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Feb 14th
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McHenry Vineyard & Wine Events

wine cheesePinot Noir 2010

The Friends of Hospice Oktoberfest is held on the first Sunday of October every year—a wonderful event that raises much-needed funds for Hospice of Santa Cruz County. As well as a silent auction, displaying all kinds of goods to bid on, there is also an outstanding live auction which includes trips, chefs’ dinners and more. Part of the silent auction includes a huge amount of wine, with hundreds of bottles to bid on and plenty of bargains to be had. Local wineries and others from farther afield are more than generous in donating.

One of the wines I bid on was McHenry Vineyard, a small family-owned winery in the Bonny Doon area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Pinot Noir 2010 Estate-bottled Swan Clone ($32) was mine to take home and try. And it was pure pleasure to taste such a well-made wine.

Aged for nearly two years in Francois Frères French oak barrels—according to the winemaker this “precious fruit” deserves the best cooperage—this is an exemplary Pinot. “In our 35 years of receiving the gift provided by our vines, the 2010 harvest was the best,” says winery owner Henry McHenry, an emeritus professor at UC Davis. “Its luscious aroma is beyond simple description or comparison.” This earthy “nectar of pleasure” is bursting with red fruit, vanilla, spice and caramel that fill the mouth with flavor.

McHenry Vineyard is open only on occasion, so this upcoming weekend will be your golden opportunity to visit. They are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 for Passport (see below) as part of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (scmwa.com) events.

McHenry Vineyard, 6821 Bonny Doon Road, Bonny Doon, 530-756-3202. Mchenryvineyard.com. Open for Vintners Festival and Passport Program. On scheduled tasting days, please call 831-471-2456. All McHenry wines can be ordered through Linda McHenry at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  


 

Passport Day: Saturday, Jan. 18
Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s the day when you can visit participating wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) and taste for free—providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $45 and can be purchased at any winery. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lago di Como Special Dinner with Vino Tabi
Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria is putting on a special six-course dinner with the featured wines of Vino Tabi. The event is at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 and the cost is $68 plus tax. Call 454-8257 or visit lagodicomoristorante.com for more information. The restaurant is located at 21490 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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