Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
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Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

wine glassSmooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.

Aromas of blackcurrant and creamy chocolate greet the nose, and the rich, ripe fruit that lies within, just waiting to be enjoyed. A recent wine tasting trip to Soquel’s Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery brought this wine to my attention—and now I’m bringing it to yours. Cab always pairs well with red meat, pastas, cheese and chocolate. This one is an excellent value at $20.

The winery owners Christine and Vann Slatter love to produce fine wines, and they love it even more when folks come into their tasting room to try them. Their property has evolved over the years into an absolutely gorgeous spread, and they host fun events and music on certain days. Hunter Hill also participates in a variety of off-site events, including Gourmet Grazing on the Green in Aptos Village Park on Sept. 27. Hunter Hill has also just signed up with guurgle, a website for searching out wineries, events and more.

Right now, the Slatters’ garden is bursting at the seams with homegrown veggies, so their tasting room is currently doubling as a farm stand of seasonal produce. I highly recommend the summer squash, which comes in brightly-colored varieties of all shapes and sizes. Also offered are farm-fresh eggs and jams of all kinds. Jewels, who is a pastry chef and “jammer,” has formed a small business called I’m in a Jam, and she and Christine pool their resources to make special jams with the addition of wine. Try the olallieberry with Hunter Hill’s Barbera, and the white peach with Chardonnay. It’s all good stuff.

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery is at 7099 Glen Haven Road, Soquel, 465-9294. Tasting room hours are Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brewing Up a Storm

My friend and I had a splendid little lunch at Discretion Brewing recently. Kudos to owner and “goodness advocate” Kathleen Genco for providing delicious brews—and to kitchen maestro Santos Majano, previously chef at Soif, for cooking up truly tasty grub.
Discretion Brewing is at 2703 41st Ave., Suite A, Soquel, 316-0662.

Fundraising Event

The Watsonville Winemakers’ Studios is hosting the second annual Berries & Bottles boutique winery showcase—a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank. Featured wineries include 37th Parallel, Bruzzone Family Vineyards, Bunter Spring, Dancing Creek Winery, Domenico, Myka Cellars, River Run Vintners, Roudon-Smith, Sante Arcangeli, Ser Wine Company and Wargin Wines. The event features tasting and bottle sales along with food vendors and featured artists—and complimentary strawberries. Berries & Bottles is at Watsonville Winemakers’ Studios, 18 Hangar Way, Suite C, Watsonville, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2. Tickets are $20/adv $30/door, and include a souvenir tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets. Details at

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