Via Vega Vineyard & Winery

Dining_ViaVerga2005 Red Wine
I could not resist buying this wine in time for Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. The label depicts a skeleton wearing a sombrero and holding a bunch of red grapes. He even has a flower tucked behind his ear.

This amusing artwork by Keith Puccinelli is part of the October series by Via Vega, and is a tribute and celebration of the harvest season. It says on the label “Growers, winemakers, and you with your glass, share the lovely October glow of the harvest moon. So enjoy our wines as you taste these vines.” At $15 a bottle, this is a fun and drinkable wine to enjoy—especially for a Halloween party if you’re looking for something killer eye-catching.

Although the vineyard and tasting room are located in Paso Robles, the local connection is Paul Furman, who is general sales manager of both Via Vega and California Pajarosa Floral—one of California’s major rose growers. Furman was pouring at a local cancer benefit when I tasted the donated Via Vega wine.

Via Vega – owned by Furman’s uncle Larry Gomez—is an enjoyable place to visit. They have all sorts of fun events—including a recent International Talk Like A Pirate Day—and, of course, a celebration of Dia de los Muertos will be taking place in November.

Via Vega Winery, (805) 423-2190. viavega.com, [email protected] Open most weekends and some Fridays. Call ahead first. Via Vega can be bought at Corralitos Market; Four Corners Market; Bittersweet Bistro; Bluewater Steakhouse; and occasionally Cava Wine Bar.

Wine Events
An Evening of Wine & Roses is a splendid event put on annually by the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust to help support their health care mission. This benefit wine and food festival takes place with the cooperation of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, and those who attend will get to taste some of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation’s best wines. Gourmet hors d’oeuvres are served from area restaurants and caterers. There will also be silent and live auctions with wonderful things to bid on. The event takes place on Friday, Nov. 5 from 6-9 p.m. at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville. Tickets are $50 or $60 at the door. Info: 761-5639 or pvhealthtrust.org.

MJA Vineyards hosts a wine and food event on Oct. 30 – with a showing of the classic movie Psycho. 328-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 421-9380. mjavineyards.com. Cava Wine Bar will be hosting a Halloween party on Oct. 30. Check the website for info. 115 San Jose Ave., Capitola, 476-2282. cavacapitola.com.

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