Food and wine highlights at Skov and other wineries: this weekend’s Santa Cruz Mountains Passport event

The Santa Cruz Mountains Spring Passport day is Saturday, April 16 – and I’ve listed a few food and wine highlights below including food served at Skov and other wineries.

For those unfamiliar with the “Passport” program, the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association offers this event four times a year, and Saturday is the Spring event (the other event days are on the third Saturday of January, July and November). Passport is an opportunity to meet the winemakers of SCM (the Santa Cruz Mountains), to see where and how they produce their wines, and — at selected wineries — the chance to try new releases or special barrel samples.

Skov Winery is serving wine and cheese on Saturday. Read my comprehensive article on Skov. Tabitha and her company Friend in Cheeses will take participants “on a culinary journey of Skov wines and foods from what the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation has to offer.” Tabitha says, “Spring is in the air and the goats are giving us amazing milk. Taste the terroir with a variety of goats milk cheeses from Cheddar to Chevre.” Skov winery will be offering samples of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Zinfandel. The $10 tasting fee per person includes cheese and wine tasting plus asouvenir wine glass. Complimentary tasting for Passport holders and Skov Wine Club members.  SCM Passports will be available for sale the day of the event for $40 each.

Location: 2364 Bean Creek Road, Scotts Valley 95066.

Vine Hill Winery is serving a cheese and wine pairing on Saturday and Sunday featuring Triple Creams and Port Salut. The cost: free to Passport holders and Vine Hill Wine Club members, and $5 otherwise. Both Saturday and Sunday the winery will be open from noon to 5pm, and there will be box lunches available for purchase. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic.

Location: 2300 Jarvis Road, Santa Cruz 95065.

Alfaro Winery offers live music and wine tasting plus complimentary snacks. Enjoy classical guitar from Salvador Magallon from 11am-1:30pm and Americana/blues from Mondo Blue from 1:30-5pm. Admission is free for Passport holders and Alfaro Wine Club members and $10 for others.

Location: 420 Hames Road, Corralitos 95076.

Burrell School Vineyards & Winery is hosting wine tasting, plus Truffle Gateau will be sampling its Belgian chocolate baked truffles. The winery will also hold a special “Bunny Hop: Jelly Belly & Wine Pairing” event on Sunday, April 17, in conjunction with the Summit to Sea Wineries, which also include Loma Prieta, MJA Cellars and Poetic Cellars, all of whom will offer gourmet jelly bean and wine pairings.

Location: 24060 Summit Road, Los Gatos 95033.

There are dozens of other wineries participating this weekend including Ahlgren, Bargetto, Bonny Doon Vineyard, Equinox, La Nebbia, Pelican Ranch, Ridge, Santa Cruz  Mountain, Silver Mountain, Sones Cellars, Testarossa, and Zayante.

Passports are available to purchase at any participating winery on passport day. Each Passport covers tasting room fees for one person at all participating wineries. At each winery you visit, a page of your Passport will be stamped.  You must have your Passport with you in order to participate in the tasting.  Passport benefits are good for one visit to each participating winery and are for use on designated Passport days only.  Passports do not expire until each winery has been visited once.

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