Food & Drink

A Versatile, Vivacious Pinot Gris 2019 from Assiduous Wines

This wine is bursting with minerality and crisp pear-apple-peach qualities

The Assiduous Wines labels reflect themes from the vineyard, region or style for each varietal. PHOTO: COURTESY ASSIDUOUS WINES

“I guess I should start by describing the picture on the front,” says winemaker Keegan Mayo of the label on his Pinot Gris 2019.

A swirl of seaweed seems like an unusual choice, but the label goals of Assiduous, says Mayo, are always to encompass the vineyard, region or style. “For a Santa Cruz Pinot Gris,” he adds, “seaweed seems to do just that.”

Three of us shared the contents of this vivacious Pinot Gris at a recent lunch at Vinocruz. We also enjoyed plates of chicken sandwiches on ciabatta bread, house-marinated olives, an appetizing toasted nut mix with rosemary and sea salt, and delicious tomato-braised octopus with lemon confit, fennel and herb oil. The cuisine at Vinocruz is always top-notch—with the full menu available for dine-in or takeout. And the exotic flourless chocolate torte with fresh berries and fruit coulis is a perfect match with Mayo’s chilled Pinot Gris!

Pinot Gris (called Pinot Grigio in Italy) is a versatile white wine that pairs well with a broad array of foods. Mayo’s Pinot Gris ($18) is bursting with minerality and crisp pear-apple-peach qualities. Mayo says that extreme Monterey Bay influence and clay loam soils (the grapes are from Regan Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains) have led to a wine with vibrant acidity and tension.

Graduating from UC Davis in 2008 with a degree in viticulture and enology, then gaining experience making wine in New Zealand and at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos, Mayo is now assistant winemaker at Bargetto Winery in Soquel. After gaining a wealth of experience over the years, it makes sense that he has now branched out with his own label. As well as Pinot Gris, Mayo also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Pinot Noir—each varietal with its own specially designed label.

Vinocruz carries Assiduous Cab and Pinot, along with a wide range of other local wines – by the glass or by the bottle. There is always a markup at restaurants and wine bars, of course.For more info and to buy wine online, visit assiduouswines.com or call 831-251-6930.

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