Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 18th
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Byington Vineyard & Winery

dining byington2010 Rosé Saignee

High in the Los Gatos hills and along the winding Bear Creek Road is Byington Winery. I have been there many times and always find it a pleasurable experience. The occasion this time was a picnic organized by a friend, which included wine tasting and a guided tour of the vineyard and very interesting cellar where events are held.

After dining on delicious sandwiches, spreads and dessert— enjoyed with wine purchased from the winery—about 15 of us set out on the tour. We tasted several excellent wines at various stages of the tour—ending with a last tasting in the cellar. Although Byington makes a large variety of different wines, I was particular impressed with a beautiful Rosé wine called Saignee. The elegant simplicity of this lovely pink wine—from their estate Pinot Noir grapes—is delightful. At $14, it is very reasonably priced. The term “Saignee” (“san-yay”) refers to the winemaking process of “bleeding off” a portion of juice after only a very short period of contact with the grape skins. The Rosé has a slightly floral strawberry nose and a wonderful fruity mouthfeel.

Byingon is a beautiful winery to visit. The estate boasts acres of stunning property and impressive vineyards. Weddings, corporate events and parties galore are held both outdoors and indoors. There are picnic tables, umbrellas, gas and charcoal grills for your use (bring your own tools), and there’s a bocce ball court as well. Picnic tables are available on a first come, first serve basis, but can be booked in advance for parties of 10 or more. To reserve your picnic table and to book your private tour and tasting, contact Meagan Clement at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Byington Vineyard & Winery, 21850 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos. (408) 354-1111. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting fee is $8.
Wine Events 

Ultimate Winemakers Dinner
The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association is putting on its annual Ultimate Winemakers Dinner at Shadowbrook Restaurant on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Around 20 winemakers offer exclusive tastes of their wines in the Rock Room Lounge and then join guests for dinner in the restaurant’s dining rooms. Cost: $105 all inclusive (meal, tax, wine and gratuity). Seats are going fast so to get yours contact SCMWA at 685-8463.

Greatest Showcase on Earth
The theme of this year’s annual business showcase, held every year in Capitola Mall, is “Go for the Green,” with dozens of local exhibitors giving out information and samples. After checking out the businesses, I always head for the Food & Wine Pavilion, where local restaurants and wineries offer tasty bites and libations to try. 3:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 at Capitola Mall, 1855 41st Ave., Capitola.
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