Pinot Noir 2010
The Friends of Hospice Oktoberfest is held on the first Sunday of October every year—a wonderful event that raises much-needed funds for Hospice of Santa Cruz County. As well as a silent auction, displaying all kinds of goods to bid on, there is also an outstanding live auction which includes trips, chefs’ dinners and more. Part of the silent auction includes a huge amount of wine, with hundreds of bottles to bid on and plenty of bargains to be had. Local wineries and others from farther afield are more than generous in donating.
One of the wines I bid on was McHenry Vineyard, a small family-owned winery in the Bonny Doon area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Pinot Noir 2010 Estate-bottled Swan Clone ($32) was mine to take home and try. And it was pure pleasure to taste such a well-made wine.
Aged for nearly two years in Francois Frères French oak barrels—according to the winemaker this “precious fruit” deserves the best cooperage—this is an exemplary Pinot. “In our 35 years of receiving the gift provided by our vines, the 2010 harvest was the best,” says winery owner Henry McHenry, an emeritus professor at UC Davis. “Its luscious aroma is beyond simple description or comparison.” This earthy “nectar of pleasure” is bursting with red fruit, vanilla, spice and caramel that fill the mouth with flavor.
McHenry Vineyard is open only on occasion, so this upcoming weekend will be your golden opportunity to visit. They are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 for Passport (see below) as part of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (scmwa.com) events.
McHenry Vineyard, 6821 Bonny Doon Road, Bonny Doon, 530-756-3202. Mchenryvineyard.com. Open for Vintners Festival and Passport Program. On scheduled tasting days, please call 831-471-2456. All McHenry wines can be ordered through Linda McHenry at lm******@dc*.us
Passport Day: Saturday, Jan. 18
Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s the day when you can visit participating wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) and taste for free—providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $45 and can be purchased at any winery. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or in**@sc***.com.
Lago di Como Special Dinner with Vino Tabi
Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria is putting on a special six-course dinner with the featured wines of Vino Tabi. The event is at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 and the cost is $68 plus tax. Call 454-8257 or visit lagodicomoristorante.com for more information. The restaurant is located at 21490 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz.