Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
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Hess Collection

dining_hessChardonnay 2008

A group of friends gathered recently at the Hollins House for dinner. As usual, food and service were excellent in this lovely restaurant. The extensive bar is a good spot to go for a cocktail – and you can always get some appetizers if a hunger pang or two kicks in.

I order a Hess Select Chardonnay 2008 Monterey to sip on before dinner (bottle $30, glass $8) and am delighted by this crisp and refreshing wine. Its vibrant tropical fruit flavors of pineapple, green apple and melon burst out of the glass.

I decide to stick with this Chard to have with my chicken entrée, and the wine’s fruit-forward flavors pair very well with my poulet in its tomato-based sauce.

Although the Hess estate is based in Napa, the Chardonnay grapes for this wine were harvested in the Monterey appellation, where the cooling fog and coastal breezes provide an ideal climate for growing. The tasting room in Napa is well worth a visit. Located in a historic stone winery constructed in 1903, you will not only taste some excellent wines, but also have free access to founder Donald Hess’ contemporary art museum.

The Hess Collection, 4411 Redwood Road, Napa. (707)255-1144. Hollins House Restaurant at Pasatiempo Golf Club, 20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz, 459-9177.

Pelican Ranch Winery

Correction: In a recent article I wrote about Pelican Ranch, I gave the wrong phone number for their new location at 102 Kennedy Drive, Capitola. The correct number is 426-6911.

Wine Events

Surf City Vintners is doing a series of wine classes called Surf City (Wine) University. The next three classes are: April 3 – Burgundian Varieties (Pinot Noir) with Jerold O’Brien of Silver Mountain Vineyards; April 17 – Iberian Varieties – with Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard; May 22 – Rhone Varieties with Jimmie Moore of Bonny Doon Vineyard. Info:

Loma Prieta Winery

Loma Prieta Winery is doing a “Sip for Schools” benefit for the Loma Prieta school system on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3 – and 50 percent of all wine sales that weekend will be donated to Loma Prieta Education Fund to benefit two schools. Not only does this winery make superb wines, its beautiful tasting room – sitting high on a hill – is well worth a visit.

Loma Prieta Winery, 26985 Loma Prieta Way, Los Gatos. (408) 353-2950.

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