We are lucky to live in an area where Pinot Noir thrives. This sensitive grape grows well in the Santa Cruz Mountains, thanks to a perfect climate of heat during the day and a cooling marine layer at night. It’s also thanks to talented winemaker Brandon Armitage that we can enjoy an impressive Pinot from Mt. Roberta Vineyard in these very mountains—his 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve ($55).

Armitage, who spent some years in New Zealand honing his skills in the winemaking business, strives to make only the very best wines, hand-selecting each barrel “to blend the best of what the vintage has to offer.” The end result is a robust Pinot but with an intriguing delicacy. Rich in red fruits like strawberries and cherries, it also boasts warm layers of characteristic earthiness, with touches of smoke, spice and vanilla enhancing the wine’s bountiful flavor. An intricate label of geometric patterns in various shades of blue and green, designed by Aspen Moon Art, adds to this Pinot’s enigma.

“Sacred geometry is used throughout my winemaking business,” explains Armitage of the label. “Its energy is harnessed in different ways to help build and preserve a sacred space for connection with the winemaking process, from soil to bottle. The seed of life is used in my logo, on my label, cork, and barrels. This symbol, to me, represents creation and healing,” he says. “As winemakers we are taking from the grapevine her fruit and breaking it down, turning it into something else.”

Armitage Tasting Room, 105c Post Office Drive, Aptos, 708-2874. Armitagewines.com. Open 2-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon to 7 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Fundraiser for Nicole Brown

Armitage Wines will be participating in a fundraiser for Nicole Brown, a designer with Talmadge Construction who worked with Armitage on his tasting room. Brown was paralyzed in a hit-and-run accident in June 2015 and is now in a wheelchair. Brown herself will be hosting a “Street Fair” where small businesses can reserve a table to display and sell their wares. Fifty percent of sales will be donated to Brown. Armitage Wines, along with Cantine Winepub, will be donating a percentage of their proceeds, and guests will be able to shop while sipping on delicious wine and checking out a silent auction and bake sale. The event is noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 in the parking lot at 8070 Soquel Drive, Aptos. Info: [email protected]“>[email protected] or Adele Talmadge at [email protected]

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