Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Dec 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery

dining_alfaroPinot Noir 2008
A good friend of mine who I don’t see very often—he lives in Philadelphia—came to visit me for the day, along with a friend who he was staying with in San Francisco. This was my golden opportunity to take them around and show them a little of Santa Cruz in the short space of time we had.

I took them straight to a local winery for a tasting—one of the few open on a Wednesday—as I wanted them to try at least a small selection of our superb local wines before they had to head back north.

Both of these guys were starving, so lunch was next. We were fortunate that day to have perfectly warm and wonderful fall weather, so I take them straight to Hoffman’s in Downtown Santa Cruz, where the food is always good, there’s a lovely outdoor patio to soak up the warm sun, and it’s a good spot for out-of-towners to experience.

Since both my friends are lovers of red wine, I order a bottle of Alfaro Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains (about $35 at Hoffman’s), as I knew this would be a safe bet. Richard Alfaro, winemaker extraordinaire, does not cut corners when he makes his famous Pinot. The grapes are grown on his estate, and the wine is produced and bottled there as well. Aged for 17 months in French oak barrels, this deep ruby Pinot is unfined, unfiltered–and exploding with fabulous flavors of raspberry, spiced plums and vanilla. Fining wine means adding dining_wine something to the wine that will draw out particles and tannins; and filtering wine is literally passing the wine through a filter to remove impurities. Many prefer unfined, unfiltered wine as it usually makes for a richer mouthfeel.

Our three plates of food arrive–two of pasta and a mushroom sandwich for my vegan friend–and we all have a fine time eating the wonderful food and polishing off the rest of the Pinot. After reviving with some splendid cappuccino at Hoffman’s, and stopping for locally- made organic ice cream at Mission Hill Creamery on Front Street, we all go down to the Municipal Wharf to check out the sea lions.

Alfaro Family Vineyards, 420 Hames Road, Corralitos. Tel. 728-5172. alfarowine.com. Open Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.


Wine Events:
Cava Wine Bar in Capitola village is putting on a New Year’s Eve bash with a hosted bar and with hourly toasts of bubbly across the time zones. It’s expected to sell out, so get your tickets early ($60). Cava Wine Bar, 115 San Jose Ave., Capitola, 476-2282. cavacapitola.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

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.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire