Vine & Dine

Shale Canyon 2013 Zinfandel

Shale Canyon vineyardZinfandel from a solar-powered estate winery, plus a local brew to save wildlife

Put a glass of Zinfandel in front of my husband, and he’s a very happy man. We both enjoyed Shale Canyon’s 2013 Zinfandel with its bright bold bouquet of dark berry fruit. Winemaker Ken Gallegos has taken grapes from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County and turned them into an excellent Zin, which sells for a mere $18, so the price is right. A hint of pepper and smoke on the long finish make this 100 percent estate-bottled Zin an extremely satisfying wine.

Zinfandel pairs perfectly with anything cooked “on the barbie,” so if you’re throwing a few ribs on the grill, then a bottle of Shale Canyon’s big jammy red Zin should go down well.

Shale Canyon takes pride in producing small lots of handcrafted varietals in their 100 percent solar-powered estate winery. They also run a fun wine club called Wine Thief, with 20-33 percent discounts on all purchases of their wines, and four free “flights of four” tastings in their recently opened Carmel tasting room. Check the website to see all the perks of becoming a member.

Shale Canyon Wines tasting room is at San Carlos St., (between Ocean and 7th) Carmel, 625-WINE. Open noon to 6 p.m. daily.  

Discretion Brewing Helps Save Woodland Critters

Discretion Brewing is excited to announce a new barrel-aged sour ale series called Woodland Critters. They have partnered with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County for the series to help them continue their crucial work of preserving local land and wildlife. The release of Woodland Critters No. 1 aims to venture into new territory, “in search of profound and unexpected flavors,” according to brewmaster Michael Demers. From the sale of each half-liter bottle ($15), $2 will be donated to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, which works to preserve open spaces and habitats. More info at


Saturday, Jan. 16 means one thing—it’s time to go wine tasting, Passport in hand, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A Passport enables you to go to a number of wineries and taste without a fee. Visit for more info.

ULTRA VIOLET Shale Canyon Wines produce handcrafted varietals using 100 percent solar power.

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