Phil Crews has been making wine for years! As owner and winemaker at Pelican Ranch, he has an arm’s length list of wines he makes, including not-easy-to-find varietals such as Pinotage.
Crews’ 2021 Pinot Noir Martini Clone ($65) is what he calls “a tasting-room favorite.” With lovely deep strawberry, mild cherry, intense raspberry flavors and complex perfume, this dark and tasty Pinot Noir erupts with red fruits and velvety tannins. Grapes are from Green Valley Road Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA (American Viticultural Area).
Crews is now doing screw caps on most, if not all, of his wine bottles—a sure-fire way of getting to the wine quickly and saving on cork.
In a rustic setting, Phil and his wife, Peggy, have a charming tasting room. Spring is a great time to visit when buds burst out and the vines are green and beautiful.
Two interesting upcoming events at Pelican Ranch include Wine 101 (“Smoke Taint Explained with Pictures and Tasting”) in the Cellar on March 25 and the Chardonnay Pre-release Festival (“Get Human Insights on the Meaning of Pinot-Chardonnay”) on April 1. Also, 2023 barrel samples will be tasted. Music in the Wine Garden is also scheduled for May 20, June 24 and July 15.
Pelican Ranch Winery, 2364 Bean Creek Road, Scotts Valley, 831-332-5359. Open noon to 5pm on Saturday. pelicanranch.com
Get tickets for the next Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk, when your favorite downtown shops host different wineries. At check-in, a glass and a map of hot spots are provided. All you have to do is taste all the stellar wine.
Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk is Sunday, May 7, 3-6pm. $40. downtownsantacruz.com