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Apr 17th
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Holman Ranch Vineyards

Holman Ranch Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2010–and Fiesta Time in Carmel Valley

Tucked away in the beautiful hills of Carmel Valley, the Holman Ranch is a most amazing spread of property. It is home to stables, horse trails, a historic hacienda, olive groves and perfectly tended vineyards. Weddings, retreats, corporate and wine events are held in this bucolic spot, as well as the estate’s annual Fiesta de los Amigos every September, which is also a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Loma Prieta Winery

Loma Prieta Winery

Viognier 2010—Sweet Smell of Success

A trip to Loma Prieta Winery is well worth a visit. Situated at about 2,600 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is like being on top of the world—and the view of the Monterey Bay is spectacular. Loma Prieta’s wines are pretty spectacular, too, which makes it even more worthwhile to take a jaunt to their tasting room.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine

Wine and Dine and more ... 

Half Moon Bay Food & Wine Fare

Get away to the Oceano Hotel & Spa in Half Moon Bay, known for its beautiful views and great food, to an annual food and wine event organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011—A brand new release from Soquel’s Hunter Hill

I first tasted Hunter Hill’s Sauvignon Blanc at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival in September. On a particularly hot day for our neck of the woods, this was perhaps one of the lightest and most refreshing wines around, and I went back for another tasting.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Frederick William Cellars

Frederick William Cellars

Syrah 2009—A Beautiful Wine to Savor

Aptos resident Fred Scherrer is very involved in the wine business—both making it and marketing it, but it was a long path that led to that point. Scherrer so loved good wine and wanted to make it under his own label that he volunteered at Kathryn Kennedy Winery for two years, working with one of the best winemakers in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Marty Mathis. “Marty taught me to make wine and emphasized the key issues when doing so, and some common pitfalls to avoid,” says Scherrer.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Vine and Dine

Vine and Dine

 

Solaire Restaurant in the new Hotel Paradox  

I am so excited about the opening of Hotel Paradox. I was taken on a tour about two weeks before it officially opened by Executive Chef Ross McKee and Food & Beverage Outlets Supervisor Guy Freshwater and was greatly impressed. 

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Pierce Ranch Vineyards

Pierce Ranch Vineyards

Albariño 2009

Trying a lovely bottle of wine in a new restaurant is always high on my list of things to do. My husband and I spent a night in Carmel at the Hofsas House, a delightful boutique hotel about five minutes’ walk from the center of town, and as we were looking for an interesting place to eat, the hotel recommended Mundaka—an upbeat little tapas restaurant with a terrific vibe.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Soquel Vineyards

Soquel Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2010

We picked a good day to go on a wine-tasting trip to Soquel Vineyards. The winery had released their Estate Pinot Noir Partners’ Reserve 2010 ($40) that very day, and I immediately fell in love with it.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Poetic Cellars

Poetic Cellars

Cabernet Franc 2008 – A Lyrical Wine You Will Love  

Looking for a romantic wine—and with a romantic label to go with it? Poetic Cellars fits the bill. Poetic’s labels show a picture of two lovers embracing, and every back-of-the-bottle label carries a beautiful poem by Joseph Naegele—a partner and owner in the winery along with Katy Lovell. But the true poetry appears in the wine itself. Winemaker Lovell makes the kind of wine that reminds one of a sonnet—with an ode to a lover in each sip.

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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.
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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.