Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
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Bernardus Winery

wine glassSauvignon Blanc 2012

If you have not visited the tasting room of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley, then you are in for a treat.

The wines are good, the staff knowledgeable and friendly and there’s an outdoor patio where you can relax and enjoy the experience. It’s good to know in advance that Bernardus now charges $12 per person for a tasting, which is refundable if you spend $75.

On my last visit there, I enjoyed a Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Monterey County ($18). It’s a composition of 67 percent Griva Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, 26 percent San Saba Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, and 7 percent Griva Vineyard Semillon – the latter golden-skinned grape adding a little touch of sweetness. Vibrant aromas of ripe peach, tropical fruits and grapefruit add to the lovely rich flavors of lime, grapefruit and gooseberry. It’s a wonderful wine to open up on a warm summer’s evening, so you have plenty of time to head to Carmel and try some.

Winery owner Benardus (Ben) Pon appreciates wine as an art. It is his goal “to create wines from the promising viticulture of Carmel Valley that will rival in style and quality the finest traditional wines.” Ben Pon (a Dutchman) is not only a successful entrepreneur, but also a visionary, having created a winery and lodge unparalleled in the Monterey Bay. Interestingly, he is also an accomplished sportsman. He competed in the 1972 Olympics in skeet shooting, and was a race car driver for Porsche. Together with winemaker Dean De Korth, Pon is creating some truly fabulous red and white wines at Bernardus Winery. As the phrase on a bottle of red says, “Taste A Dream.”

Bernardus Winery, 5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 298.8021. Toll free: 800.223.2533. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a $12 tasting fee, which is refundable with a purchase of $75 or more.

SunRidge Farms Coco Mango Pomegranate Chews

I discovered these little heavenly bites at Aptos Natural Foods recently—they’re a new addition to the wide range of produce made by local company SunRidge Farms. I looked them up online, and the good news is that they’re low in sodium, a good source of manganese, magnesium and copper, zero trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives, nothing artificial, minimally refined sweeteners and they’re organic. They’re sold loose at AJ’s Market, Aptos Natural Foods, Deluxe Foods, and the Food Bin. You’ll see what I mean when you bite into one.

Chaminade Farm-to-Table Dinners

Chaminade’s splendid farm-to-table dinners are held on the resort’s beautiful outdoor terrace—a gourmet delight pairing local farm produce with local wines. The first one is coming up on Friday, June 6 featuring Black Hen Farms, and tickets are $80 plus tax and gratuity. The dinner price includes a five-course dinner and farm goody bag. Visit for more info.

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