I’ve been a fan of Martin Ranch Winery for a long time.
The winery and tasting room are set in a truly picturesque spot, and owners Dan and Thérèse Martin are the most welcoming hosts. When they hold events—for both wine club members and non-wine club guests—they go all-out to make sure everybody has a fun experience. I remember one time seeing Thérèse dancing up a storm to some terrific music played by a local band.
Made under their J.D. Hurley label, the 2016 Pinot Noir (about $24) from R.E.D. Vineyard on the Central Coast is one delicious mouthful of strawberry and black currant, plus a hint of cinnamon. Notes of vanilla are complemented by an explosion of ripe raspberries. “This is a distinctive wine that keeps its promise with a kiss of French oak, cherry and caramel,” say the Martins.
The Martins’ wines sell out quickly, so if they happen to be out of the J.D. Hurley Pinot, then try the Pinot made under their Thérèse Vineyards label. You’ll be just as happy.
Martin Ranch Winery, 6675 Redwood Retreat Rd., Gilroy. 408-842-9197, martinranchwinery.com.
Aptos Wine Wander
Don’t miss the chance to meander around Aptos Village for the Aptos Wine Wander from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Not only will you stroll from store to store and get to experience the newly revamped village, but you’ll also get to taste some terrific local wines from about 10 different wineries. Visit scmwa.com for more info.
I’m giving a shout-out to Grocery Outlet and two store managers, Yeseni Perez (Hollister) and Cristian Susunaga (Watsonville). Ample food and wine was donated by Grocery Outlet for golfers at a recent tournament fundraiser for Hospice of Santa Cruz County—all served by Perez and Susunaga. One of Grocery Outlet’s featured wines, Tangley Oaks Chardonnay, sells for only $2.99, and it’s pretty good. The Salinas Grocery Outlet also participated in making a valuable contribution to hospice with food and wine. Grocery Outlet does catering as well.
Visit groceryoutlet.com for details.