John Benedetti was pouring his splendid Sante Arcangeli wines recently at Lester Family Vineyards—a delightful event attended by many, complete with good food, too.
I tasted quite a few varietals that day but a very impressive nectar, a Rosé of Pinot Noir 2014 Santa Cruz Mountains, stopped me in my tracks.
A blend of three premier Corralitos vineyards—Split Rail Vineyard (35 percent), Lester Family Vineyard (15 percent) and Hicks Vineyard (50 percent)—this refreshing dry Rosé is absolutely delicious, and perfect for warm summer days or just for drinking because you love a well-made Rosé. It goes well with a variety of foods. Don’t hesitate to take it on a picnic, or pair it with pasta, ham, chicken, rice dishes, pizza, and more. Grapes were direct-pressed for the production of this Rosé ($25) and then supplemented by Saignée from select Pinot Noir fermentations.
Benedetti began making wine in 2008, and has come a long way since. He started out making beer in his teens and early 20s before switching over to wine in his 30s. Benedetti’s commitment to making the best wines shows in the wine itself, and he always uses premium grapes. He calls his winemaking “a hobby gone haywire,” but it sums up his passion for making superb varietals.
As Benedetti’s wines become more popular, his tasting room in Pescadero has gotten busier. Situated next to the famous Duarte’s Tavern, my advice is to make a day of it and visit the goats at Harley Farms, have lunch at Duarte’s, and then enjoy Benedetti’s Rosé in his lovely tasting room. And don’t miss his fabulous Chardonnays and Pinots. You might be in the tasting room for quite a while.
Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, 216-A Stage Road, Pescadero, 406-1262. santewinery.com
Artisan Food Market at the Food Lounge
Farmers market meets cocktail hour! This is an exciting food event with pop-up vendors where you can do a tasting or just sit and have a drink. From 2-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14.
Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. Visit scfoodlounge.com for more info.
Farm to Table Dinner at Chaminade
The next Farm to Table dinner at Chaminade Resort & Spa will be held on Friday, Aug. 21. Start with passed hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. and then enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Chaminade’s Executive Chef Kirsten Ponza, starting at 6:30 p.m. This dinner features juicy meats from LeftCoast GrassFed and endless wine by Morgan Winery. The all-inclusive cost is $110. Visit chaminade.com for more information.
Art, Wine & Beer Festival
The Scotts Valley Art, Wine & Beer Festival will be Aug. 15-16 at Skypark. Visit svartfest.com for info. Satisfaction guaranteed.
OCEAN BREEZE Chardonnay grapes growing at Split Rail Vineyard in Corralitos, one of the vineyards that Sante Arcangeli sources its grapes from. The vineyard, now at 1700 feet, sits on an old lake bottom. PHOTO: LUKE FELIX