Michael Sones’ 2017 Silvaspoons Vineyard Petite Sirah ($28) is a full-bodied mouthful of inky-dark handcrafted wine with beautiful aromas of vanilla and nutmeg, balanced by flavors of spiced cherry and pomegranate.
“The Petite Sirah’s carefully managed tannins leave plenty of room for the flavors in the wine to shine,” says Sones. “You will find this is a great wine to pair with barbecue or to sip on its own.” I went for the latter.
The welcoming Santa Cruz tasting room, conveniently situated in the Swift Street Courtyard complex on the Westside—opposite Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing—is surrounded by several other local wineries. As Michael and his wife Lois, who helps run the business with him, like to say, “walk into our tasting room, pull up a stool, and get to know our wines.” In particular, one variety you should get to know is Canción del Mar, Sones Cellars’ signature white blend of Pinot Gris, Torrontés, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.
I always like to recommend Sones Cellars’ in-house Hedgehog Red and White, the outfit’s refillable bottle program, offering value and helping the environment. Bottle refills cost $14 ($12 for wine club members).
“It’s not only fun, it’s good for the planet, too,” says Michael.
Sones Cellars, 334-B Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 831-420-1552. sonescellars.com.
Live Music at Local Wineries
If you love live music and good wine, then head to Loma Prieta Winery for its live music series, running most Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 25. Situated in Los Gatos on one of the highest points in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Loma Prieta boasts sweeping views of Monterey Bay.
On Hecker Pass Highway in Gilroy, Sarah’s Vineyard also offers live music Fridays through Sept.3. The shows often sell out, so reservations are recommended. Check both spots’ websites for schedules and additional information.
lomaprietawinery.com and sarahsvineyard.com.