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[whitespace] Randall Grahm These Boots Were Made for Stomping: If you want some Bonny Doon Wine, you're going to to have to figure out how to get Randall Grahm off that barrel.

School Spirits

UCSC festival features alumni who've gone on to grape things

By Christina Waters

UCSC Alumni Vintners

They came, they learned, they made wine. Former students at our unbearably scenic UCSC campus have kept busy since graduation by making the sort of fine premium wines that have put California on the oenological map. And once again more than a dozen of these talented alums will gather on the lawn overlooking Monterey Bay, to pour, schmooze and sample the postgrad hors d'oeuvres created by alumni chefs. Naturally this midsummer soirée is the hot ticket next week. The event's silent auction gives you a crack at rare wines, dining and getaway packages--all to raise money for undergraduate scholarships. Many have made this event an annual ritual, wisely reserving tickets for one of the Shakespeare Santa Cruz performances a mere stroll across the street. Others find it hard to tear themselves away from the likes of Randall Grahm from Bonny Doon Vineyard, Ann Staiger Weld of P&M Staiger, Dexter Ahlgren from Ahlgren Vineyards, Gregory Nolten from Zayante Vineyards, Jennifer Wall from Barefoot Cellars and many others. Feast your taste buds on the spicy handiwork of Bruce Aidells (sausage czar), India Jozseph Schultz, Pearl Alley Bistro's Mark Curtis and New Leaf entrepreneur Scott Roseman. This outdoor event happens Saturday, July 27, from 5 to 7:30pm at the Elena Baskin Visual Arts Center courtyard --$34/$30 for alumni association member (831.459.2530).

Bye-Bye Marcello's--Hello Lola!

Café Lola, to be exact, is the new, gorgeously appointed almost-open new bistro on the lucky West Side. Located at the busy corner of Bay and Mission, the oasis of sophistication is the brainchild of Costa Brava's Juan Valledor. Armed with Chez Panisse-trained chef Benjamin Sims (who grew up in Santa Cruz before graduating from the California Culinary Academy), the new cafe has plans to knock our socks off, starting with breakfast and lunch, according to spokeswoman Laurie Negro. Dinner will be along shortly. The plan is to offer upscale, Mediterranean country cooking crossed with California cuisine showcasing all-organic produce and roasted specialties from the brick oven. Eventually patio dining as well as a coffee shop and to-go emporium, "Lolita's," will be online. Look for Café Lola to open in a few weeks at 1520 Mission St. (831.426.6322).

Answering our wine thirsts, Soif (French for "thirst") is heading for completion in a few weeks just off the lower end of Pacific Avenue. Wine bar and retail store, the handsomely revamped space is the dream project of ace sommelier Hugh Weiler, formerly of Avanti. I'll keep you posted.

You love those great salad mixes you find at better food stores and farmers' markets. So why not make your own? Find out how at the free Grown Your Own Salad Greens workshop on Saturday, July 27, from 10am to noon at the UC Santa Cruz Farm. Workshop leader Orin Martin, who manages the Alan Chadwick Garden at UCSC, will cover everything you need to know to grow your own delicious greens, from seed selection, sowing and cultivation to irrigation and harvesting. He'll also talk about the wide variety of often-overlooked Asian greens that can spice up a salad mix. The program finishes off with a taste test of fresh-picked organic greens.

It happens at the UCSC Farm, located across from the Physical Plant parking lot on the UCSC campus. Park at Physical Plant lot and follow the signs one-quarter mile up the gravel road above the Blacksmith Shop to the farm.

More details? Call 831.459.3240 or see www.ucsc.edu/casfs.

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From the July 24-31, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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