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[whitespace] Sipping the Season

The real tomato comes but once a year

By Christina Waters

ONCE AGAIN THE FARMING GENIUSES of Molino Creek have released a crimson tide of organically produced, dry-farmed tomatoes fit for the Last Supper. Worth fighting for, these tomatoes are sweet, intensely flavored, rich red and juicy. This is the season for ripe tomatoes, and these dry-farmed, concentrated beauties are the best, anywhere, and that includes Italy. We like to slice them, splash on a bit of Napa Valley Naturals chemical-free California olive oil (huge flavor for $6/16.5-oz. bottle) and a few crystals of sea salt. To die for. Look for Molino Creek at your favorite farmers market.

Now We Are One

Take a date over to the very sexy E & O Trading Co., celebrating its first birthday with a $25 per person extravaganza of exotic bites and flavors, from 6:30pm to 10pm on Sunday, Sept. 24. The festivities benefit the work of the Children's Gaucher Research Fund. E&O is located at 96 S. First St. in downtown San Jose--408.938.4100.

Harvest Lohr

The crush is on and vintner Jerry Lohr will lead the weekend Harvest Tour 2000, starting on September 22 in Greenfield. After a pre-harvest dinner at La Fogata Mexican Restaurant, participants will tour the J. Lohr vineyards to watch the Chardonnay grapes begin their journey toward the bottle. After spending the night in King City, the Harvest Tour leaves early for Lohr's Paso Robles winery to tour the production facility--which will be in full swing crushing, cleaning, pressing, squeezing and filling tanks. The vineyard visit ends around noon on Saturday, Sept. 23. The cost of the WLE (Wine Lohr Enthusiast) Harvest Tour is $125 for couples or $100 for singles. I'd call this package a lot of behind-the-scenes wine lore and fun for the money, especially considering that dinner at La Fogata and Friday night's lodgings are included in the price. Transportation, please note, is not included. And you must be a member of the wine club to go. So, you know what you need to do. Grab the phone, call Mr. Bill Flint at 800.330.0815, ext. 129, and find out how you can join WLE and trek through the harvest vineyards. Really a splendid hands-on experience of the most romantic and timeless aspects of winemaking. Vive le vendage!

Greener Pastures

You know all that prime open space that's been saved from development? Well, come toast the folks who helped make it happen at A Taste of the Greenbelt. The event plays twice, in Los Gatos and then in San Francisco. The first of these mega food, wine and microbrew tastings hits the Historic Opera House in downtown Los Gatos on Sunday, October 15, from 1-4pm. For $45 (which includes a special one-year Greenbelt Alliance membership) you can sip wines from J. Lohr, Cinnabar, Wente, Matanzas Creek, Chateau St. Jean and many more. Also dozens of local farms, restaurants and food producers will be participating, and you can enjoy feisty bites from places like Rose Pistola, Hayes Street Grill, Bizou and others. Yes, there is a benefit art sale and wine auction as well--lots of activities for those of you dying to put down those cell phones for a few hours and cut loose. This event--listen up, now--benefits the people who work to preserve and protect the unique agricultural greenbelt of our magnificent Bay Area. Another factoid--Greenbelt Alliance is the Bay Area's leading land conservation and urban planning nonprofit. The Alliance has helped protect more than 600,000 acres of our open lands in the last decade alone, and helped generate more than $550 million to acquire parklands and other open space for all those babies currently booming. For details call toll-free 800.543.GREEN; or dial the website at www.greenbelt.org.

Email me! Readers, restaurateurs, chefs: Please send any news items, tips, menu changes, openings, special events and juicy gossip to [email protected]

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From the September 21-27, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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