Restaurants News - page 52

Green Grapes: Vine Hill Winery Goes Organic

Green Grapes: Vine Hill Winery Goes Organic

Considering Santa Cruz’s reputation as a crunchy, hippie haven and the dozens of wineries in the area, one might think that there would be more organic wineries that see the virtue of farming grapes without chemicals. But that is not the case. Vine Hill Winery is only one of three in the area to go through the laborious process of obtaining organic certification.

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Ask the Sommelier: Vin, Vino, Wine’s Rebecca Rapaszky

Ask the Sommelier: Vin, Vino, Wine’s Rebecca Rapaszky

Vin, Vino, Wine is a 25-year-old wine shop (regulars call it VVW) with a carefully chosen selection of wines from around the world. The store’s tasting bar is open five days a week and features a revolving lineup for six or more wines by the glass. Rebecca Rapaszky is the store’s manager and wine buyer.

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It Pays to Be Green

It Pays to Be Green

J. Lohr has been growing since 1974, but rather than sitting back to enjoy success the winery has continued to change and innovate. It is currently one of the greenest wineries around.

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Against All Odds

Against All Odds

OPENING a restaurant is an act of faith. The hours are grueling, the financial reward small and the failure rate extremely high. Opening a restaurant in an out-of-the-way location in a town that is not known for its food culture and that requires potential patrons to step out of their culinary comfort zone is plain insane.

Yet that is exactly what chef Royce Mori did, and his Red Crane restaurant is quickly coming up on its third anniversary.

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On the Wine Trail

On the Wine Trail

Because the winegrowing region is so vast (from Half Moon Bay to Watsonville and Santa Cruz and both sides of the Coastal Range), it’s easy for wineries to get overlooked by would-be wine tasters and customers. That’s were wine trails come in handy.

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Bay for Gulf Benefit: Oct. 24

Bay for Gulf Benefit: Oct. 24

Guillaume Bienaime, executive chef of Marché in Menlo Park, has spearheaded a fundraising dinner Oct. 24 aimed at supporting the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico and wetlands along the southern U.S. coast. He has teamed up with several top restaurants and winemakers for a one-of-a-kind event at Menlo Park’s Madera restaurant. Proceeds will go to the Save Our Gulf fund of the Waterkeeper Alliance to support the seven Waterkeeper organizations of the Gulf Coast.

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Ask the Sommelier: Michael Guerra

Ask the Sommelier: Michael Guerra

Ask the Sommelier checks in with Michael Guerra, co-owner of Enoteca La Storia, a new wine bar and shop in Los Gatos. The store celebrates the wines of Italy.

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Ask the Sommelier: Chris Kay

Ask the Sommelier: Chris Kay

Located on The Alameda in San Jose, Wine Affairs is a wine bar and retail shop that focuses on eclectic and small production wineries you’re not likely to find elsewhere.  The bar also offers a wide range of wines by the glass dispensed from a high-tech machine that preserves the wines with nitrogen. The lineup of wines changes periodically and allows you to try before you buy. Certified sommelier Chris Kay is the shop’s wine buyer.

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Easy-to-Find Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries

Easy-to-Find Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries

Big Basin Vineyards is one of my favorite Santa Cruz Mountain wineries. While pinot noir has become the region’s marquee wine, Big Basin’s Bradley Brown is making a name for syrah with his luscious single-vineyard designated wines. (His pinots aren’t too shabby, either.) Not only are the wines beautiful to behold, but so is the winery itself. ALSO: Roamin’ the Rhones, Saturday–Sunday, Aug. 21–22: Burrell School, Hunter Hill, Loma Prieta, Poetic Cellars and Vine Hill; Hunter Hill’s vineyard dinner, Sunday, Aug. 22.

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Valerie Evans of the Grapevine

Valerie Evans of the Grapevine

Valerie Evans, a certified sommelier, owns the Grapevine, a wine and cheese shop in Willow Glen. She first worked at the store as an intern one night a week. The internship eventually led to an account executive position with a local wine distributor. To feed her growing interest in wine, she completed the Professional Culinary Institute’s sommelier course, but she did not stop there. With the knowledge and skills she received from master sommelier David Glancy, she sat for the Court of Masters Sommelier Certification exam. She offers that knowledge to her customers at the Grapevine.

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