 wineries are participating this year – and admission is free.