I first came across Pelican Ranch Winery’s delicious Gewürztraminer at a special dinner at the Sesnon House in Aptos featuring amazing food made by the students of the Cabrillo College culinary program. The event showcased many of the wines of Surf City Vintners on the Westside of Santa Cruz–one of the easiest places to go wine tasting in this neck of the woods. Surf City Vintners now offers more than a dozen wineries located pretty much in the same area. How convenient is that! The vintners of Surf City not only offer excellent wines, but also put on special culinary, art and music events.
But back to the Pelican Ranch Gewürztraminer–made by master winemaker Phil Crews.
Aromas of lychees and scented roses are a floral delight for the olfactory senses, and the taste buds are equally satisfied with this dry, elegant wine. Gewürztraminer’s flowery fruity notes and slight sweetness are typical of this wine, and a late-harvest Gewürztraminer from Alsace can be a really sweet dessert wine. Pelican Ranch’s Gewürztraminer, Monterey, Rio Del Vista Vineyard, is reasonably priced at $22, has a bold and sassy flavor, and goes very well with spicy foods. The bottle has a handy screw cap, so it’s perfect to take on a picnic.
Crews, a professor of chemistry at UC Santa Cruz, owns and operates Pelican Ranch Winery with his wife Peggy, and has been in the business of wine making for many years–starting up in Scotts Valley in 1997 and moving to their present location in 2003. If you have never experienced the hospitality of Phil and Peggy at their tasting room, then it’s time to pay them a visit.
Pelican Ranch Winery, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-6911. pelicanranch.com. Tasting room open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Pelican Ranch Winery, Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 – Wine & Cheese Tasting.
San Jose Airport: Santa Cruz Wine Bar in Terminal B. The Santa Cruz Wine Bar, which opened up in San Jose Airport’s new terminal, serves mostly local wines. This is excellent exposure for wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and will, I’m sure, lead to many wine tasting sojourns locally. Here is a list of the wineries showcased at the airport:
Clos La Chance Wines; Silver Mountain Vineyards; David Bruce Winery; Bonny Doon Vineyard; Burrell School Vineyards, Aptos Creek Vineyard; Ridge Vineyards; Martin Ranch Winery; Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery, Storrs Winery; Testarossa Vineyards; Fernwood Cellars; Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard; Clos Tita; Guglielmo Winery; Bargetto Winery; Vine Hill Winery; Loma Prieta Winery; and Cinnabar Winery.