Villa Del Monte

dining_villaChardonnay 2010

As most people like Chardonnay, this is a good wine to have around over the Thanksgiving holidays. Most white wine drinkers can’t always handle red, but you can count on red wine drinkers being able to drink white. It’s good to have a variety of wine in stock to give people choices, but Chardonnay is a safe bet for most.

Villa Del Monte Winery’s 2010 Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains Regan Vineyard ($25), is a wonderful wine to open up when guests first arrive for Thanksgiving dinner. With its crisp tropical fruit flavors and buttery finish, this lightly oaked Chardonnay goes well with cheese, fruit, nuts—and other hors d’oeuvres set out for people to munch on before the main meal. And it would, of course, go perfectly well with turkey and all the trimmings.

Villa del Monte is located on Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains—midway between Santa Cruz and Los Gatos. They are making some excellent wines, including Pinot Noir, Syrah, Rosé, Merlot and Cabernet—and won an impressive number of gold, silver and bronze medals this year. Owner and winemaker Neil Perrelli, along with winemaker John Overstreet, get their fruit from the best local growers around. The hand-selected grapes are pressed and processed onsite at Villa del Monte Winery.

The winery is open only on certain dates, so it’s best to check the website if you want to visit their tasting room. Their wines are sold at the winery, online, and at the Summit Store on Summit Road. Rootstock Wine Bar in Los Gatos, which carries a lot of local wines as well as imported, is also selling the Villa del Monte Chardonnay by the glass. Neil Perrelli and his wife Joyce participate in many local wine events—so check their website for a full list.

Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos,888-788-4583. villadelmontewinery.com.E-mail: neil@villadelmonte.com.

Wine Events

Passport Day: Saturday, Nov. 19

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 info@scmwa.com.

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