Wine! Wine! Wine! (with no whine)

17 Oct

Sometimes Greg and I can be slugs . . . by which I mean that we’d rather slug around the house than put any effort into our social lives.  Being content with your life can hold you back.

So, when my friend, Brenda, suggested we do a wine tasting tour together, I jumped at the chance.  We met at Cabrillo College where we and 7 other folks were loaded into a van and took off for a day or learning and tasting. I love wine and I’ve learned a little bit just from living in California and drinking better and better wine but I was really looking forward to learning something about wine.

Regale Winery tasting area

Our first stop was Regale Winery and Vineyards.  This is an absolutely beautiful winery on Old San Jose Road up in the Summit Region of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  They are a new winery and I really liked their wines.  We got to walk into their vines and learn something about wine making and the kinds of things that can make a difference in how wine tastes

I have never been a fan of Chardonnay (or even most white wines, really) but I was pleasantly surprised by a taste test we did.  The class leader opened two bottles of chard — one from California and one from France.  Turns out that I’m not a big fan of California chardonnay but I liked the French one quite a bit.  There are some processes that are used in making wine that produce different flavors.  I prefer a Chardonnay that doesn’t use the Malolactic process.  The French wine had a lighter, sweeter flavor that I much prefer.

Brenda holding the Barbera I bought - YUM

I bought this lovely Barbera  — it was really yummy.  I’m planning to serve it with a great homemade lasagna.  YUM!  Brenda is modeling it for us so that we could taunt Greg with all the fun we were having!

Byington Winery

Next we headed to Byington Vineyard.  It’s another beautiful Santa Cruz winery.  We drive by this one all the time . . . it’s on Bear Creek Road.  We’ve never stopped there.  It was really great.  We took the tour of the vineyard and the wine making area.

Byington's Cave, Brenda Holmes

Here’s Brenda checking out the barrels in the cellar area.

Poetic Cellars

Our last stop was at Poetic Cellars.  This is a tiny winery and a family affair.   The winemaker, Katy Lovell,  was pouring for us.  Her husband writes poems for each wine and then their son sets them to music.  There we were tasting their wines while being serenaded by these gentlemen.  Meanwhile, outside, the winemaker had started up equipment and was backing up the forklift.  It was quite a moment.  She gave us a chance to see some of the work behind the making of delicious wines.  We got to punch down the wine that was starting to ferment.  We got to watch her run a batch of grapes through the crusher/destemmer. It was all very cool!

Poetic winemaker at work

I learned a lot about wines and winemaking.  The tour was through The Santa Cruz Experience.  They do wine-tasting trips and I would totally recommend their services.  I was definitely a little tipsy after all that tasting . . . to have someone else do the driving is a REALLY good idea!

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