A few weeks ago, I wrote about MJA Vineyards and its offshoot—DaVine Cellars. When I went to the Swift Street complex to check out this brand new winery in the area, I bought two bottles—a Cabernet Sauvignon, which I have already written about, and a Rosé. Rosés are making much more of an impact than in days of yesteryear, when a lot of folk would not give them the time of day. Now, Rosés are in demand, especially during warm summer weather.
This DaVine Rosé ($16) is awash with flavors of strawberries, cherries and peaches—refreshingly crisp, and simply delicious served chilled. And this 2008 Napa Valley Rosé can be very easily tasted at MJA Vineyards’ new tasting room. MJA is a Napa-based winery, but is now setting up roots in our neck of the woods. And whilst I’m talking “local,” there are so many excellent wineries on our doorstep, making so many excellent wines, that I can’t get to them all fast enough.
One thing is certain: We have so much wine tasting to do round these parts that it’s not really necessary to drive out of town. Of course, the wine country to the north and south boast some very glamorous wineries, and it’s lovely to spend a weekend in a different location, but the quality of wines produced in the Santa Cruz area just gets better and better. Most of the local wineries are within easy reach, so I encourage you to take advantage of this fact and buy local.
MJA has a lovely tasting room on Ingalls Street, and manager Cathy Bentley tells me that a “demonstration vineyard” has now been planted outside. “It’s just one mile from the beach,” she laughs. “And it’s Cabernet!”
Kona coffee beans are available to buy in the tasting room, as winery owner Marin Artukovich also owns a coffee plantation in Hawaii. It’s planned to sell brewed coffee, too, at a later date. It might be just what’s needed after some heavy-duty wine tasting.
MJA Vineyards, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 421-9380. mjavineyards.com.
Wine Events: CASA night at Vino Tabi Winery Grab some friends and drop in on Vino Tabi Winery on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 5-8 p.m. for a casual evening of live music, nibbles, wine tasting, and fun—all to help CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). CASA will receive half the profits of the wine sales that evening and you will be helping a worthy cause. It’s also a golden opportunity to try Vino Tabi’s wonderful wines.