Silver Mountain Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir 2008
I recently wrote that Rosé is fast becoming one of my favorite libations, so I’m now on a quest to find local Rosés. Several wineries in the area make different kinds of Rosé: there’s a Rosé of Pinot Noir, a Rosé of Zinfandel, a Rosé of Syrah—and so on. Their pretty pink hues make them so appealing—varying from the lightest pink to an almost-crimson blush. The strawberry shade of Silver Mountain’s Rosé of Pinot Noir is pretty and vibrant. It all depends, of course, on how long the red grapes are pressed and the juice is in contact with the skins. In the case of this Rosé, the Pinot Noir grapes are de-stemmed and partially crushed before they “bleed” the must. After a small amount of juice is drawn off to ferment alone, it becomes this delicious Rosé with bright floral aromatics and a squirt of summer sun.
Silver Mountain Vineyards owner and winemaker, Jerold O’Brien, recently opened up in the Ingalls Street winery complex—along with several other prestigious wineries—and that’s the place where you can now taste his wines. You can still visit his winery, which lies about 12 miles up Old San Jose Road from Soquel village, but call ahead to make an appointment. And more sweet news is that Silver Mountain will be at the wonderful Rivers of Chocolate Festival (see info below) along with some of the best wineries and restaurants in the area.
Silver Mountain Vineyards, 402 Ingalls St., Ste. 29, Santa Cruz, 466-0559 (weekends) or (408) 353-2278. silvermtn.com.
Rivers of Chocolate Festival: If you love chocolate and you love wine (and who doesn’t), then this is the event for you. Entitled “A Fantasy for Your Palate” this 14th annual extravaganza promises to be better than ever. Held at the beautiful Mountain Winery in Saratoga, this spectacular feast includes chocolate tasting, hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting, silent and live auctions and live music. Date: Sunday, April 25 from 1-5 p.m. Info: riversofchocolate.org.
Passport Day: April 17
Passport Day comes around every three months, so don’t miss this 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 $40 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport (which doesn’t expire) stamped—and with more than 70 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Call 685-8464, or scmwa.com or email@example.com. Some of the wineries involved in Passport Day are celebrating spring with a “Whale of a Trail,” where you can pick up your very own Corky the Whale wine-spouting whale patch with a bottle of wine purchase. Check out: summit2seawinetrail.com for maps and links.