The Santa Cruz Mountains: An Ideal Location for Growing Grapes.

At Regale Winery and Vineyards, we’ve built our core winemaking values on honoring the traditions of those before us: To always question and innovate. We push ourselves to transcend the everyday and create wines that are extraordinary.

When you visit our winery and take that first sip, you experience not only the fruits of the labor of our master winemakers, but also the labor and experience of our vintner forefathers, who first settled in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the late 1700s.Regale Pouring Wine

The history of winemaking in the Santa Cruz region spans over 300 years. It began when the priests at the Santa Cruz Mission planted grapes that were “rough and hardy – and made terrible wine.”[1]

It wasn’t until the 1850s that the Santa Cruz Mountains region revealed its true potential — some of the most influential pioneers in California’s winemaking history sought to seed the land with grapes of a much higher quality than their unrefined ancestors.[2] Early vintners included John Burns, John and George Jarvis, Charles Lefranc, Paul Masson, and John Stewart,  men who all made substantial, lasting contributions to the growth and success of the region’s commercial wine industry.[3]

But of all the places to build a winery, why would winemakers choose the Santa Cruz Mountains? Minimal rain, warm weather that encourages and accelerates ripening, and soil that is “fertile, alluvial and loamy in nature” are the key elements responsible for the success of the region’s wineries.[4]

Jon Bonné, former wine editor and chief wine critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, poetically describes the region’s influencing factors thusly:

The mountains are sliced in half by the San Andreas Fault. The North American Plate’s sandstone and Pacific Plate’s uplifted ocean floors are constantly grinding. The result? An utter jumble of shallow, rocky soils, not unlike portions of the Sonoma Coast.

Two converging climates are also at work — cool moderating influences of the ocean to the west, and a similar, if warmer, influence from San Francisco Bay to the east. Slightly warmer sites can ripen a subtle style of Cabernet, while delicate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive nearby.[5]

Wine Bottles

Santa Cruz wineries benefit from these ideal growing conditions. Winemakers aren’t at the mercy of unpredictable weather or stingy earth. This allows wineries to become “a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion.” Santa Cruz’s vintners are free to stretch their wings and create wine that is intriguing and able to stand on its own merit, avoiding what Bonné describes as the wine industry’s “steroidal tendencies of the past 20 years.”[6]

The verdant, yielding land of the region, combined with indulgent weather, allows us to handcraft batches of remarkable wines every year. The grapes from our estate-grown Pinot Noir vineyard and other exceptional local vineyards give birth to wines that stand apart from the rest with finesse, provocative personality, and balanced acidity.

January Vines

We produce some of the finest Californian wine available, yet many wine connoisseurs and experts feel Santa Cruz wineries are overlooked compared to Napa and Sonoma.[7] This is the perfect opportunity for wine lovers to delight their palates with something new. Make the relaxing, scenic drive to Regale Winery and experience the charm of Old World wine country, tucked away in the mountains of Santa Cruz.

If you’re ready to taste all that Regale Winery and Vineyards has to offer — including Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and our popular Chardonnay — visit our website tasting page for days, times and details. (link to http://www.regalewine.com/visit_taste.html)

 

[1] Stacey Vreeken, “Uncorked: Vines to wines — History of grape growing in Santa Cruz County,” Santa Cruz Sentinel, Aug. 27, 2012.
[2] Ibid.
[3] CA Corks, “Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”
[4] Matthew Citriglia, “Bordeaux vs. California Cabernet — Why They Should Never Be Compared!” Winegeeks.com.
[5] Jon Bonné, “Santa Cruz Mountains wines reach a peak, quietly,” San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 28, 2010.
[6] Ibid.
[7] CA Corks, “Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

Taking Team Building to the Next Level

We’ve all been to the corporate event with the scavenger hunt or the escape room. And if we’re being honest, it’s not the most exciting day on the job. At Regale Winery, team building activities are planned with a goal of creating a memorable and fun experience for employees; one that is unlike the corporate “puzzles” or “challenges” of years past. The beautiful, Tuscan-inspired vineyard is the perfect location for participants to enjoy fine wine and craft food with a genuine, rewarding bonding experience. The range of activities offers something unique for everyone, no matter the group dynamic.

From wine blending to grape stomping, you can pick and choose from a number of options to create the ultimate, customized corporate experience at Regale. In addition to the variety of activities, there are multiple event spaces to choose from on Regale’s stunning grounds, one of which is sure to fit your needs.


