Red Rhones

Half way up the Wine Trail on Watsonville Road, is Aver Family Vineyards, a hill-top winery with 180-degree views of the Uvas Valley and surrounding vineyards below.
Specializing in Rhone-style wines that sell out every year, the Avers use vintage photos of their relatives to label their wine bottles; providing a fascinating glimpse into their family’s history. Each wine is perfectly paired with a sample of Marich chocolate.
Aver produces two flagship red wines: Blessings and Hope. Blessings is 100 percent petite sirah only available to wine club members, and which John says is considered a “California Rhone,” and contains “the best of the best grapes” harvested in new French oak.
The 2013 Hope ($45) is a Rhone-style blend of grenache, syrah, Mourvedre, petite sirah and carignan. With lots of blackberry and blueberry fruit on the front-end, it finishes with an earthy, spicy mouthfeel.
The 2013 Family Album Carignane ($37.50), normally a Rhone blending grape, is in this case, perfect on its own. This 100 percent old vine wine tastes of cranberry, pomegranate and notes of leather; pairing well with holiday dishes.
After going back for a second taste of the 2014 Inspiration Chardonnay ($45) I declared this wine to be perfect for any meal. With flavors of pineapple, yellow apple and touches of caramel it has well-balanced acidity and brightness on the finish. This wine is dynamic, layered and delicious.

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