“Bottle Jack was founded on the idea of doing what we love and loving what we do,” says winemaker John Ritchey.
In partnership with his wife Katharine, their small family-run operation is turning out some very impressive wines. “It’s not our style to woo you with grandiose stories, fancy marketing lingo or extravagant terms of rare and exotic fruits, flavors or aromas,” Ritchey says. On the contrary, his wines are down to Earth and unpretentious.
The 2016 Firenze from Santa Clara Valley is one of my favorites. This luscious red is a blend of 71% Sangiovese, 25% Malbec, 2% Syrah, and 2% Merlot—a “super Tuscan blend,” Ritchey calls it. Laced with sour cherry, black raspberry, spiced plum, and cocoa, the Firenze ($30) has herbal notes of dill, oregano, tarragon, and tomato leaf. And the rich cherry pie mid-palate leaves a memorable fruity impression. It’s a bright and cheery wine to enjoy on any occasion.
Ritchey shares a tasting room with Silver Mountain Vineyards in the Swift Street Courtyard complex on Ingalls Street. How convenient to have an abundance of delicious wines to taste under one roof!
Ritchey is putting on a special event at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, for a Viognier seminar and tasting for $15 (RSVP required).
Bottle Jack Winery, 1088 La Madrona Drive (winery) and 402 Ingalls St. #29 (tasting room), Santa Cruz. 227-2288, bottlejackwines.com.
Forks Corks & Kegs
The first-annual Forks, Corks & Kegs festival promises to be a fun event in an even more fun location: the Kaiser Permanente Arena in downtown Santa Cruz. Presented by the Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce, look for local wineries, breweries, spirits, and restaurants serving up some tasty stuff. For more information on this June 1 event, visit santacruzchamber.org.
Muns Vineyard Tours
Ed Muns and Mary Lindsay are offering tours of their vineyard on June 2, 16 and 30. Enjoy springtime in their “vineyard in the sky” and dramatic views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay. Contact ma[email protected] or call 408-2342079 for reservations. Visit munsvineyard.com for more info.