One of the most fun areas to go wine tasting is in the Swift Street complex in Santa Cruz. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners, the place has been a hive of activity.
Vino Tabi, which belongs to the group, is an eclectic winery run by accomplished winemaker Katie Fox, who always offers a warm welcome and is happy to share her knowledge of wine.
I head out on a Thursday evening to a fundraiser for the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group at Vino Tabi. A delicious array of food prepared by Coastal Catering is spread out—cheese, crackers, prosciutto, bread, fresh figs, melon, pineapple and more—for us to eat, and all a splendid accompaniment to the wine.
Ever since the release of the 2009 Pinot Gris, Basor Vineyards, Santa Cruz County, I had been dying to try some. Pinot Gris (also called Pinot Grigio in Italy) is a very drinkable and likable wine that partners well with a broad spectrum of food. There’s a lot of cheap Pinot Grigio floating around, so treat yourself to a good one and you’ll see the difference. Vino Tabi’s Pinot Gris ($25) floods the mouth with beautiful flavors of grapefruit and crisp, fresh apricot. It has a spiciness that’s not at all tart—with a richness and body that makes it stand out from so many of those imported run-of-the-mill Pinot Grigios.
Celebrating two years in business, Vino Tabi has a lot to boast about. Fox is making interesting wines, wine education programs are ongoing, you can make your own wine with your own personal label, and special events are happening all the time. Fox donates part of the winery’s sales most Thursdays and generously supports the community.
On Sept. 26 from 2-4 p.m. join Prudy Foxx, Santa Cruz viticulture consultant, for a winemaking education event on Santa Cruz viticulture and fresh grape tasting at Vino Tabi. Free for Barrel Buddies and wine club members and $30 per person for the public, to cover the food and wines.
Vino Tabi will be pouring their wines at Gourmet Grazing on the Green on Sept. 25 from noon to 5 p.m. in Aptos Village Park. A fundraiser for beneficiaries of the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group, see sccbg.org for more information.
Vino Tabi, 334 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-1809. vino-tabi-wine.com.
Wine Events: Chaminade will hold a Wine Tasting Friday event on the patio from 5-6:30 p.m. Sept. 24. A selection of Summit to Sea wines will be available for $10 per person, which includes tastes of five wines and some wonderful hors d’oeuvres such as spanakopita, baked Brie, heirloom tomato tarts, cheese and fruit.
Each wine will be available by the glass, special bottle prices will be offered, and corkage fee is waived for those wishing to dine at Chaminade. Summit2seawinetrail.com.
Chaminade, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, 475-5600, chaminade.com, summit2seawinetrail.com.