The grapes for this gorgeous Zinfandel come from century-old vines—one of the reasons why this Soquel Vineyards’ 2008 Zin is so darn good. Another reason is expert winemakers knowing exactly when the grapes are at their peak and ready to be picked; and the whole process of getting wine into bottle when the time is right. It all sounds easy enough, but it takes expertise and dedication to get everything in balance.
This is where twin brothers Peter and Paul Bargetto come in, along with their partner Jon Morgan. Since opening up their winery in 1987, they have continued to hone their winemaking skills—winning an impressive number of gold, silver and bronze medals along the way from various prestigious wine competitions. They certainly have much to brag about when it comes to making excellent wine.
So I’m happy to introduce you to the 2008 Zinfandel, Schmierer Vineyard, Lodi. Made from grapes selected from ancient vines, here is a full-bodied wine that is richly textured with structure and elegance. Stick your nose into the glass when you pour some—and all the spicy, jammy aromas of a good Zin are right there. This one has hints of herbs, licorice and cinnamon, too. And when mouth finally comes to glass you’ll get the full throttle flavors of dark fruits with lots of pepper and spice. This Zin won a silver medal in last year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s commercial wine competition. It sells for $25 and is available from the winery and many local stores.
Visit Soquel Vineyards at their lovely tasting room and try all their other wines. Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Rd., Soquel. Tel: 462-9045. soquelvineyards.com. The tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Farm to Table Dinner at Chaminade
The second of the summer series of Farm to Table dinners at Chaminade will feature the wonderful wines of Kathryn Kennedy Winery on Friday, July 29 at 6 p.m. All the food is carefully sourced from local farms and vendors, and diners get to enjoy the glorious experience of eating outside on Chaminade’s beautiful patio—complete with breathtaking ocean view. Executive chef Beverlie Terra pulls out all the stops by preparing truly amazing food. Cost is $75 per person. Call 475-5600 for reservations.
Chaminade Resort & Spa, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz. chaminade.com.
MJA Vineyards Movie Nights
MJA Vineyards continues with its fun movie nights with the showing of Bottle Shock on Saturday, July 23. Wine tasting and dinner is at 6 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. Seating is limited so tickets ($20) must be purchased in advance.
MJA Vineyards, 328-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 421-9380. mjavineyards.com.