The Wine Column
By Stett Holbrook
SARATOGA'S Mountain Winery has announced its summer concert series for its recently updated 2,500-seat amphitheater. Some of the scheduled shows include Duran Duran, Sheryl Crow, the B52's, Ziggy Marley, B.B. King, Elvis Costello, Tony Bennett, the Gipsy Kings and Cheech and Chong.
Recently completed renovations to the Mountain Winery offer new dining opportunities for concertgoers, including a three-course prix fixe dinner on the "chateau deck" overlooking the Santa Cruz Mountains and the "La Portico Masson buffet" with performers' views of the backstage area. The food is the work of new executive chef David Sidoti.
The newly renovated Mountain Winery now features new terraced seating, four luxury suites and club box seats, refurbished restrooms and an expanded dining deck for delicious food service before and during the concert. With a new stage that is no longer raised, the seats are now at a stepped incline to allow for better viewing. The complete music schedule is online at metroactive.com.
In addition to the renovations of the amphitheater, the Mountain Winery is planting an additional 9,000 vines this year. The operation of the vineyards on what was winemaking pioneer Paul Masson's estate was reinstated in 1998 when the current Mountain Winery owners took charge of the vineyard activities and wine program with the planting of a vineyard for the first time since winemaking ceased in 1952.
La Honda Winery, producers of great cabernet sauvignon and other vineyard-designated wines, has opened a tasting room and winery in Redwood City. The winery is the latest Santa Cruz Mountains winery to come down from the hills and open facilities in a more accessible urban setting. The tasting room is open to the public on the third Saturday of each month from 11am to 4pm, on Santa Cruz Mountains Passport Saturdays and on Vintners' Festival Eastern Side Weekend on June 13 and 14. The winery is also open for special events and certain holidays. The winery is at 2645 Fair Oaks Ave., Redwood City. For more information go to www.lahondawinery.com or call 650.366.4104.
Fans of Los Gatos' Burrell School Vineyards can enjoy some of the award-winning wines at a winemaker dinner April 23 at Three Degrees restaurant in downtown Los Gatos. The four-course meal will include the 2005 "Teacher's Pet" estate chardonnay, the 2004 "Detention" zinfandel, the 2005 "Spring Break" estate syrah and the 2005 "Probation" late-harvest zinfandel.
Three Degrees chef de cuisine Chris Cutini will prepare a meal that includes a crab cocktail, asparagus and chanterelle mushroom risotto, flat-iron steak in a brandy-green peppercorn demi-glace and a triple chocolate cake for dessert. The cost is $65, and dinner is at 7pm. For more information or to make reservations, call the restaurant at 408.884.1054. Three Degrees is located in the Toll House Hotel at 140 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos.
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