What kind of team building experience are you looking for?


If you’re looking for a relationship-building experience, you should try:

2017_regale_aroma_teamBlind Tasting: The good news is, there’s no need to be a wine expert in this challenge. Regale will test the group’s knowledge of different varietals under the guidance of one of our wine specialists. Individuals or teams work to identify wine varieties based on three basic senses: taste, sight and smell. Each member of the winning team receives two passes to a member-area tasting.

 

Grape Stomping Platform

Grape Stomping: Take a step back in time and experience the art of grape stomping. Find out which team can collect the most grapes and stomp out the most grape juice. Teammates will work through clues and challenges to gather grapes for their barrel. Grapes can also be won at the wine bottle ring toss, a hole-in-one putting competition and by figuring out answers to the wine trivia game. Continuous wine service is sure to break the ice during this challenge!

*Available late April through September.


If your team is very competitive, you should try:

engineeringCork Engineering: We all live in a digital world, but occasionally it’s worth getting back to the basics. In cork engineering, each team is given a supply of corks and rubber bands and is challenged to build the tallest cork tower.

Sports Package: With a wide variety of game options, including an in-house bocce ball court, badminton, Ping-Pong, cornhole, horseshoe and Giant Jenga, your group is going to get their game on. Break into teams for a healthy dose of competition amongst each other.

2017_regale_sports_pong

 Wine Trivia: New to wine? Not a problem. Learn the fundamentals of wine and the outstanding wine regions of California through Wine Trivia. Individuals will break into teams to get a basic understanding of wine terminology, where wine comes from and how to best taste them. Participants will then need to work together to come up with the best answers for each question. A Regale wine expert will reveal answers and award a winning team.


If you’re looking for an employee appreciation experience, you might consider:

Wine Blending: Become a winemaker for a day! Teams work together to develop a winning Bordeaux-style blend from traditional varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Beakers and graduated cylinders are used to create original concoctions, tasting blends as they go.

2017_regale_profile_stationSignature Black Glass Tasting Experience: If you couldn’t see the wine you were tasting, do you think you could tell if it were red or white? Put your senses to the test by sampling wine from a line of black glasses for varietal secrecy. A Regale wine expert will guide individuals through the experience to help describe and analyze flavors and aromas. Using your sense of smell and taste, you’ll try to identify what varietal you’re enjoying.

 
If you’re ready to take your corporate event to the next level, schedule a visit with our events team and see firsthand how unique and memorable your experience can be.

 

Weddings at Regale

Inspired by Italian landscapes and Old-World villas, Regale Winery and Vineyards provides an opportunity to share the relaxed and sophisticated lifestyle that surrounds the production of wine in celebration of your wedding. Imagine saying your “I Dos” in the formal gardens, surrounded by lush greenery with fountains, olive trees and a bocce ball court complete with a view of the mountains. This space is perfect for an outdoor ceremony under the clear Californian sky. For your reception, you can utilize the gardens, in conjunction with the Outdoor Bar and Courtyard, which includes a covered portico with large granite tasting bar and a neighboring wood-fired pizza oven. The orchard patio offers another gorgeous outdoor space complete with market lights, trellised grape vines, and a luxurious reclaimed wood barn backdrop perfect for an outdoor reception. For a romantic and welcoming indoor affair, the second floor dining room features a vaulted travertine ceiling, Italian fresco paintings, Venetian plaster, and ornate fireplaces to create an old-world Tuscan atmosphere. The room opens onto a heated, open-air terrace with breathtaking views of the coastal range and our formal gardens. End the evening with dancing in our spacious barrel room against a backdrop of wine barrels.

 Balcony Bride Close

Regale is a truly unique, exclusive venue designed to reflect old world wineries in Italy & France.  Our lovely Italian fountains, ornate gardens, olive orchard & vineyard offer an unforgettable setting for your event.

Regale Facade      Fountain

Formal Gardens

Lush gardens with fountains, an olive orchard, open lawn space and a bocce ball court complete with a view of the mountains is a beautiful outdoor ceremony location.  For your reception following the ceremony, utilize the gardens in conjunction with our outdoor bar and courtyard which includes a covered portico with large granite tasting bar and a neighboring wood-fire pizza oven.

