Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 19th
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Lucia Highlands

wine1Pinot Noir 2008

The story goes that the Spanish explorers named the area Lucia when they came to the area around the time of the feast day of St. Lucia, celebrated in December. And now we have something else to celebrate—Lucia Highlands’ wine.

I came across Lucia Highlands’ Pinot Noir at Seascape Sports Club at the Comerica Challenger tennis tournament in July in Aptos. Local winery owners Carol and Bret Sisney had donated a couple of cases for a function at the tournament—one of Pinot Noir and another of Chardonnay—the two wines they are making right now.

The Sisneys, with their partner Gary Filizetti, purchased the vineyard in 2001, and the first bottling that same year produced 120 cases of Chardonnay. Now, with the assistance of consulting winemaker Steve Passagno, the 2009 bottling produced 400 cases of Chardonnay and 600 cases of Pinot.

The vineyard’s proximity to the cool maritime influences of the Monterey Bay allows the fruit to ripen slowly, producing a Pinot with intense, up-front berry fruit flavors. Concentrated layers of cherry, currant and violets—with a hint of caramel from oak aging—give this estate-bottled wine delicious complexity. This is a superb wine to pair with Mediterranean cuisine, seafood, veal and pork – or simply enjoy it all by itself.wine2

Lucia Highlands wine is readily available in local stores such as The Fish Lady, Garden Liquor and Deli, K’s Liquors, Deluxe Foods of Aptos and Deer Park Wine & Spirits—and also sold in local restaurants Bittersweet Bistro and Stockton Bridge Grille.

Wine Events:

Gourmet Grazing on the Green – Saturday, Sept. 17

The Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group is putting on its eighth annual food and wine event in Aptos Village Park from noon to 4 p.m.—a benefit for local cancer support and research. More than 55 restaurants, wineries, breweries and others will be participating, so don’t miss the opportunity to graze and sip to the max. Buy your tickets online:

Pino Alto Restaurant

Students of the culinary program at Cabrillo College are back in class and ready to prepare you lunch or dinner in the beautiful Pino Alto Restaurant in the historic Sesnon House in Aptos. Food is often paired with fine local wines, and the cuisine is always well prepared and adventurous. Info: Pino Alto Restaurant at the Sesnon House, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 479-6524 or Cabrillo College website.

Vinocruz Hosts Two Wineries

Two Scotts Valley wineries, Heart O’ The Mountain and Bruzzone Family Vineyards will be pouring their wines at Vinocruz on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 3-5 p.m. Vinocruz, 725 Front St., Santa Cruz, 426-8466.

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