Plus Upcoming Wine Events
In celebration of Pinot Paradise coming up this weekend, a not-to-be-missed event for all Pinot lovers, I selected a newly released Pinot Noir from Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery to write about—a 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains estate which sells for about $30.
I remember going to the opening day of this winery—some 10 years ago. Owners Christine and Vann Slatter did a fine job with their first varietals, but now, with much more experience under their belts, their wines are just getting better and better. Their 2007 estate Pinot won a bronze medal—with 84 points—in the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition, and I would imagine this new release will be a winner, too. Careful tending of estate-grown grapes, plus ageing for two years in French oak, has produced a Pinot that’s rich and voluptuous—with lots of dark fruit and earthy vanilla. Bury your nose in this 2008 Pinot and you’ll see what I mean. Pinot lovers will not be disappointed in this beautiful wine—made with tender loving care by winemaker Vann Slatter. The Slatters made 250 cases of this 100 percent estate-grown 2008 Pinot and are justly proud of their accomplishments.
“It’s the winemaker’s wine of choice when he drinks a glass of wine,” says Christine, laughing. “And that’s what we’ll be pouring at Pinot Paradise,” she adds. “It’s rich and intense with deep cherry overtones, and some cinnamon—and a long, lingering finish. The vines are beautiful and healthy and have been producing well, so we look forward to producing more of that same wine.”
“We have participated in Pinot Paradise since the beginning,” says Christine. “We meet new customers and we get new wine club members and we sell wine at the event. And it really does give people a chance to experience the variety of different Pinots made in the Santa Cruz Mountains.”
If you can’t get to Pinot Paradise this weekend, then simply head to Hunter Hill’s tasting room to sample their Pinot—and everything else they make as well.
Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, 7099 Glen Haven Road, Soquel, 465-9294. hunterhillwines.com. Open weekends for tasting.
Pinot Paradise takes place on March 27 and 28. Saturday, March 27 is Pathway to Pinot—an opportunity to go barrel tasting at many of the wineries participating in the event; and Sunday, March 28 head to Villa Ragusa in historic downtown Campbell where about 30 of our local wineries will be pouring their best Pinot. Many upscale restaurants will be showcasing their food, so you can expect some tasty bites to go along with the Pinot. Info: scmwa.com.