5000 N. Rodeo Gulch Road, Soquel, CA, 95073 (link to map)
The drive to Poetic Cellars, another winery on the great Summit To Sea Wine Trail, is along twisty roads through beautiful (and during our visit, rain-laden) redwoods. Your GPS won’t help you out here; you’ve reached a Land Without Mobile Reception. Fortunately, the staff at Poetic have signs posted along the way to help you find their winery.
When we arrived at Poetic Cellars, we met some friendly fellow wine tasters who we’d previously seen at Burrell School. Unlike us, they’ve done a thorough investigation of most of the Santa Cruz Mountains wineries. They encouraged us to make our way over to Los Gatos and Saratoga. So much good wine, so little time!
We didn’t know until we visited Poetic Cellars’ website today that our wine was poured by winemaker Katy Lovell herself! Her son also poured some of our wine.
2008 Livermore Viognier: It smells like nectar and tastes like fruit blossoms and perfumes. (Okay, I admit it — I’m a sucker for Viognier.) Mike noted a grapefruit hit at the end.
2006 Livermore Mouvedre: Dark chocolate and oak in the nose. Very astringent finish. Mike liked this a lot, noting a smoky flavor that was quite appealing.
2007 Merlot: Smells delightfully of chocolate and honey. Tastes like toffee and plum skins. Rich and absolutely delicious.
2006 Stanza Vineyard Syrah: Full of cherries. It had a tasty ash overtone, like Humboldt Fog cheese. It made me wonder if the vineyard had been in an area near one of the California wildfires.
Chant Royale: Gosh, I wish I hadn’t hit palate fatigue right as she pulled out this port-style wine! This sweet, cherry-filled wine would be perfect under most circumstances, but my dead tongue was overwhelmed by alcohol.
From left to right: winemaker Katy Lovell, one of our wine tasting buddies, Mike Rainey, Nikki Gustas, and another wine tasting pal.
After the tasting, Mike stopped to admire the view from the parking lot.
On the drive home, Mike noted that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the wine tasting experience is that you meet great people along the way. We were lucky enough to strike up conversations with two separate great groups of people, and also got wonderful information on wineries around the country to visit from the tasting room staffs that we met.
On our ride home, we saw a rainbow above Highway One. Mike would call it a weather pattern. I like to think of it as a good omen for our Appellation Trail project.