May-October: 100 guests maximum capacity

Novemebr-April: 75 guests maximum capacity

Bocce Bride

Ceremony Set Pano

Ceremony Reverse

Executive Dining Room/Bride’s Dressing Room

This second-story room in the villa has a working fireplace and an Italian fresco mural as well as its own private bathrooms and bar.  A beautiful space for a pre-dinner reception or a palatial bride’s room.

May-October: 100 guests maximum capacity

Novemebr-April: 75 guests maximum capacity

    Executive Dining Room Reception with Doors Executive Dining Room Reception

Bride Behind Bar

Bride Staircase     Bride Window

Veranda

This second-story enclosed veranda overlooks our formal gardens and is accessible via an exterior staircase and elevator or through the executive dining room.  This beautiful space, protected from the elements, is perfect for a reception, small seated dinner, or covered ceremony.

May-October: 100 guests maximum capacity

Novemebr-April: 75 guests maximum capacity

      Veranda ReceptionVeranda Balcony Bride

Barrel Room

Our barrel room is complete with cocktail seating and opens into the adjoining tasting room creating the perfect space for dancing after dinner, or can be utilized as a cozy interior space for meetings or dining in case of inclement weather.

May-October: 100 guests maximum capacity

Novemebr-April: 75 guests maximum capacity

Barrel Room Corner   Barrel Room Head Table

Barrel Room Pano

Orchard Patio

Our orchard patio is highlighted with trellised grape vines and fruit trees, a romantic setting for outdoor dining. The space is complete with market lights, built-in sound systerm for music or microphones, and a granite bar in a rustic barn accented with reclaimed wood.

May-October: 100 guests maximum capacity

Novemebr-April: 75 guests maximum capacity

head-table-2016

bwp-42

      bwp-45

Photos by B. Wild Photography & Francesca Penko
Rentals by Williams Party Rentals

June News at Regale Winery

Upcoming Events at Regale Winery

Lobster Boil Sunday, June 19, 20167-14-14_Lobster Dinner

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Open to all guests!

$70 per person

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here, when you visit our tasting room, or by calling our office at 408-353-2500

Gather around our table as we throw a traditional New England Lobster Boil complete with lobster bibs & crackers in honor of Father’s Day.  This fun event will be held in our new orchard patio with the beautiful backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountains at sunset.  Ticket includes one lobster per person, and the traditional “seasoned boil” preparation of prawns, Louisiana hot links, corn, artichokes, onions and potatoes for the feast. Be prepared to dig in and get messy!

Wine will be sold by the glass and bottle – no offsite wine/alcohol permitted.

 

Paella Feast Sunday, August 7, 2016Fernando

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Members and their guests

$60 per person

Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here, when you visit our tasting room, or by calling our office at 408-353-2500

In the art of entertaining, little can rival the aromatic, colorful presentation of Paëlla. Native to Spain, where affection is exchanged as much in spoonfuls as it is in kind words, this dish is a feast.  Watch a team from Hola Paella cook their paella in front of you with only the freshest ingredients and invite you to watch every step of the process around the giant paella pan.

Purchase your tickets today; this will be a sold out event!

Wine will be sold by the glass and bottle – no offsite wine/alcohol permitted.

 

Live Music

hood upstairsSunday, June 12, June 26 and July 3

Are you a fan of our guitarist, Hood Chatham? Great news! He will grace us with his talents on select weekends this summer.

 

Wood-fired Pizza 

Regale Wood Fire OvenYou asked and we listened! We’ll have our wood fired pizza oven blazing on Sundays. Houndstooth Pizza will be vending hot pizzas in addition to assorted small plates for our guests. Stop by on Sunday afternoons for lunch at Regale Winery!

How-to: Blind Wine Tasting

Here at Regale, we love parties – Fresco Croppedespecially one with a good icebreaker, and, even better, something involving wine!  Might we suggest incorporating a little blind wine tasting to your family gathering, game night, company team building, or throwing a whole party aimed at getting your guests interacting with a fun blind tasting.  It will get people thinking, comparing notes, and most importantly… talking! If you are looking for a gorgeous locale as a bonus, come visit us for a private event at Regale and have a blind tasting hosted by one of our wine specialists.  It make your party an event to remember and is great to add to an offsite as a team building activity!

