Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 17th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Hallcrest Vineyards

dining hillcrestPinot Noir 2009

One of my favorite wine-related events of the year is Pinot Paradise, which takes place every March at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. It’s a day when Pinot lovers come out in full force to enjoy the fruit of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Close to 40 wineries participated this year—ranging from Woodside in the north of the appellation to Gilroy in the south. About a dozen restaurants provided much-needed fodder to soak up the Pinot—and a couple of fine chocolate makers (Monterey Chocolate Company, and Chocolate Visions, based in Scotts Valley) offered some very welcome sweet morsels.

One of the wines I tasted which really caught my attention was Hallcrest Vineyards’ 2009 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, Vista Del Mar Vineyard ($48). Bursting at the seams with flavor, this is a Pinot to be reckoned with. I was glad to see winery owner John Schumacher to let him know how impressed I was with the two Pinots he was pouring that day—the other was a 2011 Barrel Select, Santa Cruz Mountains, a really beautiful wine that was just is stunning as the ’09. 

Located in Scotts Valley, Hallcrest’s estate Vista Del Mar vineyard consistently produces a robust, full-bodied wine—and this luscious ’09 Pinot has strong fruit on the nose—and with full fruit flavors of bright cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Schumacher suggests you let this wine breathe a bit for full, forward flavors and a well-balanced finish.

Hallcrest has a beautiful tasting room and is surrounded by a lush English-style garden—the perfect spot for taking a picnic, which you are welcome to do, and for tasting more of Schumacher’s wines. 

Hallcrest Vineyards/Organic Wine Works, 379 Felton Empire Road, Felton, 335-4441. Open daily noon to 5 p.m. from spring to fall. Tasting fee: $7.


Surf City Wine University

The fun series of Wine University put on by Surf City Vintners continues from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Steve Storrs of Storrs Winery will be talking about Chardonnay of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and participants will learn about different Chardonnay clones and much more. Individual classes are $30 each, or $25 if you’re a member of any of the Surf City wineries. Visit for more information, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (408) 234-2079.

Vinocruz Wine-Tasting Events
Vinocruz continues with its wine-tasting events from 2-5 p.m. on certain Saturdays. The tasting fee of $10 is waived with a bottle purchase. April 13 features Pelican Ranch Winery and April 27 Sones Cellars will be pouring. Don’t miss May 3 when Vinocruz participates in the First Friday Art Tour. Vinocruz, 725 Front St., Santa Cruz, 426-8466.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.