November 2015 Wine of the Month Club Newsletter - page 13

The Winery:
What’s in a name? Well, maybe not much unless it’s
yours. Mica Raas was born in Santa Cruz’s exotic wine country to Lithuanian
parents. He attained an interest in wine at an early age and when deciding
to start his own venture was upended by a competing company who had
copyrights to the name. Who would have thought?
Undeterred, Mica chose a different spelling and a winery was born. Mica
grew up working in wineries in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. But, when
it came time to look for a place for his own, he settled right where he
started near his home in Santa Cruz.
The Region:
The Santa Cruz
Mountain Range is quite a unique wine
growing area. First of all, it is stunningly
beautiful. Vineyards dot the landscape on
hilltops overlooking the tree-covered
mountains where almost no site of
civilization is visible. Because it is all
mountain, the vines struggle for water
and compete with the giant oak trees
for sunlight. This constant battle is all worthwhile once nature has
done its work. This struggle produces wines of exceptional quality year in and year out.
The origins of Santa Cruz go back to 1852 when Charles LeFranc founded the Almaden
Winery. Paul Masson married LeFranc’s daughter and ran both the Almaden Winery and his
Mountain Winery. He changed the company name to the Paul Masson Champagne Company,
before finally trading the Almaden Winery for a 26,500 acre ranch near Gilroy and selling
the remainder of the company to Martin Ray in 1936.
Martin Ray basically founded the Santa Cruz wine industry and is considered one of the
greatest pioneers in California wine history. He has played mentor to many of the finest
wineries in the state including David Bruce and Mount Eden.
The Wine:
Santa Cruz expressions of Chardonnay are unique, exotic and exciting.
This unoaked version even more so. The rocks and stones
in the vineyard provide excellent drainage so the roots
don’t get too wet which could cause mold. They also
provide tremendous nutrients for the root system to
disperse among the small clusters of grapes.
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WOMC Rating
Serve with seafood, light meats,
fowl and vegetarian dishes.
Green apple, spice & guava
Pear and apple
Cellaring Suggestions:
1-2 years
ITEM #: L1115W3DC
Retail Price:
Member Price $20.98/each
Reorder Price $14.99/each
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