Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Pelican Ranch Winery 2008 Chardonnay

wine-plcnPelican Ranch Winery makes a good Chardonnay. After all, the owner and winemaker, Phil Crews, is a professor of chemistry at UC Santa Cruz, so he certainly knows a thing or two about blending and fermenting—be it wine or chemicals.

This particular Chardonnay, a 2008 Los Carneros Napa Valley, Mitsuko’s Vineyard—is really luscious. Phil professes he made it to be “bold and delicious”—and he’s succeeded. Some Chardonnays are crisp and light, but this one is more complex with heavy fruit, toasty oak, vanilla and butterscotch from the full malolactic secondary fermentation. Notes of ripe pear and apple are in there also, with a hint of vanilla. All in all, it’s a lovely Chardonnay, which would pair well with almost anything. Certainly the “toasty oak” in the wine is not overwhelming, which can really detract from the refreshing flavors of a good Chardonnay.

Pelican Ranch wines are pretty easy to find. I bought this particular bottle at Deluxe Foods of Aptos for $23, but you can find them at most good stores and at many of our local wine bars.

Phil and his wife Peggy are the most gracious of hosts. If you visit them at their tasting room, Phil will happily bend your ear on absolutely anything and everything to do with wine. He’s a walking encyclopedia about the trials and tribulations of winemaking. I once took a group of friends to Pelican Ranch for an evening of wine tasting, which also included some splendid food made by Peggy. Phil, being his usual ebullient self, told us more than we ever need to know about the nuances of winemaking, but it was enormously entertaining, enlightening and fun.

Phil also makes Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Syrah and Trois Amis Rouge (the reds); and, as well as Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Viognier and Trois Amis Blanc (the whites). Pelican Ranch is a small winery, but produces some outstanding wines. It’s what I would call quality over quantity.
Pelican Ranch Winery, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-6911. Open for wine tasting and sales Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Wine Events: Holiday Wine & Tree Trail

As the holidays rapidly approach, it’s time to start thinking about a festive tree. Some of our local wineries have got together and have come up with the splendid idea of a holiday wine and tree trail. Select a holiday tree at one of the local tree farms, including Radonich Ranch, Summit Tree Farm, Frosty’s Tree Farm and Patchen Christmas Tree Farm, then head to the participating wineries for great local wine and unique gift ideas. Also, you’ll receive one free ornament per winery to hang on your tree with a purchase of wine. Summit Store is right there on the trail if you get a bit hungry along the way. Participating wineries are: Burrell School, Hunter Hill, Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars, Regale and Vine Hill. This event runs until Dec. 24. Info: (408) 395-0965.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location