When I came home bearing a bottle of Martin Ranch Zinfandel—one of my husband’s favorite wines—he was thrilled. And true to the advice of winery owners Thérèse and Dan Martin, I paired it with a couple of grilled steaks and some curried vegetables. The Zin left over I enjoyed all by myself the next day with a small chocolate baguette from Companion Bakeshop (those things are addictive!).
The J.D. Hurley 2017 Zinfandel ($27) is a “hearty two-vineyard blend” from the Santa Clara Valley. Bursting with blackberry and pepper jam on the nose, it also has hints of black licorice spice and a polished tannic finish.
Martin Ranch now makes wine under three labels. As well as their J.D. Hurley label, look for Thérèse Vineyards and Soulmate. Their high-end wines are under the Soulmate label, mostly available for wine club members only.
With more than 25 years of winemaking under their belts, the Martins excel at producing affordable everyday wines such as those under the J.D. Hurley label. And with valued team member David Dockendorf on board to oversee winemaking and production, Martin Ranch is one of the most recognizable wineries in the area.
Martin Ranch Winery, 6675 Redwood Retreat Road, Gilroy. 408-842-9197, martinranchwinery.com
Love Apple Farms Beekeeping Workshop
Did you know that you can keep bees in your backyard? According to Love Apple Farms owner Cynthia Sandberg, most normal-sized yards can host a hive of honey. The folks who tend them can enjoy honey, beeswax and royal jelly. Sandberg says a healthy hive can produce several gallons of local honey every year. Two beekeeping workshops coming up will run from 10am to 3pm March 7 and April 5 at Love Apple Farms’ nursery location, 5311 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. Cost is $79.
I recently marked a milestone, 20 years with Good Times, and celebrated by taking one of Gayle’s fantastic creations into the Dakota Avenue office: a rich chocolate cake layered with jam. The outside is finished with chocolate ganache, and it’s simply delicious!