The holidays are just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about wine for your table, as well as gifts of wine for friends and family—remember, buying locally helps support the Santa Cruz Mountains’ many mom-and-pop operations.
Villa del Monte is a hidden gem tucked away in a wooded area on Summit Road. Winemakers John Overstreet and Neil Perelli are dedicated to producing small batches of award-winning wines.
“Our small size allows us to meticulously pay attention to quality, nurturing our wines to perfection at every step in the process,” they say.
The 2015 Vintner’s Select Reserve ($45) is a delightful blend of Merlot and Cabernet, “with a bit of Malbec and Syrah to finish it off.” Merlot’s robust flavors of plums and chocolate add to this very smooth and enjoyable wine. If you’re into snazzy, eye-catching labels, then this one’s for you: The Vintner’s Reserve’s was created for the winery by local artist Sonya Paz.
Villa del Monte also produces other wines, including a Cabernet Rosé and a Zinfandel dessert wine.
You can try them all at their tasting facility. They are open only one weekend a month—their next events are noon-5pm, Dec.11 and 12. Some of their wine is also sold at the Summit Store in Los Gatos.
Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 888-788-4583. villadelmontewinery.com.
Wild Fish Restaurant Teams Up with Hog Island Oyster CompanyOyster lovers will be thrilled to learn that the Wild Fish Restaurant in Pacific Grove now carries the best oysters from the renowned Hog Island Oyster Company. Depending on availability, Wild Fish will be carrying Sweetwaters, Salazars, Kumamotos, Hama Hamas and Shigokus, which are delivered just a day after harvesting. I remember talking to an Aptos local years ago who told me that her son had started an oyster company. Turns out that oyster company is doing pretty well!