Hillcrest Terrace Winery

dining_hillcrestSauvignon Blanc 2007

Hillcrest Terrace Winery is one of the newest tasting rooms to open up in the Surf City Vintners complex on Ingalls Street, and is now part of a group of 12 wineries and tasting rooms forming the collective.

Hillcrest’s Sauvignon Blanc, Cedar Lane Vineyard in Arroyo Seco, is a bargain at $15–with a clean citrus aroma and crisp flavors of pears and melon. The grapes for the Sauvignon Blanc were picked at three levels of ripeness–the final picking at a high sugar level to add lots of fruit in the wine.

Joe Miller, a former professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, is the owner and winemaker at Hillcrest Terrace. He has been in the wine business for almost 40 years, and taught courses in wine appreciation at UC Santa Cruz for more than 30 years. He has a great deal of experience in winemaking, and over the years has regularly made small batches of wine for grape growers so they could see the results.

Miller opened the Hillcrest tasting room two years ago after a friend talked him into it, and hasn’t looked back. “The tasting room is going very well,” Miller says. Our specialty is Pinot Noir and we have four of them. And people love our Merlot and say it’s the best Merlot they’ve had in California.” Miller’s wines are European in style. “I don’t like oak and I don’t like buttery wines,” he says of his influence of the style of wines made in France and Italy. “We are having a super sale at the winery right now,” adds Miller of the Sauvignon Blanc. “Two ore more bottles cost only $11.25, which I think is a steal.”

Hillcrest Terrace Winery, 429-B Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-1500. hillcrestterracewinery.com.

Wine Events:

Surf City Vintners is putting on a day of Art & Wine on Friday, Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy the day after Thanksgiving by visiting the dozen tasting rooms at the Surf City enclave. Enjoy wine tasting and shopping for gifts of art made by local artists. Each winery will feature different artists. Wineries and tasting rooms are on Ingalls and Swift streets and at the Old Sash Mill, Santa Cruz. For more info visit surfcityvintners.com.

Dine with winemaker Jerold O’Brien of Silver Mountain Vineyards on Thursday, Dec. 2 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at a winemaker’s dinner at the Pino Alto Restaurant in the historic Sesnon House. Students of Cabrillo College’s Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management program will prepare a delicious dinner paired with Silver Mountain wines. Cost: $65 (not including tax and tip). For reservations call the Pino Alto Restaurant at 479-6524. Info: silvermtn.com.

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