Christie Kiley on February 9, 2015 0 Comments There is still a chill in the air and some more cold days ahead and most of us are looking for a cure for our cabin fever. Sometimes it helps just to lighten things up a bit and step away from the average things we crave and cling to this time of year; the heavy blankets, the big red wines and the comfort foods. Cabin fever might be cured even with just a quick little walk around the block or on a nice trail, just to breathe in some fresh air and maybe even inspiration to return home and try a new recipe to warm your body and spirit. May I invite you to make a recipe to go with this very special wine that will definitely be different than your regular winter pick? The Thomas Fogerty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. The Estate The Thomas Fogarty Winery began in 1978 by the winemaker Michael Martella and inventor Dr. Thomas Fogarty. The two of them made a great team with the natural innovation spirit of Dr. Fogarty and Martella’s knack for cultivating wines. They both began the development of the Skyline Ridge area of Santa Cruz, which later became one of the more recognize regions for California’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Today, the region is known as being one of the top regions for these two varietals. There are not many other cool climate regions which can beat this region for its soils, climate and even the views of the Santa Cruz appellation. The winery sits at around two-thousand feet above sea level offering one-of-a-kind, spectacular and breath-taking views of the San Francisco Bay for its visitors. The History It all begins over three decades ago with the Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyard in the 1970s. Thomas picked up winemaking for some personal fun in a small cabin on the current site where the winery stands today. He is a world-renowned inventor and a Cardiovascular Surgeon of Stanford, so winemaking perhaps was not his background but he had the mind and the innovation to get it started. The first plantings were done in 1978 and later in 1981 he built the commercial winery in the wine-growing region of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today there are 25 acres that include Burgundian varietals on the 325 acre estate focusing on not just Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but Sangiovese and Merlot as well. The vineyards are locate just west of Stanford University and Palo Alto at two-thousand feet above sea level. The altitude and location from the bay along with the sun exposure provide the ideal climate for the types of grapes grown here. The local terroir and the climate influence the fruit in such ways bringing many levels of character to the wines produced at the Thomas Fogarty Winery. The Vineyards The region of the Santa Cruz Mountains has long since been recognized as a prime region since later in the nineteenth century. It was the very first region during the growth and rise of the California wine region in the seventies to make way for the cool climate varietals of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The styles of the wines made from the fruit of this region were unarguably the closest style to their Burgundian counterparts. It was not until 1981 that the Santa Cruz Mountains were granted the AVA (American Viticulture Area) status. It was one of the first in all of California. The Santa Cruz Mountain AVA stretches across the mountain range of Half Moon Bay and to the north to Mount Madonna to the south. The borders of the east and west are recognized in their elevation going to four hundred feet in the west and back up to eight hundred feet in the east. What is special about the wine of Santa Cruz? The appellation has grown in recognition and reputation for having some of California’s best structured and intense wines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay. The Chardonnay The 2010 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay is a truly lovely and unique wine with a focus not just on the expected orchard fruits of late summer, but it is elevated and brightened with notes of aromatic citrus and ocean breeze minerality. The flavors are reminiscent of mandarin and Honeycrisp apples with a nice acidity and full-flavor soft finish, with hints of warm spice that come through on the finish from its touch of oak. More perfume lingers of honeycomb, lemon zest and white spring flowers in bloom and lemon blossom. The finish is spectacularly clean too with a touch of ocean spray.