.Viognier, For a Change

There’s nothing I like more than opening a chilled bottle of Viognier on a summer night. And when you’re imbibing on a good one such as the Loma Prieta 2013—with grapes from the Amorosa Vineyard in Lodi—it’s a little bit of heaven in a glass.
With its aromatic fragrances of orange blossom, hibiscus, coconut milk, honeydew melon and jasmine, you will be transported to a tropical island from the first swirl and smell. And when you taste it, gorgeous flavors of guava, papaya, lychee and ripe peaches put you further into the tropics, flowing “smoothly and softly across the palate like a fine silk robe,” says winery owner Paul Kemp. For $28 this is a luscious white wine. Plus, Viognier is a nice departure from the “usual suspects.”
Loma Prieta Winery is a beautiful place to visit, with stunning panoramic views of the Monterey Bay from their patio. Kemp says his is one of the few wineries worldwide making Pinotage—and is America’s largest producer, in fact. So if you love this full-bodied red, then that’s another good reason to visit Loma Prieta Winery.
Rather than rely on a navigation system, the winery suggests that you follow the directions on their website to the tasting room, which is located at an elevation of 2,600 feet, up a bucolic winding road—well worth the drive.
Loma Prieta Winery, 26985 Loma Prieta Way, Los Gatos. 408-353-2950. Open Saturday and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. and on Fridays in the summer. lomaprietawinery.com.

Mountains to the Bay Wine Tours

If you’re looking for a great wine tour in the Santa Cruz Mountains, then Seth Kinman, owner of Mountains to the Bay Wine Tours, can plan your whole trip for you. Or, Kinman can take you to the wineries of your choice. He offers his service to couples, private parties and corporate events. Kinman has a wealth of experience with local wineries, so your wine-tasting experience is sure to be fun, upbeat and informative. And when you’re enjoying several flights of wine, it’s always better not to drive. Visit mountainstothebay.com or call 275-4445.


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