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Trout Gulch Vineyards

wine glassCinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne

The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, and is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon and France. Trout Gulch’s owner and winemaker Gerry Turgeon gets his grapes from the San Lucas Vineyard in Southern Monterey County, where, he says, the temperatures can easily vary up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit daily.

Now that spring is here, it’s time to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and taste some good local wines. And with Passover, Orthodox, Coptic and Catholic Easter all falling in the same week this year, there is much to celebrate. 

Turgeon recommends pairing this wine with chicken or pork kebabs, grilled vegetables or some good outdoor barbecue—as well as paella, ratatouille, and salad niçoise.


Trout Gulch Vineyards, 427-C Swift St., Santa Cruz, 471-2705.
troutgulchvineyards.com. Open for the Vintners’ Festival, Passport Day and for special events. Equinox Wines is also at 427 Swift St. where Turgeon is sharing a space on Passport Day.

Passport Day: Saturday, April 19
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

Summit to Sea Wineries Event on Passport Day
Also on Passport Day, wineries that belong to the Summit to Sea group will feature jellybean-and-wine pairing to celebrate Easter that same weekend. The following wineries belong to Summit to Sea: Regale, Silver Mountain, MJA, Burrell School, Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars, Villa del Monte and the Summit Store. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 19. Visit summittoseawinetrail.com for more info.

Easter Day Brunch at Chaminade
Chaminade is putting on an Easter brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 20—complete with Easter egg hunts at varying times for kids. Cost is $50.95 for adults, $17.95 for children 6-12 years old, and children under 6 are free. Visit chaminade.com for more information.

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