Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 17th
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Perrucci Family Vineyard

dining_merloMerlot 2004

The previous owners of Vinocruz were selling off most of their wine before heading to New York so I bought a few bottles to write about—and the Perrucci Merlot was one of them. As it happens, J-P Correa, co-owner of the wine shop, needn’t have rushed into getting rid of his inventory because the business eventually sold and we can now look forward to the whole wine shop being restocked with good local wines.

The 2004 Merlot is quite exceptional. Smooth, rich and full-bodied with hints of caramel, vanilla and dark berries, it fills the senses with its lovely complexities. It certainly aged well in the bottle. I would imagine that the 2004 is hard to come by now, but the good news is that this month sees the release of Perrucci’s 2009 Merlot. Both wines retail for around $25.

Brothers Andy and Greg Perrucci got into the winemaking business about 10 years ago, when they planted vines on their father’s estate in Los Gatos, and they haven’t looked back. Their production increases every year, but one thing always remains and that’s quality. They also make Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese—and a red table wine called Mescolanza—which means “mixture” in Italian, and sells for about $18. And for any budding winemakers out there, the Perruccis have a mobile bottling machine that’s available to bottle any wine you might be in the process of making.

Perrucci Family Vineyard, 15050 Kennedy Road, Los Gatos, (408) 356-7247.

Plus Upcoming Wine Events

Commercial Wine Competition Results

It’s always a delight for me to be one of the judges for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition. I tasted some very impressive wines again this year and was thrilled to see that some I had given high scores were awarded gold and silver medals. The full list of winners can be seen on the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association website— And a full showcase of wines can be viewed at the Santa Cruz County Fair from Sept. 13-18.

Wine d’Tours—New Wine Tour Company

There is a new wine tour company in town that has just started up called Wine d’Tours—run by Dana Sharma. The next wine tours are planned for Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 and will be visiting three excellent local wineries—Loma Prieta Winery, MJA Vineyards and Regale Winery & Vineyards. A discount is being offered through Labor Day of $75 per person, or $125 for two. Tours include all transportation, tasting fees and a light lunch. Info: 831-600-8916 or

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