.Zayante Vineyard’s 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Zinfandel

This could be one of my last articles on Zayante Vineyard. Although an abundance of Zayante’s varietals are in wine stores and supermarkets right now, the winery is up for sale—so who knows what changes are afoot when the new owners come in?

Winery owners Kathleen Starkey-Nolton and Greg Nolton, along with winery co-owner Marion Nolten, have always made affordable wines, and the 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Zinfandel is no exception. At just under $20, it’s worth the search to get some. Or head to Deluxe Foods in Aptos where the shelves are bursting at the seams with local wines, including those of Zayante Vineyard.

Zayante’s Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Zinfandel has earthy aromas of plum and strawberry jam—with a balance of fruit that leaves a lingering finish. The Noltens’ mission has always been to produce “the finest wines in California,” and they’re doing a stellar job.

The fascinating Zinfandel grape has many fans, and it’s always a sure-fire hit with anything barbecued—its typical peppery-jammy aromas and flavors adding lip-smacking spiciness.

After the devastating loss of their son three years ago in a motorcycle accident, Kathleen and Greg continued with the winery, producing their quality wine. But now they are moving on, and I wish them well for their future.

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Zayante Vineyard, 420 Old Mount Road, Felton, 335-7992. Before you head to Zayante Vineyard, check zayantevineyards.com for opening times.

Route 1 Farms Summer Dinners

Route 1 Farms’ spectacular al fresco dinner events are coming right up.

June 25 is at Rancho del Oso with Chef Stephen Beaumier of Mutari Chocolate in Santa Cruz, and Richard Alfaro of Alfaro Family Vineyards as the featured winemaker.

Aug. 13 is at Rancho del Oso with Chef Jessica Yarr of Assembly in Santa Cruz, and Eric Stockwell of Stockwell Cellars.

Sept. 24 is at Ocean Street Extension with Chef Katherine Stern of La Posta in Santa Cruz and Denis Hoey of Odonata Wines. This dinner is sold out but you could request to be put on the waitlist.

Visit route1farms.com for more info.


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