Fruity finesse

RED BLEND A smooth dry wine, Casa de Fruta’s ‘Sole of the Boot’ combines merlot, a little sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon.Photo: Bev Stenehjem

With our 5-year-old granddaughter in tow, we recently visited Casa de Fruta, an eclectic experience that combines fun for both adults and children, all in one venue. Casa de Fruta offers a casual restaurant, 3-star lodging, amusement rides for children, a huge fruit stand, a candy shop and a wine tasting room. Because granddaughters always take precedence, we started out on the miniature locomotive and Venetian carousel ride. While my husband watched her play at the children’s playground, I ventured across the parking lot over to their wine-tasting room.

The tasting room is a cornucopia of novelty gifts, gourmet food items and of course, wine by Zanger vineyards. Specializing in fruit wines, their best seller is the 2014 Pomegranate, made with pure pomegranate juice. Taking a sip, it did indeed taste like I had munched on a fresh handful of the ruby seeds. A dessert wine, it is soft, sweet and smooth with a slightly tart finish.

Casa de Fruta also offers a number of varietal wines including the only gewurztraminer produced in the valley.
There are two red blends, both called “Sole of the Boot.” One contains mostly zinfandel while the other; mostly merlot. My favorite of the two was the one containing 75 percent merlot, a little sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. Aged in French oak for two years, it is smooth and dry with a little residual sugar on the finish. I agreed with the woman pouring the wine that day, who said it tastes “like music in your mouth.”