Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
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Burrell School Vineyards

wine redCabernet Franc 2008

Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite wines, and Burrell School makes a good one. The 2008 Cab Franc ($30) is a beautiful wine—made from estate grapes grown in Pichon Vineyard located on Mount Umunhum above Lexington Reservoir. With its aromas of green tea, tobacco and raspberry and lots of big fruit flavors in the mouth, this smooth wine takes Cab Franc to another level.

Along with his wife Anne, winemaker Dave Moulton started in the wine business back in the ’70s, so to say he has a ton of experience under his belt would be an understatement. I see him often at wine events—always cutting a notable figure in brightly colored pants and snazzy jackets. He’s an ebullient, forthright character—and his personality reflects in his wine, too. He makes big bold wines that are not for the weak-kneed.

Right now, Burrell School is having a sale on some of its wines, including a four-pack sampler of Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Syrah for $79—regularly $134. What a deal! If you have never visited their lovely tasting room, complete with sweeping views of their vineyards, you have a treat in store.

Burrell School will be pouring their wines at the last of the Farm to Table dinner series at Chaminade on Oct. 11 featuring a Field to Feast dinner with Route 1 Farms and Summit to Sea Wineries. Visit for more information. Burrell School Vineyards & Winery, 24060 Summit Road, Los Gatos, (408) 353-6290. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Organic Wine Trail Celebrates California Wine Month in September

In recognition of September as California Wine Month, wine lovers who want to learn more about sustainable and organic practices in the vineyard can visit the wineries on the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The three wineries on the trail, all with vineyards certified by the CCOF, will celebrate California Wine Month with vineyard tours and wine tastings each weekend during the month. The three wineries are: Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards in Saratoga; Silver Mountain Vineyards on Summit Road; Alfaro Family Vineyards in Corralitos. For cost and information visit

Chinatown’s Poorly Treated Animals

A friend and I went to a symphony concert in San Francisco recently and stayed overnight in a hotel on Union Square. After breakfast the next morning we took a long walk around Chinatown to visit food markets. It was disturbing to see so many live animals cooped up waiting to be purchased for meals –handsome turtles, princely frogs, and beautiful birds of all shapes and sizes piled on top of each other, hardly able to breathe; and fish kept in dirty shallow water, gasping for air. Animals deserve better treatment than this.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


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.


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