.Lester Estate Wines’ 2020 Rosé of Syrah is a Summertime Star

In addition to tasting, Sidecar Tours offers guests an unforgettable ride around Lester’s impressive Deer Park Ranch property

Now that we are officially into summer, a chilled Rosé of Syrah is just what you need for warmer weather. And Lester makes a superb one!

Our recent wine tasting at Lester Family Estate was a lovely experience. On one of their shaded outdoor patios, overlooking acres of vineyards, we enjoyed a “Tour of the Vineyard” tasting with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah—adding on the Rosé of Syrah later.

Lester’s fabulous wines result from the luscious grapes they grow and their experienced winemakers. Kudos to John Benedetti for making this gorgeous 2020 estate Rosé of Syrah ($27). Benedetti also makes wine under his Sante Arcangeli Family Wines label—his tasting room is in Aptos Village.

“This lively Rosé expresses a galaxy of fresh flavors on the nose and in the glass,” the Lester folks say. “A beautiful shade of dark-copper salmon, it possesses the substance of Pinot Noir with the freshness of Rosé. Citrus peel, watermelon, rhubarb and tangerine all emerge with a spicy finish that’s also delightfully dry.”

It’s well worth visiting the Lester estate for the Rosé of Syrah alone. But, if you’re interested in getting there in an exciting new way, then Sidecar Tours is your answer. Ed Lane, who runs Sidecar Tours, has a small fleet of motorcycles, complete with days-of-yesteryear sidecars that hold two people. He can whisk you up to the estate, or you can organize a specific outing.
With a glass of Rosé in hand, he took me on an exhilarating spin around the Lester stunning Deer Park Ranch property. We buzzed and bumped along tree-lined roads—I didn’t spill a drop! It was a totally fun experience. Lane’s replica 1941 Ural bikes are like something from WWII—or out of Harry Potter. It brought back memories of my late father’s motorcycle shop in England, Syd Smith Spares, which still exists.

Lester Estate Wines, 2000 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 831-728-3793. deerparkranch.com; sidecartoursinc.com/santa-cruz.


  1. Excellent! Should be noted, however, that Santa Cruz Sidecar Tours offers a few tour options:

    1. Downtown Santa Cruz (wine rooms or tap rooms)
    2. Summit Winery Tour
    3. Soquel Winery Tour
    4. Pleasant Valley Tour

    Lester is one of three destinations sidecar guests visit on the Pleasant Valley Tour. At present, there are no tours around the Lester property offered to the public. Guests experience a scenic ride in the sidecars and are dropped off at tasting rooms at respective wineries. Get more info here: https://www.sidecartoursinc.com/santa-cruz/


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