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Coming Soon : We hope.


Mosey down the new Corralitos wine trail.

By Amber Turpin

CORRALITOS WINE TRAIL Clusters of wineries are somewhat hard to come by in the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation; our AVA is widely dispersed over varying terrain accessible only by winding roads--a frustrating state of affairs for the visiting wine taster who expects more one-stop sipping, so to speak. However, there are a few pockets around the county where wineries have joined together in neighborly fashion to provide some route-specific options for wine tasting. On Saturday, Sept. 13, from noon to 5pm, one such group in Corralitos is flinging open its collective door for a genuine wine trail experience. Windy Oaks Estate (rarely open to the public), Alfaro Family Vineyards & Martin Alfaro Wines, Nicholson Vineyards and Pleasant Valley Vineyards are the four area wineries opening up on what should be a lovely day. Long hours of sun and fog-attracting valleys make this region a gem for what grows best here: outstanding bordeaux varietals. Corralitos is especially spectacular during Indian Summer, when apple orchards are flourishing and farm abundance is at its peak. The trail will also take visitors past Thomas Farm, known for some amazing dahlia varieties and a guaranteed Technicolor view. Alfaro will also feature "Oak Joe" Haselton on keyboard and vocals and the Te Hau Nui Polynesian Dance Company. Visit for advance tickets.

HARBOR BAKERY I've been watching and waiting with curiosity as signs appear in the future bakery on Seventh Avenue across from Five Branches Institute. Faith and Heather's Harbor Bakery is supposed to open this fall and will feature, according to the hand-painted signs in the window, "Breakfast, Healthy, Lunch, To-Go, Coffee, Tea!" Peering in, I noticed a nice cozy fireplace, a small sitting area and a petite counter space. Perhaps this will develop into another baked good destination once the tourists leave and locals can get to the beach neighborhoods with ease.

FAMILY WINE TIME For the last 18 years, an association called the Family Winemakers of California has put on a vast tasting event to promote our state's identity as a fine wine destination. It's not like we need much help spreading the word that California makes great wine, but thanks in part to this organization, small family winemakers are now able to sell and ship their products around the country, sustaining their businesses and lives. This wider scope helps expose consumers in Iowa or Tennessee to better wines than Carlo Rossi and Franzia, wines made with integrity and often more sustainable practices. A few of our local wineries joined in the swarm of over 400 other Golden State producers to represent the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation at this year's tasting event on Aug. 24 at Fort Mason in San Francisco: Alfaro Family Vineyards & Martin Alfaro Wines, Big Basin Vineyards, Black Ridge Vineyards, Cinnabar Winery, Fleming Jenkins Vineyard & Winery, Heart O' the Mountain, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sarah's Vineyard, Savannah-Chanelle Vineyard, Sensorium, Storrs Winery & Vineyard and Thomas Fogarty Winery. The varietal diversity that the California climate can create runs the gamut--and we can taste it all on special occasions such as this. (

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