It was a magnificent weekend in the Monterey Bay area, high 70’s to low 80’s, no fog, no clouds. We do not get a lot of those. Troya suggested we take advantage and have a picnic lunch so after a quick stop at Deluxe Foods to stock up on some Irish cheddar and a little slice of triple cream Brie, boar meat sausage, rosemary garlic sourdough, some almonds and fresh strawberry’s we headed up to Windy Oaks winery. Having been there before, we were familiar with their long list of amazing Pinot Noir’s, a little pricy but worth it on special occasions like this (see our prior post on Windy Oaks). We had not explored the property last time we were here but were told they had a great little picnic spot. We choose a bottle of Diane’s Block and headed out on the trail. After a moderate 5 minute hike to the top of a Knoll they have several tables set up between grape fields and under several oak tree’s giving the perfect amount of shade. The view down into the valley is spectacular. Great food, great wine, great location, the only thing missing was Brax and Hill (suckers had to work).
Troya and I took a little time out from our weekend chores to attend the annual Pinot and food paring at Nicholson Vineyard this weekend. They have your standard Santa Cruz Mountain varietals, but specialize in Pinot Noir. Their wines started out very good and have been improving over the years, getting more refined and complex. I will not go into any great detail but tasting them side by side was a lot of fun and we were able to taste the nuances of each different Pinot.
On our way out we saw a sign for Windy Oaks Estate. We have tasted the other wines in the Coralitos area and have not been overly impressed, but had not been here before. Its a little bit of a drive, but if you are not rushed its beautiful. The winery itself is on an incredible property (picture above) with hiking trails to a point that you can look out to the ocean. They also specialize in Pinot Noir. Troya and I both enjoyed the tasting although she liked some different ones than I did. They are all classic SCM Pinots with subtle differences in flavor and smoothness (is that a word?). We would have been much more interested if their prices were more in range with the others in this area, $39-$60 being a little steep, but still work checking out.