On a recent visit to Windy Oaks with my Wild Wine Women group, we were greeted by Judy Schultze, co-owner of the respected winery, with her husband, Jim.
Judy led our group of 14 to the top of the hill where breezes blow through the majestic oak trees—hence, the winery’s namesake—and where private and wine-club members’ events are held. With its incredible views of undulating vineyards, we enjoyed a picnic lunch and tasting. Windy Oaks’ Pinots and Chardonnays are top-notch, but I was bowled over by the earthy, rich 2018 Santa Lucia Highlands Grenache ($35).
As Judy was singing the praises of Jim and his ability to produce wines of distinction, he roared up on his ATV. His talk to our group on winemaking techniques was fascinating, impressing us all with his scientific approach to making “perfect” wine—always searching for the best methods and equipment. He now uses white netting instead of black to protect grapes before harvest, as research done in New Zealand found that grapes actually ripen better.
Windy Oaks has three tasting locations: the winery and tasting room in Corralitos and tasting rooms in Carmel and Carmel Valley.
Windy Oaks Estate, 550 Hazel Dell Road, Corralitos, 831-724-9562; windyoaksestate.com.
Lina & Company
Wendy Melrose of Lina & Company (next to Pacific Trading Co.) opened a second spot, also in Capitola, nicknamed “Little Lina.” Both stores carry teas, linens, candles, soaps, gourmet food products and many unique gift items.
“For Christmas, we’re doing gift baskets, hampers, ornaments, holiday scents and festive décor for the holiday season,” Melrose says. “We’re all about celebrations. That’s the vibe in both stores.”
Lina & Company, 504 Bay Ave., Capitola, 831-464-0171; Second location is at 712 Capitola Ave., Capitola, 831-423-8318.