Sandar & Hem was founded quite recently by Rob Bergstrom, his wife Recha and “essential partner” Taylor Smith—and they are already making some very impressive wines. Their 2018 Chardonnay is a sure-fire hit for all Chardonnay lovers.
Grapes for this delicious white wine are from Bruzzone Family Vineyard in Santa Cruz. After running their own winery for a number of years, the Bruzzone family decided to concentrate on growing fine grapes for other wineries. The vineyard was established in 1999, and after great success with Chardonnay they added more acres. They also created an additional planting for their Pinot Noir.
“Planted in 1998 on alluvium of raised, ancient marine terraces and coastal benches, the Bruzzone vineyard is four miles from the Pacific Ocean,” it says on the Chardonnay’s label. “The cool climate of the Santa Cruz Mountains and sandy, alluvial soils of this site produce a racy Chardonnay of great precision and structure.”
With its aromas of citrus zest and flint that open up to barely ripe Gravenstein apple, Meyer lemon curd and almond blossom, this beautiful Chardonnay ($40) was awarded 94 points by Wine Enthusiast.
Visit sandarandhem.com for more info.
Mr. Z’s Crepes & Teas
Just opened in Aptos is a lovely new store focusing on healthy drinks. Their menu includes lattes, specialty drinks, fruit tea, boba, smoothies and milk teas with delicious flavors. Mr. Z’s also offers sweet and savory crepes, and acai bowls.
Located in the Aptos Center next to Aptos Natural Foods, this is the second location for owners Rocky and Ru Patel—their first is in Watsonville. All orders are to-go, but there’s usually plenty of seating to be found in this popular little shopping center, especially outdoors at Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, a neighbor in the Aptos Center. (Zameen owner Ed Watson also has a neighboring store in the Watsonville location of Mr. Z’s.)
Prices are very reasonable. Most drinks run $4 for medium size and $5 for large, with crepes from $7 to $13.
Mr. Z’s, 7518 Soquel Drive, Aptos. 831-661-5167, mrzsteas.com.