Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 13th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Fernwood Cellars

dining_fernwoodChardonnay 2008

Who doesn’t love a good Chardonnay? It’s one of those wines that if you don’t know what to order, then Chardonnay is a pretty good bet. It’s a wine that’s on every restaurant’s white wine list—and, from the many inferior Chardonnays out there, when you get a good one, it stands out in a crowd.

Fernwood Cellars’ 2008 estate-grown Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains, Vanumanutagi (try saying that when you’ve had a few glasses!) Vineyard, sells for $30 a bottle, but it’s worth every penny. Swirl the wine around the glass and inhale the distinct floral aromas of this beautiful wine.

Take a sip and savor the lush, tropical fruit tones and enjoy the overall sensation. Not surprisingly, this wine won a silver medal in last year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) Commercial Wine Competition.

The Vanumanutagi Vineyard has quite a bit of history behind it. It once belonged to Fanny Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson’s widow, and now, several owners later, belongs to Leonard Ware, whose family planted the Vanumanutagi Vineyard and who are the caretakers of the property.

Winemaker and president of Fernwood Cellars, Matt Oetinger, firmly believes that in making great wine there can be no compromises. “My approach has always been about staying in control at every step to produce a product that is exceptional at every sip,” he says. His dedication to his craft shows in every bottle he produces. dining_fern

Oetinger also makes other fine wines including Riesling, Rose, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mirepoix—a French culinary word (pronounced mihr-pwah) for a mixture of veggies used to season sauces and soups, but, in this case, a mixture of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The Petit Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon also won silver medals in the SCMWA wine competition, and the Riesling got a bronze.

My husband and I just returned from five weeks in Europe – visiting five countries and doing some wine tasting along the way, especially in the South of France. I certainly believe that our California Chardonnays, and most wines in general, are just as good as the French counterparts. I was in Germany for a week as well and drank a lot of German wine—mostly provided by our hosts—and we had some really good stuff. In England and Ireland, I stuck to beer.

Fernwood Cellars, 7137 Redwood Retreat Road, Gilroy, (408) 848-0611. Open by invitation only and for special events. Check the website for more information.

Wine Event

Premier Tasting featuring the new winery Mica Cellars and winemaker Mica Raas. 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 at Vinocruz, Downtown Santa Cruz on Abbott Square, off Cooper Street. Call 426-8466 or visit

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

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


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist