Great Big Reds south of San Francisco

Did you know you can make a Great Big Reds wine tour south of San Francisco? Yes, you can!

South of San Francisco — around Santa Cruz — if someone makes wine it’s nearly always pinot noir and/or chardonnay, with a fair amount of cab s. thrown into the mix.

But in August we put together an excellent wine tour for Great Big Reds.

More descriptions to follow, but here’s the basic outline, just so you know it’s possible….

We started from Oakland, drove south, crossed the bay on the San Mateo Bridge, turned south again on scenic 280, driving through the hills along the San Jacinto fault.

We stopped off in Saratoga (near Los Altos) at the Cinnabar Winery Tasting Room. They have some Great Big Reds, and they’ll sell you a ‘growler’-ful.

Over the hill, we had lunch in Santa Cruz at Laili for wonderful Mediterranean food and good wine.

We had a wine tasting at Quinta Cruz for Portuguese-inspired wines and port. Portugal has grape wines we’d never heard of, and Quinta Cruz makes wines and ports with some of those grapes, grown right in California. The port is wonderful! The tasting and conversation was great; we learned a lot.

We then drove north along the coast to the Bonnie Doon tasting room. The wine is great, and the decor is, well, authentic to the personality behind the wines. It’s fun.

We stopped for dinner at a Peruvian restaurant called La Costanera right on Montara Beach.

Then we drove up the coast and took the Bay Bridge back to Oakland.

The wine was great, the food was great, — ahem — the company was great.

Most especially, though: the views were stunning through the hills and along the coast. Really, just driving through the San Francisco Bay Area gives you remarkable views left and right.

A Great Big Reds wine tour with those kind of views? Pretty special.

More on all of this soon.