Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 30th
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Galante Family Winery Kick Ass Cabernet 2009

wine redJack Galante wears a cowboy hat, boots and jeans, and looks every inch like he’s right off the range, which is not surprising since a cowboy theme features in everything his winery has to do with wine. I first met him at a wine-tasting event at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands last year, and we had a long chat about his winery and estate wines.

Galante is an affable guy who wants everybody to have fun when they visit his winery. He calls his wine club the “Galante Wine Gang” and his membership tiers “Foreman,” “Trail Boss” and “Wrangler” so I’m sure you get the picture. Wine club membership in the Wrangler category includes one complimentary ticket to the Annual Wine Gang Muster and barbecue at his ranch in the Carmel hills.

On a recent wine-tasting afternoon in Carmel Village, my husband and I stopped off at the Galante Vineyards tasting room—or Tasting Room and Western Emporium as it’s called, not ‘shie-ing’ away from the cowboy theme! I particularly loved the Kick Ass Cabernet 2009 ($14), which the label describes as “an untamed wine with the familiar smell of open range cooking and camp coffee.”

Interestingly, Galante’s great-grandfather, J.F. Devendorf, was the founder of the town of Carmel and built the Pine Inn and the aforementioned Highlands Inn. Jack Galante’s parents purchased a 700-acre cattle ranch in Carmel Valley and began growing grapes there in 1983. The estate is now recognized as one of the premier wine producers in Monterey and, indeed, in all of California.

So grab your Stetson, saddle up, and pay them a visit.

Galante Family Winery, Delores Street between Ocean Avenue and 7th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carmel, 831-624-3800. Hours: Friday 1-6 p.m., Saturday noon to 6 p.m., Sunday 1-6 p.m. Dogs welcome.


Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk

The Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk takes place from 1:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 in downtown and Old Town Los Gatos. Local merchants get to host different wineries in their stores, so not only is this an opportunity to taste many of our local Santa Cruz Mountains wines, but it’s also a chance to shop at the same time. Some of the participating stores are Black Cat Hats, Kismet Boutique, Napastyle, Inc., and the new SAMANA—where Testarossa Winery will be pouring—with its eclectic collection of furniture, lights and home-décor accents. Visit  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information and tickets.

Bargetto Winery’s Murder Mystery Dinner

This is an early heads up to get your tickets for Bargetto Winery’s Murder Mystery Dinner—set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. Tickets are $90 ($85 for wine club members) and include buffet dinner, wine, tax and gratuity. Call 475-2258 ext. 10 to make a reservation.

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