My first experience of Wrights Station Vineyard & Winery a few weeks ago was wonderful. What awaited was a beautiful tasting room, warm hospitality and, best of all, splendid wines. Owner and winemaker Dan Lokteff took me and my husband on a tour of his property—a bucolic spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains that is perfect for events of all kinds, including a simple picnic during a wine-tasting visit.
Lokteff, who purchased the property a few years ago when he and his wife Molly were looking around for a good piece of land to start a winery, says that as they were driving away from Wrights Station, Molly said she had a good feeling about the place and he should buy it. With its incredible views of vineyards and mountains, the idyllic setting is a little piece of paradise. Lokteff has since put his heart and soul into making superior wines and serving them in this gorgeous setting, and none of this came about without a huge amount of work and planning.
Wrights Station was once a bustling stop for the South Pacific Coast Railroad that ran from Alameda to Santa Cruz, “though all that remains today is a haunting tunnel opening,” Lokteff declares on his label.
Open for about 18 months now, Wrights Station is a fun place to visit—and all of their handcrafted wines are well-made and flavorful. I particularly enjoyed the 2012 Chardonnay Backwards Block, Santa Cruz Mountains ($30). This estate-grown Chard is aged primarily in neutral oak barrels and delivers “huge flavors of ripe golden apples and bruleed pears.”
Wrights Station, 24250 Loma Prieta Ave., Los Gatos, 408-560-9343. wrightsstation.com. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
An opportunity to sample Wrights Station wines, paired with the delicious food of Ristorante Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond, will be a winemaker’s dinner 6-9 pm. Tuesday, April 26. Visit ristorantecasanostra.com for info and reservations.
Winetasting on the SSS Steeves
Take a three-hour cruise on the Monterey Bay and sample wines as you go. This is a fundraiser for a clean-water project in a Uganda village—organized by the Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary. The event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 17 and for tickets and info visit kasesewater.eventbrite.com