There are Chardonnays, and then there are Chardonnays!
Soquel Vineyards’ superior 2018 Chardonnay ($35) has a head start on others because of its high-quality fruit. Grapes are harvested from Lester Family Vineyard in Aptos, where oenophiles in the know are aware of how carefully grapes are tended.
Fresh and enticing aromas of pineapple and flavors of melt-in-the-mouth crème brûlée are prominent in this well-made Chardonnay. With its rich concentration of pure fruit, followed by sweet, creamy French oak, it was awarded a well-deserved 91 points by Wine Enthusiast. Aged in French oak for 10 months, the end result is a wine to delight any lover of Chardonnay.
On a recent visit to Soquel Vineyards’ tasting room, I admired co-owner Peter Bargetto’s shirt. He told me that his mother-in-law in Italy bought it for him, and he’d love for me to mention it—so, I’m doing that! Peter’s wife of three decades, Irene, hails from Italy, and they go there often.
Soquel Vineyards has a lovely tasting room and a beautiful patio overlooking their vineyards and the Monterey Bay.
Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Rd., Soquel. 462-9045, soquelvineyards.com.
Santa Cruz Wine Walk
The popular downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk is an opportunity to try wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Northern California. Retailers act as tasting rooms and host winemakers pouring their fine wines. With your ticket you receive a map, a wristband and wine glass, which guides you from business to business to sample offerings. The event will run 2-5pm on Sunday, Nov. 10, and the starting point is Soif on Walnut Avenue. downtownsantacruz.com/winewalk.
Persephone Dinner Featuring Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
If you have never tasted the wonderful wines made by Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, then your opportunity is coming up on Thursday, Nov. 21. Persephone Restaurant in Aptos will be featuring this winery in a five-course wine-pairing dinner, starting at 6pm. persephonerestaurant.com.