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Pelican Ranch Winery

dining_pelicanranchSyrah 2009

Relocating to a new tasting room in Capitola turned out to be a good move for Pelican Ranch. Winery owners Phil and Peggy Crews now have much more space to host the many customers who visit them – and that is just what they need to show off their wonderful wines. When I visited them for their grand opening at the beginning of the year, they had set up tables outside with food, and for their annual wine club party at the end of August, it will be convenient for them to have this spacious area to spread out yet again.

This small family-owned winery specializes in Rhone and Burgundy-style wines with grapes harvested from prime vineyards.

The 2009 Syrah, Monterey, Prosperity Grape Field is made from grapes grown in the wine country of Salinas Valley. With its lovely aromas of stewed plums and earthy spices, it’s a meaty Syrah that’s ready to enjoy as soon as the bottle is opened. Delicious flavors of jam, blackberry and pepper are boldly present with “an undercurrent of cigar and cedar” as well.

With its robust and smoky qualities, Syrah (known as Shiraz in Australia and South Africa) goes really well with all kinds of meat. This dynamic Syrah from Pelican Ranch was bottled with minimal filtering and sells for $25. Visit their tasting room and try some of their other wines, iincluding Rosé of Syrah, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Pinotage and Mourvedre. Their white wines include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Viognier and Gewutztraminer.

Pelican Ranch Winery, 100 Kennedy Drive #102, Capitola, 426-6911. pelicanranch.com. The tasting room is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Vinocruz

Great news about Vinocruz in downtown Santa Cruz, it has brand new owners – Jennifer Walker and Steve Principe. Walker and Principe are revamping the whole wine bar and will re-open sometime soon.  Previous owners J-P Correa and Jeffrey Kongslie-Correa will be sorely missed, but good wishes go out to them on their move to The Big Apple.

Wine Club of the Santa Cruz Mountains

This wine club makes it easy to enjoy hard-to-find premium wines of the region. They are hand picked and directly shipped to you, or they can be picked up at the wine club’s office in Soquel. The choice is for either two or four bottles to be shipped quarterly, and the cost varies. A sign-up bonus includes a guided limousine wine tour for two of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Info: 477-0500 or wineclubsantacruzmountains.com.

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