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Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2011

Wine ChardonnayLocated in the northern region of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Lucia Highlands Vineyard is in a prime grape-growing region. Its proximity to the cool maritime influences of the Monterey Bay allows the fruit to ripen slowly, producing a luscious Chardonnay with intense tropical fruit flavors.

Winemakers Carol and Bret Sisney, who also grow grapes in their vineyards for other wineries, carefully harvest their fruit, gently press it and barrel ferment it in tight-grain French oak—softening the acidity and creating a round buttery character. The 2011 Chardonnay ($20) is rich and elegant with concentrated layers of apple, ripe pear and pineapple—with a hint of caramel from oak aging. The Sisneys recommend pairing this wine with grilled chicken, pork, or pasta dishes.

Lucia Highlands wine is available in local stores such as The Fish Lady in Soquel and Deluxe Foods of Aptos. It is also sold in local restaurants Bittersweet Bistro in Aptos, Stockton Bridge Grille and Britannia Arms in Capitola, as well as Rootstock Wine Bar in Los Gatos. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to purchase this wine for $150 a case. Locally it can be delivered free of charge, or $25 elsewhere in California. Visit luciahighlands.com.

McIntyre Vineyards Celebrates Harvest
McIntyre Vineyards presents their first annual Harvest Soiree from 2-6 p.m. on Sat, Sept. 28 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. The party features “Vinifera Roulette: Name That Grape!” a grape contest with fresh-from-the vine grape tastings, prizes, delicious food, wine specials, bocce ball and merriment. Tickets are $30 per person, and are complimentary for McIntyre Wine Club members. McIntyre Vineyards is based in Monterey and has a “tasting studio” in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Monterey. Visit mcintyrevineyards.com for more information.

Villa del Monte Winery
I ran into Joyce and Neil Perrelli recently at a party. They tell me their new wines are “absolutely spectacular,” so I’m taking their word for it and heading to their Villa del Monte Winery to taste them soon. Meantime, you have an opportunity to taste for yourselves from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 & 29 (they are not open every weekend). Wine tastings are $5 per person, refundable with purchase. 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 888-788-4583 (toll free). Villadelmontewinery.com.

Galante Vineyards
I wrote about Galante wines in my last week’s column (GT 9/19). Their wine rep Bob Marsh contacted me to let me know that Galante wines are available in 515 Kitchen & Cocktails; Sawasdee on Beach Street; Booka Restaurant & Bar in Aptos, Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant in Aptos; Soif on Walnut Avenue in Santa Cruz. Whole Foods in Santa Cruz also carries it. Visit Galantevineyards.com for more information.

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