Pelican Ranch Winery

dining pelicanRosé of Syrah 2010: Thinking Pink

Pelican Ranch was pouring a selection of its wines at one of the Wine Wednesday events that run weekly at Seascape Resort. I was immediately impressed by the Rosé of Syrah ($21)—a beautiful blush wine that winemaker Phil Crews has every right to be proud of. Made from Syrah grapes grown in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this delightful dark-strawberry-colored juice is very pleasing on the palate with its abundance of dry fruity flavors.

Crews arrived a little late that evening, delivering more wine for tasting room assistant Tanya to pour. He had struggled through some heavy traffic, but we were all glad to see him bring in some Pinotage and Pinot Noir to add to the Rosé and Chardonnay we had already tasted.

“We have discovered an old-world process used to make a blush or vin gris wine,” says Crews on his Rosé of Syrah label. “The “saignee” (French for “bleed”) technique was used. Beginning with a six-hour extraction of Santa Cruz Mountains fruit, the pink juice was transferred to French oak cooperage for fermentation and aging.” Crews always uses tried-and-true methods—the end result being excellent wine.

Included in the $15 tasting fee, Seascape Resort’s chef Boris Ilabaca always prepares a delicious plate of tapas-style food—which is certainly enough to qualify as a small dinner, and is always a very welcome addition to tasting a flight of wines.

Pelican Ranch Winery, 100 Kennedy Drive, Capitola, 426-6911. Pelicanranch.com. Pelican Ranch at Michael’s on Main Tuesday Night Dinners

Wine Events

Michael’s on Main continues with its very popular Tuesday dinners—each one with wine tasting from a different winery, a varied selection of food, and often with a guest chef featured, too. Don’t miss the Caribbean Nights dinner on Feb. 2. This focus of this dinner is all Jamaican—and Pelican Ranch will be pouring their wines. Michael’s on Main is at 2591 Main St., Soquel. Call 479-9777 for reservations.

Passport Day: Saturday, Jan. 19
Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s a good opportunity to go wine tasting. This is the day when you can visit wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $45 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport stamped (it doesn’t expire)—and with around 80 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a very long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or info@scmwa.com.

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