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Soquel Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008

wine_grapesSoquel Vineyards is one of the primo wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. Owners Peter and Paul Bargetto, along with their partner Jon Morgan, deserve many congratulations for recent awards. The Partners’ Reserve 2008 Pinot (Santa Cruz Mountains Lester Family Vineyard) won a gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle wine competition, as did their 2007 and 2006 Pinots. Check the website for Soquel Vineyards’ full range of wines and awards. They have won a multitude of gold and silver medals at various competitions.

Soquel Vineyards’ winemakers, from start to finish, use the best of everything. and that doesn’t mean just the grapes. The barrels play a huge role, too. Made from 100 percent French oak, expert coopers age them for three years, inducing layers of flavor such as vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate and toffee, which, of course, greatly influences the taste and aroma of the wine. And it’s always such a pleasure to visit Soquel Vineyards’ tasting room. It’s set in the most beautiful spot, and you will always get a warm welcome.

I attended a reception recently at Lester Family Vineyards in Aptos, where the award-winning Pinot Noir grapes are grown for Soquel Vineyards, and I almost swooned over my glass of 2008 Pinot. (Pinot can do that to you.) It’s richly textured, full-bodied and absolutely bursting with luscious dark fruit. Notes of spice and leather are also detectable in this elegant, earthy nectar. It’s the sort of wine that gives you a satisfying glow, just from the sheer pleasure of drinking it.

Dan and Pat Lester are justly proud of their vineyards and they love to showcase the wines produced from their carefully tended grapes. At the reception, their son-in-law Steve Johnson, who is married to their daughter Lori, asked me to try Soquel Vineyards’ Chardonnay as well-produced from the family’s vineyards. It’s so incredibly delicious that more of this varietal will be planted soon on the Lester property. But more on the Chardonnay another time …


Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Road, Soquel, 462-9045, soquelvineyards.com. The tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Pinot Noir sells for $40 and it’s available from the winery, Vinocruz and many local stores.


Wine Events
Windy Oaks Winery will feature their excellent wines at a special dinner at Au Midi—the splendid French restaurant in Aptos—on Wednesday, June 23. Reservations must be made in advance and the cost is $120 per person. Check out the menu online. Au Midi, 7960 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 685-2600. aumidi.com.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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