.Equinox Wine’s Celebration-Worthy Fiano Cuvée 2017

What would the Fourth of July be without a drop of celebratory bubbly! Equinox on the Westside makes some of the best sparkling wines this side of Champagne in France. It’s definitely a good time to treat yourselves to something special—and that would be Equinox’s 2017 Fiano Cuvée ($45), a sparkling wine par excellence.

Winemaker Barry Jackson, who runs Equinox Wines with his wife Jennifer Jackson, is a whiz when it comes to making delicious bubbly. The couple launched Equinox in 1989 and have never looked back—their business and customer base growing every year.

Fiano is a high-quality white Italian wine-grape, and Mann Vineyard on the western slopes of the Diablo Range grows this aromatic fruit. “Only a handful of acres in California are growing Fiano,” says Barry Jackson, who also makes a Fiano wine under his Bartolo label.

Small amounts of Riesling and Chardonnay are added to the Fiano sparkling wine, and, after ageing en tirage for 30 months, a crisp, exotic sparkler with delicious notes of “Asian pear, grapefruit peel, tight mousse, and green melon” is ours for the drinking. Cheers!

Equinox Wines, 334 Ingalls St., Unit C, Santa Cruz. 831-471-8608. equinoxwine.com.

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Harley Farms Goat Dairy

If you love goats, then Harley Farms is the place for you. My husband and I visited recently and spent ages watching frisky goats, donkeys, a couple of dogs, a few cats, an alpaca, and a pig—which all live on this pastoral piece of land in Pescadero. Dee Harley hails from Yorkshire in England (as I do), a place known for its down-to-earth friendly folk, and runs the farm with her staff.

Goats are milked regularly, and products from the milk include great-tasting cheeses. And piled high on shelves are gorgeous goat-milk soaps and lotions—all handmade by Harley Farms employee Eilis Burke, who comes from Limerick in Ireland. Harley Farms is now doing weekend picnic baskets: a Ploughwoman’s Spread and First of the Day. Enjoy fresh eggs, homemade scones, goat cheese and more as you look out on a lovely pond and friendly goats. Visit harleyfarms.com for more info. 


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