.Lester Estate’s 2018 Syrah is a Rich Blend of Spice and Fruit

Lester Estate’s Deer Park Ranch in Aptos is the ideal setting for a tasting

Lester Estate wines are outstanding. The proof of the pudding is always in the tasting, and their wines score on every level. Lester sits on an expansive piece of gorgeous property—Deer Park Ranch in Aptos—and if you have not visited, you should go as soon as possible.

Established by Pat Lester and her late husband Dan, the business is now overseen by their daughter Lori and their son-in-law Steve Johnson. Steve was pouring at a recent Aptos Wine Wander, and my last tasting at the event was a beautiful glass of Lester’s 2018 estate Syrah ($45). Made by John Benedetti, whose praises I sing at every opportunity, the wine is rich with flavors of huckleberry, toasted spice, herbes de Provence and white pepper. Benedetti’s own tasting lounge, Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, is in Aptos Village.

Lester’s Tasting Barn is piled to the rafters with artifacts from trips to Africa and elsewhere. There’s a lot to take in as you’re sipping your wine!

Lester Estate Wines, 1950 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 831-728-3793; deerparkranch.com

Seascape Foods Opening Second Location

Seascape Foods, located in Seascape Village, Aptos, will open a second location in the recently closed Aptos Natural Foods. This is great news, folks. Owned by Julie Kellman Hunt and her husband, Dan, Seascape is a grocery store, deli, sandwich bar, bakery and more. We can look forward to them bringing all of this to their new location in the Aptos Center on Soquel Drive. Specializing in high-quality local food with an emphasis on organic will surely be a deli delight.

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Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine

A bowl of hot Moroccan Madness Soup ($8) at Zameen in Aptos was just what I needed on a cold and rainy day. Made with chickpeas, curry, coconut milk, tomato and garlic, it’s a thick, rich soup that’s rib-sticking good. zameencuisine.com

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