Sharing food and wine with friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures. For all time, it has been the ultimate demonstration of giving – to empty one’s larder and to drain out one’s wine barrel in the name of hospitality.
Every year when my husband and I go to Shakespeare Santa Cruz with a group of friends, we get together and share our spoils during a picnic before the performance. We also share what we have left during intermission. And because of the very nature of Shakespeare Santa Cruz – a wonderful laid-back way of seeing great plays and marvelous acting in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Glen – one can also partake of a little libation as the play unfolds.
And so, dear readers, I am the designated supplier of wine and dessert for my friends for this year’s performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The wine I take to share, 2008 Clements Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay ($20), is made by Vine Hill Winery, which also supplies Shakespeare Santa Cruz theatergoers with wine for purchase. Vine Hill also makes wine under the labels of Gatos Locos and Cumbre Wines, both of which are available at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.
My friends bring out their delicious food—coconut prawns, cheeses, couscous salad, sausage rolls, fresh bread, fruit and more—as I crack open the Chardonnay. As honey-kissed as a Shakespeare love sonnet, this wine is as splendid is a midsummer night’s dream.
Vine Hill’s grapes are grown in a vineyard in the heart of California and caressed by gentle breezes coming from the Mokalumne River, creating a unique Mediterranean climate – with warm days and cool evenings. All this results in a slow ripening of the fruit – creating a more full-bodied and complex Chardonnay.
About a month ago, I visited Vine Hill Winery – on a high ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The view of the Monterey Bay is absolutely breathtaking . . .
not to mention the superb wines awaiting us in the lovely tasting room. The property is on one of the oldest grape-growing regions in California – established in 1867 by John and George Jarvis, after whom Jarvis Road is named and where Vine Hill now sits.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is excellent, and well worth going to see. Don’t forget your wine.
Call Vine Hill Winery (2300 Jarvis Road, Santa Cruz Mountains) at 427-0436 or visit winesofvinehill.com . Visit the winery at numerous Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association events.
Wine Competition Winners:
At the Santa Cruz Mountains Commercial Wine Competition held this month, at which event I was a judge, Vine Hill Winery won a silver medal for this 2008 Chardonnay. They also won a silver medal for their 2007 Zinfandel Gatos Locos, and two bronze medals for their 2007 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains and their 2008 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains. The best of show winner was Hallcrest Vineyards with a 2005 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains.
At the recent San Francisco Wine Competition, Storrs Winery won Best of Show for their new 2007 Central Coast Grenache.
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