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Travel BLOG
August 08, 2018

WORK IT: SOMMELIER ALYSSA TWELKER

Photos by Garrick Ramirez

Meet Alyssa Twelker, one of a growing number of young individuals energizing the Santa Cruz wine scene. An early food and drink enthusiast, the Sunnyvale native went to work as private chef straight out of high school and celebrated her 21st birthday with a sommelier certification. Weeks later, she was in Santa Cruz working at Soif where she eventually became wine director. After tasting—and surfing—her way through Europe, she’s back in town behind the bar at the gorgeous new tasting room for Birichino. We recently sat down with Alyssa to chat wine and get answers to burning questions such as “Do we really need to sniff the cork?” and “What Star Wars character would make the best somm?”

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July 25, 2018

BREAK OUT THE BUBBLY: MARTINELLI’S TURNS 150!

Photo by Garrick Ramirez

Beloved sparkling cider and apple juice producer S. Martinelli & Company is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and we’re bubbling over with excitement! Founded in Watsonville in 1868—the same year Ulysses S. Grant was elected President—the effervescent company is still family-owned, locally-based, and making juice the way they always have: fresh and 100% natural. We’ve got the inside scoop below, and trust us, it gets juicy!

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July 16, 2018

15 DREAMY VACATION RENTALS IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

Photo courtesy of Kendall and Potter

With everything from stylish beach cottages to roomy digs for the extended family, Santa Cruz County vacation rentals are fun to shop. It’s like being on your own episode of “House Hunters.” With a dreamy collection of homes and expert staff who know the region, local rental agencies can you help you ID the perfect abode. To help kick-start your search, we’ve rounded up 15 properties that we’d be happy to call our home-away-from-home.

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June 18, 2018

EAT LIKE A LOCAL: A FOODIE’S HISTORY TOUR OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

Photo by Kyle Jouras courtesy of Liz Birnbaum

Everyone loves tasting the local cuisine when they visit somewhere new. Vacation, after all, is the perfect excuse to indulge and sample the variety of food and beverages a region is known for. With its rich soil and moderate climate, Santa Cruz County is an agricultural mecca with fertile fields of strawberries, tomatoes, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, vineyards, and apple orchards. It’s one thing to Yelp your way through each meal and snack break, but to truly savor each bite, you need to know the stories behind the food fueling your weekend adventure.

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June 14, 2018

A SURFER, SKATER, AND GLASSMAKER GIVE SCRAP MATERIAL A SECOND LIFE

Photo by Molly Ressler

Santa Cruz has a long history of environmental stewardship that’s reflected in our plentiful organic farms, bike-friendly streets, drought-tolerant gardening incentives, and our local art. Reusing material is nothing new in the art world but these three artists in Santa Cruz have perfected the craft. Scraps of redwood, skateboards, and glass become surfboards, bottle openers, and dinnerware that pay homage to their past forms through stunning transformations that highlight rather than hide the reused material. Each piece diverts waste from the landfill, yet you’d never guess this art began as someone else’s trash. Meet a surfer, skater, and artisan glassmaker who are each trailblazers in the upcycled art scene and create right here in Santa Cruz.

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