.Alfaro’s 2020 Heirloom Clones Pinot Noir is a Palate Party

The complex flavors of the Watsonville winery’s Pinot Noir clones represent a deep understanding of winemaking as a science

Songs of praise go to the 2020 Heirloom Clones Pinot Noir. This magenta-red wine comes from four different estate sites overseen by winery owners Richard and Mary Katherine Alfaro, including two named after their children—Lindsay Paige Alfaro and Ryan Spencer Alfaro. “The clones used are Calera, Mt. Eden, Pommard, Martini and Swan,” the family says. With its deep aromas of licorice and flavors of black olives, cranberry and anise on the palate, this is a simply outstanding wine.

Growing up surrounded by lavish vines and watching his father make wine over the years, Ryan Alfaro jumped on the grape-industry bandwagon. Gaining knowledge and expertise along the way in the fine art of winemaking, he did a stellar job of producing the Heirloom Clones Pinot Noir ($38). Long may he reign! Visit Alfaro’s upbeat and welcoming tasting room to try the rest of their fine wines.

Alfaro Family Vineyard & Winery, 420 Hames Road, Watsonville, 831-728-5172. alfarowine.com.

British Pubs

I was in my homeland of England for three weeks in August. First, making a beeline to a local pub for some good British ale and a bag of crisps, I enjoyed a dry Camden Hells lager made by Camden Town Brewery—a London-based brewery founded in 2010. And then, later, I guzzled a hefty Tetley’s bitter beer, founded by Joshua Tetley in 1822 and made in Yorkshire, my home county. British pubs go back centuries. One of the oldest, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in Hertfordshire, dates back to 793.

According to legend, the Old Ferry Boat in St. Ives—located in the hamlet of Holywell and complete with a thatched roof—has been serving drinks since 560. Talking of all things old, we went to see the Jubilee Oak Table on display in Ely Cathedral. Made from a 5,000-year-old fossilized black oak tree in one complete piece of wood, it is 42 feet, 7 inches long—a sight to behold! 

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