Food & Drink

Taste an Iconic Portuguese Varietal with Quinta Cruz Castelão

Quinta Cruz wines are exciting and different

The Pierce Ranch Vineyard in San Antonio Valley is the source of the complex, subtle Quinta Cruz Castelão. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD

It’s hard to beat the wines made by Jeff Emery. And out of all the different wines that Emery produces from both his Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and his Quinta Cruz labels, Quinta Cruz has some of my favorites. 

“The wines of the Quinta Cruz brand are exclusively made from grape varieties that originated in Portugal and Spain but are now grown in California,” says Emery.

The Quinta Cruz Castelão ($39) from Pierce Ranch in San Antonio Valley is a fabulous wine that you don’t find on every supermarket shelf. “It’s an important variety in Portugal,” says Emery, “but it is mostly unknown in California.” And that’s what makes Quinta Cruz wines exciting and different. It’s wonderful to taste interesting wines that are lesser known hereabouts.

“Very complex, subtle, and nuanced raspberry, plum and even gooseberry, with hints of savory elements,” says Emery of his delicious Castelão. An aromatic wine with “solid tannins,” Emery says this 100% Castelão provides an opportunity to taste this iconic Portuguese varietal’s expression in the New World.

Right now, Emery is offering some four-pack specials of both his Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz labels. Check the website for more info.

Quinta Cruz, 334A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 831-426-6209, santacruzmountainvineyard.com.

Farmers Market

Many farmers markets will be opening up again in early May—Scotts Valley on May 1 and Felton on May 4—and will continue through October. Look for an abundant supply of produce including fresh fruit and veggies, baked goods and more. Good grub is available at most markets, and food trucks come regularly. You can sign up for a weekly online newsletter or email Executive Director Nesh Dhillon at [email protected] for more info.

Chocolate Chip Cookies at Seascape Foods

I recently enjoyed a fabulous chocolate chip cookie. They’re called Lily’s Favorites—made with organic ingredients by the Food Goddess at Seascape Foods in Aptos. This well-stocked supermarket makes superb food … scones, muffins, sandwiches—and they have an excellent deli with a good selection of healthy eats.

Seascape Foods, 16 Seascape Village, Aptos. 831-685-3134, seascapefoods.com.

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