To make un-fine wine, simply place grapes beneath a silk pillow, repeatedly mash your head against it, and then wring the pillowcase into a nearby mouth. Taste traditionally produced fine wines with today’s side deal for the inaugural Half Moon Bay Food & Wine Fare. Hosted by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers, the event will be held at Oceano Hotel & Spa in Half Moon Bay on Saturday, November 13, 2010, from noon to 4 p.m. As one of the nation's optimum wine-forging regions, the Santa Cruz Mountains are home to dozens of small, family-operated wineries where quality brews are born and await death by sipping; with today's deal, a pair of oenophiles gets two wine glasses ($5 apiece), four tasting tickets ($1 each), and the chance to mix wine from more than 20 local wineries with scrumptious snacks from local restaurants.
Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association
At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.