.A Stellar, Bright Chardonnay 2017 from Sarah’s Vineyard

One of the best Chardonnays I ever tasted was made by Sarah’s Vineyard—and they continue to do a stellar job with all their wines. The 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($36) is a sure-fire hit. Grapes are harvested from the Bruzzone vineyard in Santa Cruz, resulting in a wine of bright acidity with “a light touch of oak.” Gorgeous notes of tropical fruit, citrus and flowers intermingle with aromas of pineapple, pear, honeysuckle and a smidgeon of almond.

Proprietor Tim Slater also makes estate Chardonnay as well as an abundance of other fine wines. His Grenache Blanc, with its “zingy tropical fruit characters,” is another good wine to keep on hand. There are tasting room exclusives, too. A six-pack of summer whites is $150—not a bad deal for half a dozen superb wines.

Sarah’s Vineyard has now opened up a patio area for tastings. Reservations can be made Thursdays through Sundays for up to six people from the same household. And you are welcome to bring your own picnic or purchase snacks for their menu. Table reservations are for a 90-minute window, with three seatings available. And check out the recipes that Slater and his wife Megan have posted on their website. You might get some inspiration for what to pair with Slater’s Chardonnay.

Sarah’s Vineyard, 4005 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy. 408-847-1947. sarahsvineyard.com.

Atoria’s Family Bakery

Atoria’s Family Bakery in Gilroy—their vegan facility is based just over Hecker Pass—makes a delicious assortment of naan, pita and lavash. Lavash is a thin, soft and pliable ancient flatbread which keeps in the refrigerator or stores for months in the freezer. Made with healthy ingredients and low in calories, it comes in plain, whole grain and flax, spinach, or garlic and herb. And the new cauliflower and coconut mini lavash is now my favorite. Try Atoria’s pita bread and naan—ideal for adding pizzazz to a sandwich or using as pizza dough. Atoria bakes “clean bread with simple ingredients.” Available at local stores, or buy online.

Atoria’s Family Bakery, Gilroy. 800-634-5502. atoriasfamilybakery.com.


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