We first heard about Cima Collina a few years ago from an owner of an Italian restaurant in New York State. Now that says something about the quality and reputation of the Cima Collina wines.
Cima Collina, which means “top of the hill,” has their tasting room in Carmel located in the Paseo Courtyard on San Carlos between Ocean and 7th. The tasting room is small and intimate with a lovely carved wooden bar. The tasting room’s manager and server, Jane Beery, is very friendly and knowledgeable and the tasting has some nice “extras” that make it special.
Jane told us first that one unique aspect about the Cima Collina wines is that none of the wines are filtered. This gives the wines a complex flavor and unique minerality. Costing $5.00, the tasting included white, red and dessert wines. We liked their 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (only $8.00 a bottle!) which would make a nice hot afternoon sipping wine; their 2008 Chula Vina Chardonnay, a nice dry light food wine; and their 2008 Coast View Chardonnay, which had more oak taste and was a little sweeter and “brighter.”
One of our emotional favorites was the non-vintage “Howling Good Red” wine, priced at a modest $16.00 a bottle. The howling dog depicted on the bottle label was their cellar dog, “Sweetie.” We loved the fact that 25% of the profits from the sale of this wine goes toward the local SPCA. This wine would make a great simple picnic wine and LC had tried it with spaghetti and tomato sauce--perfection. Jane pointed out that she could understand why, since “the acidity in the tomatoes would make the wine pop.”
We finished our tasting with two delightful dessert wines, a Riesling paired with lemon cookies and a Ruby Port paired with chocolate. We liked both and are growing into the idea of ending a meal with a sweet wine and accompanying sweet treat.
One of the newer peninsula boutique wineries, Cima Collina has been in existence since 2004 and has a woman winemaker, Annette Hoff, who was Napa-trained with quite a bit of experience at various wineries.
The tasting room is currently open 11-6, Thursday through Monday. Call 831 620 0645 for directions and check www.cimacollina.com for more information about the wines. We think you’d like both the tasting experience and the wines. And, the tasting bar is dog friendly!