The Tasting Panel magazine

Oct 09

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Page 76 of 92

It's diffi cult to let go of summer, even in south- ern California. It's a season I start to antici- pate when the rain starts threatening in winter. I admit there's not a lot to complain about when it comes to weather in this part of the country, but there's just something about summer apart from any other season—maybe stemming from my childhood memories from New York—that makes me yearn for the dry heat, long days and those glorious evenings when I can sit outdoors in short sleeves to eat dinner. To bid my summer of '09 adieu, I planned a trip up the coast with the idea of a success story. Tying in the wines from Summerland, a great repre- sentative of Central Coast juice, I met with six restaurant owners/executives—a few who've been around a while and some on their way up, but all in it for the long haul—making for a great excuse to get out of the offi ce and hit the highway. Ventura Highway in the sunshine, where the days are longer, the nights are stronger than moonshine . . . " – performed by America, lyrics by Paul Hardcastle Following the Ventura Highway Meridith May takes a road trip; Summerland wines are along for the ride At Café Fiore in Ventura, CA, Summerland's Vintner's Select 2007 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir was an excellent choice with Pizza Parma: imported prosciutto shared pie space with fontina and mozzarella cheeses astride a garden of baby arugula. 76 / the tasting panel / october 2009

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