Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 19th
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Vine and Dine: Cliff Lede Vineyards

dining cliffledevinyardsA wine to try in Napa: Sauvignon Blanc 2011

My stepdaughter and her husband, Julie and Chris, live in Walnut Creek, and my husband and I often go to stay with them in this beautiful part of California. Handily located close to Napa, the four of us went wine-tasting there recently—with a stop at Cliff Lede Vineyards’ tasting room for Julie and Chris to pick up their wine shipment. I particularly love Sauvignon Blanc, and Cliff Lede’s 2011 vintage is superbly crafted and absolutely delicious.

And at $23 a bottle, it’s very reasonably priced. I have visited this winery many times, so I’m very familiar with their high-end wines and the care they take in production. The fruit for this wine was hand-harvested before daybreak in order to retain the grapes’ flavors—and the end result is a mouthwatering melange of rich melon and lychee with aromas of pear, lime zest and apricot blossom. A little Muscadelle and Semillon (1 percent of each) are added to the 98 percent Sauvignon Blanc—imparting a vibrant acidity and finesse.

Cliff Lede Vineyards, 1473 Yountville Cross Road, Yountville, (707) 944-8642.

Original Sin Desserts & Catering at Soquel Vineyards
Tanya DeCell, who you may remember had a sweet little bakery/café at the end of 41st Avenue and Portola Drive, is now doing catering, including at some of our local wineries. What a blessing! I have often thought how good it would be to have some sustenance to go with the libations. Tasting wines for an hour or so can certainly build up one’s appetite. Now food prepared by DeCell is available for purchase—a small-plate tapas-style menu for $5 to $9 each. Sounds delicious! DeCell will be at Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Road, Soquel from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the second and fourth Saturday of every month until October, and May 11 is the next time. Visit

Annieglass Dinners—Celebrating 30 Years of Making Art for the Table
To celebrate 30 years of Annieglass, local glass artist Ann Morhauser will be holding a series of Platemaker Dinners throughout the summer. Morhauser is not only a renowned artist whose exceptional pieces of art glass are available nationally and internationally, but she also comes up with very innovative ideas—and this is one of them. Dinners will be held in the Annieglass warehouse in Watsonville—starting at 6 p.m. with a reception and tour of the facility, and followed by a sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. served on Annieglass dinnerware. Local artist and chef extraordinaire, Jim Denevan (, will be the first guest chef on May 23, and his cuisine will be paired with the wonderful wines of Storrs Winery ( Tickets are $125 and all dinners benefit Annieglass scholarships at Pajaro and Watsonvillve high schools, and the California College of the Arts. Visit for tickets and information.

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