One of my husband’s favorite wines is Zinfandel. He’s always happy with a glass of bold and lusty red in his hand, especially a full-throttled Zin. We had a lunchtime function to go to in Hollister – so we headed out to Pietra Santa’s extensive piece of property after. Here was a golden opportunity, whilst in the area, to taste some of their interesting wines, the Zinfandel amongst them. This bold and earthy Zin tastes of ripe cherries and plums with complements of tasty oak—with a delightful finish of black pepper and sage. Coming from vines that are 50 years old on a block of the estate that was planted in 1905, it’s a “sinful Zinful” to be sure.
Owned by Santa Cruz locals Phyllis and John Blackburn and their son Cortlandt, Pietra Santa is a family-run estate producing award-winning artisanal wines in the beautiful Cienga Valley. Passing through fields of green, the drive up to the winery through the lovely countryside on Highway 156 is well worth the trip. And since Pietra Santa is located on the Cienega Wine Trail, there’s an opportunity to visit more than a half dozen other wineries on this route as well.
Although we had plans to take in a couple more wineries on this wine trail, we spent so much time at Pietra Santa that we were still there at closing time. Pietra Santa has some excellent wines to taste, and most of them are very reasonably priced. The winery also makes superb olive oil from the olive trees that grow on the estate. So tasting splendid wines and then some marvelous olive oil—you could say I was in hog heaven.
Pietra Santa Winery, 10034 Cienega Road, Hollister, (831) 636-3837. Open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. pietrasantawinery.com. Tasting fee is $5.
Spring Forward Against Cancer Gala
The Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group is once again putting on its annual spring fling dinner and dancing fundraiser at Chaminade in Santa Cruz. The committee has worked really hard to garner wonderful items for the silent and live auctions, not to mention one of the best wine auctions in town. Expect to see literally hundreds of bottles of fine wine—to be taken home by the highest bidders. Art is another focus of the event—where local artists donate their prized artwork for a good cause. Money raised goes to SCCBG’s beneficiaries.
Spring Forward Against Cancer Gala, Chaminade, 5:30 p.m. onwards, April 23. Tickets are $125. Info: 465-1989 or sccbg.org.