Don Naumann makes an impressive Chardonnay. His 2008 vintage is a smooth refreshing wine that is aged for 18 months in oak barrels—made of half French and half American oak—and the end result is an “appley-grassy flavor with a light oak, light buttery finish.” Made from grapes grown in the Santa Cruz Mountains, both the 2008 and 2009 vintages are available for $18 a bottle.
I opened up this lovely Chardonnay to have with a light dinner of fresh salmon, a few thinly sliced potatoes cooked in olive oil and some mixed baby greens and tomatoes. Olive oil, lemon juice and a touch of balsamic vinegar is the way to go on salads because it’s healthier and lighter than most dressings. And after living in Greece for 13 years, I gravitate toward olive oil as a base for just about everything. This wine is the perfect partner to go with most fish and poultry.
Naumann Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery in Cupertino. They are open only on Passport Days (see scmwa.com) and by special request. They do, however, run a wine club and participate in various events in the Santa Cruz Mountains area. Naumann also makes an estate Merlot and a very special Late Harvest Merlot—a semi-sweet dessert wine that I wrote about in June. Join Naumann Vineyards on their Chardonnay sail (see below).
Naumann Vineyards, 16505 Montebello Road, Cupertino, (408) 867-7871. naumannvineyards.com.
Santa Cruz County Fair
This year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition was between 158 wines from 34 local wineries and is the official competition for the Santa Cruz County Fair. You can see the wines displayed in the Arts & Crafts building from Sept. 13-18. This is your chance to pet a baby goat, stroke a woolly sheep, scratch a pig’s ear and check out local wines on display—all in one day.
Chardonnay Winemaker Sails
Meet the Winemaker sailing events are seasonal and run until the end of September on Fridays from 5-7 p.m. Cost is $49.50 per person and includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres. Sept. 9 is Sones Cellars; Sept. 16 is Skov Winery; Sept. 23 is Silver Mountain Vineyards; and Sept. 30 is Naumann Vineyards. Info: Chardonnay.com.
Capitola Art & Wine Festival
This fabulous event on Sept. 10 and 11 is an opportunity to not only check out our local creative artists, but also to taste the wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, as 21 wineries will be participating this year. And don’t forget to stop by Cava, the terrific wine bar right in Capitola Village. Info: capitolasoquelchamber.com/artwine.