.Storrs Winery’s Perfectly Balanced Zinfandel 2017

The Sunset International Wine competition awarded Storrs Winery’s 2017 Central Coast Zinfandel a gold medal. And when you taste it, you’ll see why. Abundant flavors of cherry and soft vanilla make this a mouthful of terrific Zinwith “a perfect balance between spice, fruit and oak.”

With its jammy fruit and pepper notes, Zinfandel is one of my favorites. This one made by Stephen Storrs is a winner. Typical aromas of dark fruits and spice round out this well-made Zinfandel ($26), and its dense flavors give it lots of backbone. “Our only regret,” says Storrs of the Zin, “we didn’t make enough.”

Stephen and Pamela Storrs have been in the wine business for a long time—and their tasting room in a country setting in the Aptos Hills is a delightful place to visit. You might even see the Southdown sheep brought in to munch on pesky weeds between the vines—their contribution to biodiversity.

Storrs Winery, 1560 Pleasant Valley Road, Aptos, 831-724-5030; Storrs Winery main tasting room in downtown Santa Cruz, 303 Potrero St., No. 35 (in the old Sash Mill complex), Santa Cruz, 831-458-5030. storrswine.com.

Whiskey Hill Farms

A recent tour of Whiskey Hill Farms in Corralitos was tremendously interesting. A friend of mine is doing some work there and offered to show me around. This wonderful place grows the most amazing produce—mangoes, passion fruit, papaya and a host of beneficial plants such as ginger, turmeric, basil and cilantro, all organic. 

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Five gigantic greenhouses are heated by pipes that run beneath compost piles—and frogs roam free in collected-rainwater troughs used for irrigation. Inside each of the greenhouses reminds me of the tropics, with the pungent smell of rich earth and damp foliage.

This biodynamic spot of impressive agriculture is also where owner David Blume makes 100% organic sanitizers (with co-founder of the business Tom Harvey) under his label Blume Organics. These sanitizers contain no toxic chemicals and are safe on skin and surfaces.

For more information on these projects and to shop online, visit whiskeyhillfarms.com and blumesorganics.com.


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