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Westside Wine Village

February 17, 2009
beautiful Bonny Doon bottles

I was greatly surprised to find that Bonny Doon Vineyards, once a hidden treasure in the forest, has now moved to a new location right smack in the middle of suburban Santa Cruz. But after looking around for a second, I realized what a great idea it was.

Located in a set of high-tech industrial warehouses, Bonny Doon is joined by a handful of other wineries who are coming together to collaboratively promote the Santa Cruz wine scene. Dubbed the ‘Westside Wine Village,’ this new complex offers greater accessibility and freedom of choice. Don’t like one? Pop in next door and try another. And if wine isn’t your fave, this gourmand’s paradise also houses a bakery and a microbrewery. Great article with more info here.

So we started the afternoon out by some free wine flights at Bonny Doon (normally $7 value for 5), where we enjoyed the nice new set-up, hip young staff, and delicious smells from their adjoining cafe- Cigare Volante Cafe. We then continued on to try the more rustic experience of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard ($3 flights) and Dragonfly Cellars (free).

Denis Hoey, the man behind Dragonfly, was friendly and enthusiastic- telling us about his wine-making endeavors in a really youthful and down-to-earth way which was engaging and easy to understand. He told me about surfcityvintners.com where you can find more links and info about the Village’s group of participants.

selecting a vintage from Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

This was a great way to spend a rainy Saturday, since we no longer had to worry about facing the 17’s treacherous curves. Being so close to downtown, we didn’t have to plan on arriving early and spending the whole day there, or worrying about when or where we should eat. If you’re a wine aficianado looking for a fun little time, I highly recommend this causal encounter.

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