Popular in Southern France, Picpoul Blanc is a wonderful grape with the lemony flavor of sunshine. I took a bottle of Sarah’s Vineyard Picpoul Blanc (it comes with a handy screw cap) to share with friends at the new Mentone in Aptos Village.
Six of us started out with a refreshing glass of Picpoul Blanc ($24) while we waited for our order of three different pizzas and some salad. Picpoul Blanc (also spelled Piquepoul) is a dry white wine, green-gold in color, full-bodied, and with pleasant aromas of acacia and hawthorn and a bounty of bright flavors.
Tim Slater, owner and winemaker of Sarah’s Vineyard, grows his own Picpoul Blanc. His abundant estate grapes also include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Madonne Blanc, and Viognier.
We ordered more wine from Mentone to go with their very tasty pizzas. The restaurant has now added quite a few heaters to ward off the autumnal chill.
Sarah’s Vineyard Tasting Room and Winery, 4005 Hecker Pass Hwy., Gilroy. 408-847-1947, sarahsvineyard.com.
There’s a lot happening in Aptos these days. The new Aptos Village is now established as a go-to spot for shopping, restaurants, coffee bars, and ice cream. For wine tasting, check out Sante Arcangeli tasting room (next to the Sockshop and Shoe Company), and Ser Winery (next to Cat and Cloud Coffee). Along with tried and true eateries, there are now many new ones—Mentone, Betty Burgers, Sushi Garden, Poke Bowl, and the newly opened Mountain Mike’s Pizza. The Hideout is being rebuilt after a fire destroyed the property in May 2019; and Soul Salad is getting ready to offer some leafy goodness.
Also, Caledonia has opened in the Aptos Village Square Shopping Center (in the space that was the True Olive Connection at 7960 Soquel Drive). It’s a brand-new salon offering manicures, pedicures, hair treatments and more. Call Patricia Diaz at 831-840-0496 for more info.