dining_waltersPinot Noir 2007 – A Gorgeous Wine for the Holidays

Raking around in Vinocruz, I come across a Walters wine–a label I hadn’t seen before. It’s exciting to find something new and local and then learn about the winemaker and what has propelled them to make wine commercially. Most winemakers start off as novices–making wine in their own backyard for the simple joy of it. But the truly dedicated winemaker, who is making a good enough product to be sold commercially, also has the hard slog of getting to that point. And even when all the bottling, corking and labeling is done, the new winemaker still has to get his name out there and his wine sold.

Certainly a good start is getting your wine into Vinocruz, the Santa Cruz wine shop dedicated to selling and promoting locally made wines. This lovely wine destination is also a great place to sample our local wines and to meet winemakers in our area at special events held in the store.

“This wine is flying off the shelves,” says J-P Correa, of the Walters Pinot. Correa, proprietor at Vinocruz, is always ready to pour me something new, and a first sip of this deeply complex wine tells me why he wants me to try this particular Pinot. This luscious wine ($33) is made from grapes grown in Veranda Vineyard, situated in the hills above Watsonville straddling the San Andreas Fault, which is dedicated entirely to Pinot Noir.

“Michael Walters is the assistant at Ahlgren Vineyard in Boulder Creek,” Correa says, and I see on the label that the Walters Pinot is produced and bottled by this winery. “This is the most fabulous newest and exciting wine,” adds Correa. “Walters is breaking out with his own style and making wine with total respect for old wine-making styles, and he’s using all California fruit.”

As I take another sip of this delicious fruit-forward wine, I see what Correa means. Here is a lush Pinot, bursting with ripe cherries and with a really impressive mouthfeel. I think Walters made a really good move in coming out with his own label.

Contact Michael Walters at Ahlgren Vineyard, 338-6071. Wine Events:

La Honda Winery is hosting a year-end “Wine-a-Palooza” on Saturday, Dec. 18—releasing to the public three blockbuster Cabs from the 2007 vintage; Lonehawk (double-gold in 2006); Naylor’s Dry Hole Vineyard (best of class in 2006); and their newest Cab brainchild Salinian Block (a blend of 100 percent Cab from their best Cabernet vineyards.

La Honda Winery, 2645 Fair Oaks Ave., Redwood City,

(650) 366-4104. lahondawinery.com.


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