Pinot Noir 2010
We picked a good day to go on a wine-tasting trip to Soquel Vineyards. The winery had released their Estate Pinot Noir Partners’ Reserve 2010 ($40) that very day, and I immediately fell in love with it.
My husband and I took along a young student, Caroline, staying with us for a few days, who is studying at Cambridge University to be a veterinarian. One of the joys of living in this area is to take out-of-town guests on wine-tasting trips to our beautiful wineries. And because there are now so many in the area, it’s an easy drive to get to them. Hailing from England, Caroline had never visited a winery and experienced the delight of trying a flight of wine—nor had she ever seen grapes growing on the vine. It made me think that we should never take that for granted. Caroline, too, was smitten with the estate Pinot and the whole experience of visiting Soquel Vineyards. With its big aromas of strawberries, cherries and spice, this exceptional dark and fruity Pinot has deliciously bold flavors of caramel, smoke and vanilla – and a wonderful characteristic earthiness.
With its noticeable smoothness on the palate and its soft velvety tannins, it’s not surprising that this Pinot won a double gold in this year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition.
Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Road, Soquel, 462-9045. Soquelvineyards.com. Tasting room open weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Gourmet Grazing on the Green
The ninth annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green cancer benefit put on by the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group, takes place from noon to 4 p.m. in Aptos Village Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. This fabulous food and wine festival is an opportunity to sample some of our best restaurants, wineries and breweries—and various other vendors—in an afternoon of organically themed “gourmet grazing.” This year will be bigger and better than ever—with around 20 restaurants and 20 wineries participating. The beneficiaries of funds raised are Hospice of Santa Cruz County; Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support and Services; Katz Cancer Resource Center at Dominican Hospital; UCSC Cancer Research; and WomenCARE. Tickets are $65 each or $500 for a group of 10. Purchase tickets at New Leaf Community Markets or online at sccbg.org.
Campbell Wine Walk
Downtown Campbell is a lovely area to stroll around, and it promises to be particularly interesting during the Fall Wine Walk from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Around 20 of our local wineries will be participating, so it’s a golden opportunity to try their wonderful wines – all in one location. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Info: downtowncampbell.com.