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August 21, 2018

Surfing is Now California's Official Sport

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It's totally official! Surfing is California's official sport, thanks to legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown this week. Not only was the sport introduced in Santa Cruz in 1885 by Hawaiian royalty, wetsuit pioneer and local legend Jack O'Neill helped put the sport on the map with his innovative designs. AB1782 even name-checks Steamer Lane as a world-class surf break. Now wave-riding joins - among other things - the golden poppy as the official state flower and the California redwood as the official state tree.

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August 21, 2018

Celebrate California Wine Month

Photo by Michelle Magdalena

“I just don’t drink enough wine,” is surely a something you lament to yourself on a regular basis, right? Well, chin-chin-up: big things are on the horizon that are sure to fire up your taste buds and inspire your palate! According to the Wine Institute, California produces 90 percent of American wine and is the leading U.S. destination for food and wine travel. Cause for celebration? We think so, and we’re not alone! California Wine Month is officially kicking off throughout the state on September 1st, and so we are rounding up all of the wine-related specials and events on tap county-wide in September! Salúd!

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August 14, 2018

CASTLE ROCK STATE PARK TURNS 50!

All Photos by Molly Ressler

Perched atop one of the highest ridges in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park offers expansive views of the San Lorenzo Valley. Miles of forested peaks stretch out below, fading from chartreuse and emerald green to sage, the furthest peaks a hazy blue that meet the fog-shrouded Pacific. Although not as famous as its neighbor, Big Basin State Park, Castle Rock has its own grove of redwoods, a 75-foot waterfall, miles of hiking along open ridges and through shady forests, and a playground of sandstone rock formations attracting both world-class climbers and amateur scramblers.

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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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August 06, 2018

Dog-Friendly Wineries in Santa Cruz County

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Oh, the carefree life of a winery dog. It ranks high on our list of reincarnation fantasies. Yet in Santa Cruz County, which is home to over 70 family-owned wineries, you needn’t wait until the next go-round to enjoy a breezy life of leisure. Treat yourself—and your pooch—to a taste of the good life at the following dog-friendly tasting rooms.

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