Mica Cellars

dining mica2009 Zinfandel

Happy New Year! Here’s to a good 2012—complete with an abundance of fine wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

You might want to start with a bold and luscious Zinfandel made by Mica Raas of Mica Cellars.

Born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Raas has an intimate knowledge of the micro terroir, soil and climate that the area has to offer. “Winemaking is an art and not a science, and true perfection in winemaking is only obtained by careful management of microbial chaos,” he says. “Each vintage is an expression of that year and a true encapsulation of the vineyard.” And he’s right. Making good wine is certainly not all about luck, but more about skill and good management of the vineyard. I first came across Mica Cellars at Vinocruz, when the original owners—who now reside in New York—started carrying Raas’ wines. More than a few people are thrilled that Vinocruz, the venerable retailer of wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains, now has new proprietors to carry on the business.

Grown from heritage clones in Zayante Vineyards, this dry-farmed Zin ($29) is bursting at the seams with bold dark fruit. Farmed organically, it’s a top-notch Zin, and then some. It is full-bodied and with a huge nose of black pepper, hibiscus flowers, cloves, cinnamon and raspberry candy—with a mid-palate of ripe plum and a finish of pomegranate juice. It’s a terrific wine that can be enjoyed now, or to keep around for a few years.

Mica Cellars has opened a new tasting room in Watsonville—in the busy Hangar Way business complex off Airport Boulevard. Raas is sharing a space with Roudon-Smith Winery, so you can kill two birds with one stone and visit both of these wineries—and taste all their excellent wines.

Mica Cellars, 18 Hangar Way, Suite C, Watsonville, 288-5921. Micacellars.com. Open Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Email from a Good Times Reader A Good Times reader e-mailed me that she had a great time at Vinocruz wine bar very recently, tasting the wines of Mica Cellars.

“The six wines were all delicious, the ambiance was great—sitting outside in Abbott Square—and there was even live music. It was a wonderful afternoon for the grand sum of $6.” Vinocruz specializes in wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Check it out and enjoy their special wine events. You can usually meet the winemakers as well at weekend tastings. Vinocruz, 725 Front St., Santa Cruz, 426-8466. vinocruz.com.

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