I set out some weeks ago to Bottle Jack’s tasting room on La Madrona Drive in Santa Cruz to try some of winemaker John Ritchey’s wines, especially his impressive 2017 Sierra Foothills Viognier which I had tasted at Cantine Winepub in Aptos. But I ended up with a bottle of his double-gold award-winning 2014 Syrah-Grenache and wrote about that instead. So now I’m finally writing about Ritchey’s Viognier ($25), which I found at his other tasting room on Ingalls Street, in a shared space with Silver Mountain Vineyards.
Aromas of tropical fruit and honeysuckle with flavors of pineapple, pear and citrus add enormous pizzazz to this delicious white wine—one of the best local Viogniers around. “It’s a medium-bodied white that is soft on the palate yet dangerously refreshing,” says Ritchey. All three places mentioned have this heavenly honeysuckle nectar, and the two tasting rooms carry all of the other Bottle Jack wines as well. You can also find the Viognier at these excellent local restaurants: Laili, West End Tap & Kitchen, and East End Gastropub.
Bottle Jack Cellars, 1088 La Madrona Drive, Santa Cruz, and 402 Ingalls St., Suite 29, Santa Cruz. 227-2288, bottlejackwines.com.
An Evening with Friends
Friends of Hospice is putting on a brand-new event at a splendid private estate in the hills of Corralitos. Many of you have been touched by the caring support given by Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and this is a benefit for them. The cost is only $75 per person and includes abundant appetizers, libations, live and silent auctions, and dancing under the stars to music by Extra Large. Wine has been donated by Soquel Vineyards, Muccigrosso, Bottle Jack, Pelican Ranch, Alfaro, Equinox, Bartolo, Burrell School, Wrights Station, and others. The event is from 4-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.
Visit hospicesantacruz.org for tickets and information.
The last of this year’s al fresco dinners will be Friday, Sept. 7, with Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery as the featured winery. Starting with passed hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. the event comes with lots of wine and a panoramic view of the Monterey Bay.
Visit Chaminade.com for reservations.