The Pinot Noir harvest has started in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Summit Wineries want you to help celebrate noon-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2.
Silver Mountain, Burrell School, Regale Vineyards and Winery, Villa del Monte Winery and MJA Vineyards each have their own festivities planned, which include wine and grape tasting, music and food, as well as winery tours and viewing the crush in action.
Silver Mountain Vineyards, which is only open Saturday Oct. 1, will feature guitar music by MineoYamakawa. Small plates of fajitas will be available to purchase. Other goodies include jams, marmalades and cheeses from Tabitha Stroup’s Friend in Cheeses. Sample—and bring home!—jams such as Carrot Cardamom and cheeses such as fresh chevre. Or, better yet, add it to your picnic, which you can enjoy in the winery’s amphitheater.
Wines available for tasting include Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, Silver Mountain's well-known Bordeaux blend called "Alloy," as well as Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As for Silver Mountain’s harvest, Mary Lindsay, president of the Viticulture Association of the Santa Cruz Mountains, said, “Silver Mountain is still probably a couple of weeks away before harvest will start in its vineyard, but it may have grapes coming in from other vineyards with crush going on in the winery [this] weekend.”
At Villa del Monte, taste Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot while watching local artist Caeli Perrelli paint such harvest themes as pumpkins and sunflowers. Villa del Monte’s crush is on, giving you a rare opportunity to learn more about the winemaking process and to taste the fermenting juice.
Anne Moulton, business director at Burrell School Vineyards, said, "We have live music both days, with Kevin McDowell on Sunday. Truffle Gateaux will be offering chocolates to sample and purchase on both days. Our harvest platters will feature Tabitha's Friend in Cheeses jams with flavors such as Pinot Cherries and Fig and Fennel to pair with our wines."
Six Burrell School wines will be available for tasting: Estate Chardonnay, Estate Pinot Noir, Ryan Oaks Zinfandel, Estate Syrah, Old School Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosé of Pinot Noir. They will also have “Fall Four Pack” specials of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah for $89. Enjoy a vineyard tour and see the harvest, which is now underway.
Regale Winery will be open on Sunday, Oct. 2 only. But the harvest celebration will be in full swing in the midst of the beautiful Italian-inspired architecture and landscaping with wine tasting, vineyard tours, music and food.
Although MJA Vineyards’ winery is located in Santa Cruz, they recently opened a tasting room at 24900 Highland Way in the Santa Cruz Mountains along the summit wine trail. Enjoy wine tasting and a picnic on their gorgeous grounds in a serene forest setting.