Fortino Winery’s tasting room is one of those lovely spots that urges you to linger. They make so many interesting wines—plus there’s a good range of merch to shop for whilst you’re tasting!
Their 2016 Zinfandel ($30) is bursting with flavors of cherries, plums and subtle hints of smoke and peppers. The grapes were grown in the Santa Clara Valley on a private estate—with half aged in French oak barrels and half aged in American oak barrels. The end result is a full-bodied wine that pairs perfectly with barbecued tenderloin. Actually, It pairs well with a lot of things. I enjoyed it with a plate of cheese and crackers, and, on another occasion, with some smoked salmon.
Right now, Fortino Winery is having sales on select wines, including this 2016 Zinfandel, which is 10% off 12 bottles.
Weddings and other events are held on the winery’s spacious grounds, but most everything is on hold during Covid-19.
Fortino Winery, 4525 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy. 408-842-3305 or toll free 888-617-6606, fortinowinery.com.
Norma Jean’s Muffins
Cathy DeLeon, owner of Norma Jean’s coffee shop in Aptos, arises at the crack of dawn every day to make pastries, muffins, banana bread, lemon bread—and a host of other goodies, all made from scratch. Her gluten-free cranberry muffins are out of this world. Also available are breakfast burritos, bagels, oatmeal and more. DeLeon makes an excellent variety of coffees, too.
Norma Jean’s Coffee, Tea & Patisserie, 8043 Soquel Drive, Aptos. 831-685-1236, normajeanscoffee.square.site.
Scotts Valley Art, Wine & Beer Festival
Mark your calendars for Scotts Valley’s signature event—the Art, Wine & Beer Festival, Aug. 21-22. Expect the area’s most prestigious wineries and award-winning microbrewers, along with more than 100 artists displaying their works. And there’ll be food trucks, of course, with delicious and diverse cuisines. The icing on the cake: James Durbin with his local favorite band The Lost Boys. Get your tickets early to snag a discount. Visit svartfestival.com for more info.