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Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

wine glassThis vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.

Full of bright aromas of strawberries, watermelon and a smidgen of apricot, the Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2013 (around $20) has an enticing fragrant nose to appreciate before you get to the first lovely taste of bright fruit flavors. Crisp and dry, it’s a refreshing delight on a summer’s day—and it’s perfect to pair with picnic fare and appetizers.

But this is no limp wine. It has enough body to hold its own with hardier foods as well, and this is certainly what winemaker Ed Muns had in mind when extracting the juice from his big bold Pinot Noir grapes. Muns and partner Mary Lindsay are producing some excellent wines on their sky-high property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. At 2,600 feet, its elevation on the Loma Prieta ridge catches both maritime breezes and the right amount of sunshine. Muns first planted his Pinot Noir vineyard in 1998 and has garnered a wealth of experience since his very first crush.

I took a bottle of this Rosé to share with friends at a birthday gathering at Seascape Beach Resort (corkage is $18) and everybody loved it. With a sparkling ocean as our backdrop, sitting outside on the resort’s beautiful patio could not have been better as we shared little plates of pizzas and quesadillas. It’s a perfect spot for munchies when you don’t need a full meal.

Ed Muns and Mary Lindsay will be pouring at Vinocruz on First Friday, Aug. 1, a good opportunity to check out displayed artwork and Muns Vineyard wines at the same time. Vinocruz is at 725 Front St., Santa Cruz. For more information on Muns Vineyard visit munsvinyard.com or call 408-515-2663.

New Tasting Room in Aptos Village

Those who have been following the progress of expert winemaker Brandon Armitage will be pleased to know that Armitage Wines has just opened a tasting room in Aptos Village, next to Starbucks. Visit the new tasting room and try his award-winning Pinots (Armitage’s focus) and impressive Chardonnay, produced in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 105c Post Office Drive, Aptos, 706-6601. Tasting room hours are 2-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Armitagewines.com.

Holman Ranch Wins Gold and Silver Medals

From more than 2,700 entries of wines from around the United States and around the world, Carmel Valley’s Holman Ranch Vineyard and Winery won a gold medal for its 2011 Chardonnay and two silvers for its Pinot Noir 2010 and Hunter’s Cuvee 2010 in Sunset magazine’s International Wine Competition. Head to Carmel Valley for a tasting. holmanranch.com.

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