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Pleasant Valley Vineyards

wine glassPinot Noir Dylan David Reserve 2009

By Josie Cowden When I visited Lester Family Vineyards not that long ago for a wine event featuring Pleasant Valley Vineyards wines from grapes grown on the Lester property, I was absolutely bowled over with the 2009 Dylan David Pinot, Lester Family Vineyards Willa Louise Block. Handcrafted from nurtured vines of French Dijon clone 667, this is a Pinot to be reckoned with.

Winemaker Craig Handley reveals his magic touch with the superb quality of his wines. Part of that magic is because he always uses the finest grapes, and the supreme fruit grown in Dan Lester’s vineyards most certainly falls into that category.

The sensuous aromas of this ’09 Pinot ($60) are heavy with red fruit—strawberries and cherries in particular—and characteristic earthiness. More strawberries and cherries appear in the flavor, with layers of caramel, smoke, spice and vanilla. Aged in Seguin Moreau Grand Cru French oak barrels, this unfiltered and unfined wine is simply supberb.

Pleasant Valley Vineyards will be doing an Irish Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. on March 15 to celebrate the release of their 2011 Sean Boyle Syrah. Check their website for more information.  Pleasant Valley Vineyards, 600 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 288-0074. Pvvines.com. The tasting room is open from noon to 4 p.m. most Saturdays from April to September, but call ahead to check. The tasting fee is from$ 10-$15.


 

Marilyn Monroe Spa Opens in Hyatt Monterey
I love to treat myself to a spa session now and again—a relaxing massage can do wonders to ease the stresses of day-to-day life. When I heard about the new Marilyn Monroe Spa in the Hyatt Monterey Hotel, I had to give it a whirl, and it’s a wonderful experience. Everything has been re-done inside the spa and all the amenities are top-notch. Fabulous pictures of Marilyn Monroe adorn the walls, and there’s even a line of Marilyn Monroe Spas skincare, hair care, makeup, lips and nail products. I ended my afternoon at the spa by being invited to share champagne, brought in from the hotel’s bar, with a group of women from the nearby Laguna Seca Race Track. Around 10 of them were enjoying time off work with an afternoon at the spa. Life can be so good. Marilyn Monroe Spa in the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel, 1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 831-657-6734. Monterey.hyatt.com.

Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook
Shadowbrook Restaurant continues with its Winemaker Wednesdays until the end of May. From 5-8 p.m. a different winemaker each week pours flights of their featured wine in the bar for you to sample. Cost is around $13 and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres. March 12 features Odonata Wines, March 19 is Villa Del Monte, and March 26 is Bonny Doon Vineyard. Visit shadowbrook-capitola.com for more information.

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Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

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