I was fortunate to sit next to David Estrada at a recent Pinot Paradise dinner at Lester Family Vineyards—where all proceeds went to Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
Estrada, a retired Scotts Valley dentist, realized in 1990 that he wanted to make wine as well as attend to teeth. He established his estate vineyard that year, planted five different Pinots and “a few rows of Chardonnay and Viognier,” and called it Clos Tita after his wife, Tita.
I tasted Estrada’s elegant Pinot at the dinner, but I wanted to write about his interesting Gironde, and found a 2013 for $29.99 at Deer Park Wine & Spirits in Aptos—a well-stocked market with a selection of local wines. This Gironde is a well-made and robust blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, which Estrada says has a complex long finish with “Chaparral character in the nose.”
Visit clostitawinery.com for more info.
Dos Aguilas Olive Oil
One of the stops we made on the open-house farm tour in early October was at Dos Aguilas Farm, where farm manager Roger Wolfe took us through lush olive orchards and we tasted the farm’s tangy olive oil. Having lived in Greece for 13 years where olive oil rules, I do all my cooking with olive oil, and I never use store-bought dressings on salads, preferring just olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Dos Aguilas’ superb olive oil is available at El Salchichero in Santa Cruz; Sunnyside Produce in Soquel; Corralitos Market; Kelly’s Books in Watsonville, and also available in Aptos at Pure Health; Glaum Egg Ranch; Marianne’s Ice Cream; and Seascape Foods.
Dos Aguilas Farm, 1855 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos. 252-0752. dosaguilasoliveoil.com.
Albacore Feed Dinner and Raffle
The Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project and the Castroville Rotary Club are presenting their 40th annual fundraising Albacore Feed Dinner. There will be door prizes, silent auction and project demonstrations. The event starts at 6 p.m. with no-host cocktails, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. at the Castroville Recreation Center, 11261 Crane St., Castroville. Dinner tickets are $20 (kids 12 and under $10) and are available at the door, or email Mary Hermansky at [email protected].