A How-To for a Blind Tasting Party:

The Setup

  1. Gather three-five bottles of wine (definitely throw a Regale bottling in there!) – ideally single varietal bottles from different regions and vintages. Alternatively guests can each bring a favorite mystery bottle to share.
  2. Cover and number your bottles – for our team building events at Regale we have snazzy burlap blind tasting bags printed with numbers, but you can use brown paper bags, decanters, or even wrap your bottles in aluminum foil! Remember- a bottle’s shape can be a cue towards the varietal, so keep this in mind when selecting how to disguise the bottle if your guests are wine savvy.
    IMG_1252    Blind Tasting
  3. Provide tasting cards so your guests can take notes and eventually submit their guesses.  Decide if you want to provide a key of the different offerings or leave them completely in the dark.Lepori_0383

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As guests are tasting, you can sound like an expert by reminding them of…

The Three Steps to Blind Tasting:

  1. Consider the appearance for maturity and other cues
  2. Consider the aroma for varietal cues
  3. Consider the mouth for taste, body, finish, overall quality

Step 1: Appearance – Color and Opacity

  • What color is the wine? Whites gain color as they age, reds are most vibrant when young and fade or take on a more brick color with an orange or brown hue.
  • How opaque is the wine? Can you read text through the wine or is it so opaque that light barely comes through it?

Step 2: Aroma – Smell and Physical Indicators

  • 1st Sniff – Does it remind you of varietals you have tasted in the past?
  • Shirt sniffs vs. long draws; swirling for aeration
  • Think about the descriptors:
    • F – Fruit
    • E – Earth
    • W – Wood
  • Physical reaction – Acidity (salivation), tannin (bitterness), alcohol (heat)

Step 3: Mouth – Taste, Texture, and Finish

  • Body – Light-medium, medium-full, full:
    • Pinot Noir                            Light to Medium
    • Sangiovese                           Light to Medium
    • Cabernet Franc                   Medium
    • Barbera                                 Medium
    • Zinfandel                              Medium
    • Merlot                                   Medium to Full
    • Malbec                                  Medium to Full
    • Syrah                                     Medium to Full
    • Petite Sirah                          Full
    • Cabernet Sauvignon          Full
  • Is the wine balanced?
  • Dry, off-dry, or sweet?
  • Alcohol – Prominent (riper/warmer region) or balanced (cooler climate region)
  • Tannins, if any- how heavy?
  • Length – Short, medium, or long (acidity and complexity)

Conclusion

  • What varietal could it be? Use your past tasting experiences and memory.
  •  Are there any varietals you can rule out?
  • The important part is the journey to reach a conclusion – don’t worry too much about the final guess!

The more you practice, the better you get – so cheers to that!

Team-Building for a Better Business

Here at Regale we take great pride in our goal of helping corporate clients not only have an amazing time in a gorgeous locale while they are onsite, but also encourage the focus on leaving with a stronger sense of community and pride in their company and team! Our diverse range of team-building activities offer something for everyone- from new teams looking for an icebreaker to competitive coworkers looking for bragging rights.

Aroma Discovery

Aroma Discovery: Discover aromas in our Regale wines, learning to describe wine as the winemaker does.  Learn how to explain what you are smelling in the wine by identifying real-life aromas of fruits, flowers and other materials in comparison with our Regale bottlings.

Blind Tasting in the Gardens

Blind Tasting: Test your knowledge of different varietals and growing regions under the guidance of one of our wine specialists. Work together in small groups or individually to identify the mystery wines using three basic senses – taste, smell, and sight.  Each member of the winning team will receive a member area tasting pass for two!

 

Cake Off Decorating Competition: Receive a primer in the art of cake decorating, and then let the creative juices and icing flow as teams work together to design and decorate the best cake possible using a variety of freshly baked cakes, sprays, icings, and cake décor. You will be judged, but everyone wins when you dig into your sweet creations!

Successful Saber
Champagne Sabering: Learn a new a party trick from Regale’s seasoned wine professionals- how to extravagantly open a bottle of sparkling wine using a Champagne Saber, in our case a blunt designer version specially crafted for popping corks in style. The saber is slid along the body of the bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to enjoy.  Your guests can watch and learn, or join in on the fun as they don safety googles, gloves, and a brave face!

 

Cork Engineering: In this high tech world get back to basics with this low tech form of fun!  Teams will be given a set supply of corks and rubber bands and will set out to build the tallest cork tower possible.

