.The First Chardonnay from the Revived Aptos Vineyard

Good wine and good food go hand in hand. My husband and I headed to Jack O’Neill’s at the Dream Inn to try the cuisine of Gus Trejo, the restaurant’s new executive chef. Toting our own bottle of Aptos Vineyard’s De Novo Chardonnay 2019 ($33), we arrived before sunset on a Friday evening.

Sitting under the huge tent erected outside the restaurant, we enjoyed our first sip of the 2019 Chardonnay, which paired perfectly with our ultra-fresh crab cakes—served with vibrant remoulade sauce and daikon radish. Trejo has added his own distinctive touch to the menu, enhancing dishes with innovative flair. His clam chowder is outstanding.

One of my favorite things to eat is salmon, and Trejo’s rendition of this anadromous fish was simply delicious. 

As our bottle of Chardonnay dwindled, we fortunately still had some left to enjoy with Trejo’s scrumptious dessert of lemon meringue—a winter citrus custard tart with fresh lemon pizzazz.

Aptos Vineyard was started by the late Judge John Marlo and his wife Patti Marlo in 1974. The winery is now owned and operated by Aptos locals James Baker and daughter-in-law Tina Cacace-Baker, who have revived this much-respected label. 

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“Our first Chardonnay bursts onto the stage with floral aromas and bright tropical fruits,” say the Bakers. Grapes are from respected Lester Family Vineyards in Corralitos.

With brilliant winemaker John Benedetti on board, we have many more of Aptos Vineyard’s well-made wine to look forward to.

Visit aptosvineyard.com for more info, or call 831-706-6098.

Soul Salad Grand Opening

After taking months to remodel the interior of a central spot in Aptos, husband and wife team Jeff Hickey and Leah DiBiccari are all set to open Soul Salad on March 18 (with a ribbon-cutting ceremony due for March 17 by the Aptos Chamber of Commerce). As the name implies, salads are the restaurant’s main focus—all freshly made and 100% organic.Soul Salad, 7957 Soquel Drive, Aptos. 831-708-2106, ap********@gm***.com.


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