My husband and I often take a trip to the Palm Desert area. Even when it gets mighty hot, we always find plenty to do. The whole area from Palm Springs to La Quinta is growing rapidly and new constructions are springing up like mushrooms. At a water-feature complex in Rancho Mirage called The River, Tulip Hill Winery has an off-site tasting room that is well worth a visit. It’s a cool little enclave in the desert that showcases Tulip Hill’s award-winning boutique wines—and the tasting room also features an olive oil tasting bar and an interesting line of wine accessories, specialty foods and chocolate.
I tasted a bold and plush 2008 Tracy Hills Merlot with lots of roasted plum and blackberry aromas. I loved the fresh earth and smoky mushrooms flavors—just perfect for drinking with a chunk of hearty cheese and some tasty crackers. And Tulip Hill’s motto is the same as mine—“Wine with Everything.”
Tulip Hill Winery, 71800 Highway 111 Rancho Mirage, (760) 568-5678. tuliphillwinery.com.
Wine Events: Sizzlin’ Summer Passport
The Summit to Sea Wineries have something really fun in store for the July 16 Passport event. It’s the perfect time to sample some of the Summit Store’s famous selection of sausages with a sizzlin’ Syrah or a zesty Zin at Burrell School Vineyards. Try some strawberry shortcake at Loma Prieta Winery; fabulous summer potato salad with a Sauvignon Blanc at MJA Vineyards; and strawberry cupcakes with the sensational Mouvedre at Poetic Cellars. Little Sky Lavender will also be offering samples of delicious cookies at Poetic Cellars—along with their late harvest Viognier. End up at Dancing Creek Winery to sip their latest lineup. Check out the action at summit2seawinetrail.com.
Passport Day: Saturday, July 16
Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s a good 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 very long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or [email protected]
Clambake Fundraiser for Santa Cruz Harbor To help raise funds for the Santa Cruz Harbor, Jake Gandolfo’s catering company Custom Culinary Concepts and the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center are presenting a clambake on July 17 from noon to 5 p.m. complete with local wineries and breweries. Info: santacruzclambake.eventbrite.com.