Cork TowerCork Engineeringteam 5

 

 

 

 

 

Wood-Fired Pizza Making Competition: Put your culinary creativity to the test with this team building activity facilitated by our wood-fired pizza specialists.  Teams will be assembled and set at stations with a variety of toppings and sauces to construct what you believe to be the best pizza.

Pizza Making Dough & Sauces

Finished Pizza CompetitionPizza Ingredients

 


 

 

 

 

Giant Jenga

 

Sports Package: Your guests can entertain themselves with a variety of different physical activities, with an in-house bocce ball court, badminton court, ping pong table, cornhole, horseshoe, and giant jenga you can even set up a tournament for your guests to throw down a little healthy competition amongst each other!

Our rainy day back-up option includes an indoor set up of ping pong, cornhole, horseshoe, giant jenga and an assortment of classic games such as chess, dominos, backgammon, dice, playing cards & poker chips.

Ping PongCornhole 1

 

 

 

 

 

Jeopardy in the Barrel Room
Wine 101 with Wine Jeopardy: Learn the basic fundamentals of wine tasting from a Regale wine specialist.  You’ll be taught a basic understanding of wine terminology, where wine comes from, and how to taste.  Then test your listening skills with a wine focused rendition of America’s favorite quiz show.

 Wine Blending In Progress

Wine Blending: Try your hand as a winemaker for a day. Work in teams to develop the winning Bordeaux style blend from traditional varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Use beakers and graduated cylinders to measure the components of your concoction, tasting the myriad options as you work.

 

 

Wine Flight, Missing Sight Scavenger Hunt: Sighted leaders must coach and anticipate the needs of their blindfolded cohort as they navigate the Regale gardens and villa in search of tools to open and serve a bottle of wine. Each member of the team will give up their sight, then play the role of leader in this communication-building scavenger hunt.

 

Grape Stomping Platform

Wine Stomping: While learning to stomp wine in the traditional fashion, gain a new appreciation for winemaking and the lengths our ancestors went to in creating this desirable beverage.  Work as a team to stomp your way to victory in a race to produce the most grape juice, using only your bare feet!  Feel the rush of grapes squeezing out from between your toes as you begin to understand this time honored tradition.

 

We also partner with amazing companies to host Casino Nights, Painting Parties, Culinary Chef Competitions and anything else you can dream of!

Casino PartyPaint NitePizza Chef Dan with Hands on Gourmet

 

 

 

All of this, and amazing wine in a gorgeous venue- what more could you ask for?

What’s so ‘Super’ about that Tuscan?

It is a matter of much debate who was the first to coin the now trendy moniker, although their origins are mostly attributed to the hallmark wines Tignanello and Sassicaia beginning in 1974, both marketed by Antinori. What is more clear about the history of these lovely wines is that Super Tuscans originated in Italy as wine estates aimed to make higher quality wines that didn’t necessarily fit the strict legal regulations in place for wine production as set out by the DOC.

It is hard to imagine in the relaxed landscape of California where we have some general laws about labeling appellation or varietal but otherwise are relatively free to experiment, blend, and proprietarily name to our delight. In Italy the DOC regulations mandated everything from which varietals could be grown in which regions including the strict percentages in which they must be blended (like the inclusion of white grapes in Tuscan red wine!), to precise accepted levels of alcohol, acidity, and extract as well as establishing viticultural regulations such as restrictions on yield and specific winemaking practices. These laws preserved the practices of low quality and high quantity. Wine estates that dared step outside the box were relegated to the lowest generic label of Vino da Tavola (or table wine) that had been historically the mark of bulk swill. These quality wines changed the ideology by wearing Vino da Tavola as a badge of honor, which began a revolution in Tuscan estates. With the goal of creating wines of more depth, intensity and body, estates began the previously unthinkable use of French oak barrels and blending with international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Regale Winery Super TuscanOur Regale Super Tuscan calls to mind that focus on quality that is present in all Regale Wines, and pays homage to the producers who dared to step outside the expected boundaries of the time. In classic Tignanello style, our Super Tuscan is a blend of predominantly Sangiovese with a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon. While we didn’t trek to Italy, our Super Tuscan grapes were sourced from the Napa Valley on the lower end of the Silverado Trail. With a smoky, earthy nose, ripe cherry and currant on the palate and a rich tannic finish, this wine definitely represents what you would expect from a classic Super Tuscan.

Now that you know a little more about the history of Super Tuscans, come taste at Regale to see just how super a Super Tuscan can be!