I was first introduced to Ser wines when I met up with winemaker Nicole Walsh for a tasting last year.
It’s around this time of year that I usually write about sparkling wine—we all love a glass of bubbly to start off the New Year, after all. So I headed to Deer Park Wine & Spirits in Aptos to sift through their fine selection of locally made wines, but opted for an Osocalis brandy instead: a Rare Alambic ($48 for 750 ml.).
One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.
At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.
I was just in the process of purchasing a bottle of Big Basin’s 2012 Homestead in Vinocruz when Matt Ryan walked into the store. Ryan manages the tasting room, sales and the mailing list at Big Basin, and, considering the popularity of their wines, he’s a very busy man.