Vine & Dine

Bargetto Winery

WineA much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

A blend of 57 percent Dolcetto, 35 percent Refosco and 8 percent Nebbiolo, this deep garnet wine ($60)—made from estate grapes grown on Bargetto’s well-known Regan Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains—has a distinct spicy bouquet and rich complex flavors, one of which is of oak from its long barrel-aging of two and a half years. It’s then aged another year in the bottle.

Also at the release party, the artistic label is revealed—a different one every year—and the 2011 La Vita label is stunning. “Dame mit Glass” is the title from an oil on canvas by Ira Tsantekidou, courtesy of Canvasations Gallery. The bottle, which is made in Italy and comes with a special seal set into it and another seal on top of the cork, is so attractive that it’s almost a pity to open it up. But then, one has to get to the delicious contents.

Each year, Bargetto Winery chooses a different nonprofit organization to receive part of the proceeds from sales of this wine, and this year, Tandy Beal & Company will benefit. The Bargetto family has always made generous donations to nonprofits over the years and continues to support the community in many ways.

The 2011 La Vita ($60) received a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, as well as a gold medal at the Amenti Del Vino International Wine Competition, and Best of Class of Region at the California State Fair Competition.

Bargetto Winery is open daily for tasting, and their Thursday Night Music Series in the summer is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while listening to live music. From 6-8 p.m. in their Creekside Courtyard, with food and wine available for purchase.

Wine Tours at Bargetto

Bargetto Winery is now offering complimentary tours of its property, founded in 1933. Visitors can see how the wines are fermented, aged and bottled as they tour the historic cellars and view equipment used before the days of Prohibition. After the tour, visitors can sip the new wines, either inside the tasting room or outside in the courtyard by Soquel Creek. If you need a take-home memento, available for purchase is Vintage Bargetto: Celebrating a Century of California Winemaking written by John Bargetto and co-written by Geoffrey Dunn.

Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258,

CREEKSIDE VITA Located in the heart of Soquel, Bargetto Winery’s Creekside Courtyard provides a serene backdrop for weddings and private parties, the winery’s Thursday night music series, and sipping wine with friends during tasting room hours. PHOTO: AHNA KENNEDY

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