Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
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Pat Paulsen Vineyards

dining paulOdyssey 2010—take a wine journey with Monty Paulsen

I would say a winery has reached the dizzy heights of fame when its wine has been served in the White House. But all that was some time ago when the winery was owned and run by Pat Paulsen. As many of you will remember, Paulsen, who died in 1997, was a celebrity comedian and regularly featured on the Smothers Brothers TV shows. He might be even better known for running for president of the United States—albeit rather tongue-in-cheek attempts.

Although Pat Paulsen’s winery closed in the early 1990s, Pat’s son Monty always had an interest in wine—he’s a graduate of the UC Davis School of Winemaking—and some 20 years later decided to continue the tradition of producing outstanding wines “of great value of serious quality.”

With affordable target shelf prices of $18-$30, Monty has set out to continue the fine tradition of winemaking that his father initially began. He has also formed special partnerships with other wineries and showcases “the talents of the person who helped bring certain wines to life.”

I got together with Monty Paulsen recently for a tasting of some of his wines. I especially loved his Odyssey Reserve ($26), “a robust red blend to knock your socks off.” Several varietals went into the blend, although the label doesn’t say which ones. Paulsen prefers the wine to speak for itself.

Through Dennis Walker and Walkerman Enterprises marketing group, Paulsen is introducing his wines to the Santa Cruz area. They can now be found at New Leaf Community Markets; Palm Deli, and Pixie Deli (both in Aptos); The Reef Bar; Crown Café & Catering; and Staff of Life (coming soon). Pat Paulsen Vineyards, 1909 North Kelly Road, Napa. (415) 902-4013.

Love Apple Farms holds Brassica Farm Dinner on April 6

The brassica plant family includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and mustards. If you love all these healthy greens, then head to Cynthia Sandberg’s beautiful farm on Saturday, April 6 for yet another multi-course “locavore” feast—featuring Chef Breana Greene. Love Apple will be pouring its own private-label wine – a Viognier and a Bordeaux blend. Visit

Meet the Winemaker: The Surf City Vintners complex on the Westside is starting a series of Meet the Winemaker events on the first Saturday of each month—the first one being noon to 5 p.m. on March 2 with Jerold O’Brien of Silver Mountain Vineyards. Each featured winemaker will be at his winery/tasting room for you to talk to. Silver Mountain Vineyards, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 466-0559.

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