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Barry Jackson, the owner and winemaker of Equinox, is the lone holdover methode champenoise artisan sparkling wine producer in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The style is a synthesis of Santa Cruz Mountain fruit that is barrel fermented and barrel aged and then bottle fermented with extended aging (minimum en tirage of 4 years) on the yeast. The wines are finished with minimal or zero dosage to better display the marriage of the cuvee and the yeast character from the extended en tirage.
The first Equinox sparkling wine was produced in 1989 and Jackson still has a number of older vintages en tirage. Today, Jackson crafts 5,000 cases of both still and sparkling wine, much of it under contract to others.
Equinox is located in an industrial warehouse center near the Surf City Vintner complex in Santa Cruz. Tasting is available by appointment.
1998 Equinox Blanc de Blanc
12.5% alc., 200 cases, unreleased. Sourced from Meley Vineyard in Bonny Doon. · The nose is very exotic revealing banana, lemon and vanilla. Rich, full and creamy with tropical flavors. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »
1997 Equinox Blanc de Blanc
12.5% alc., <300 cases, $50. 100% Chardonnay sourced from Trout Gulch Vineyard. · Aged en tirage 10 years. Lemon, toast, brioche and ripe pear with bright acidity. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »
1992 Equinox Blanc de Blanc
12.5% alc., 25 cases, unreleased. Chardonnay sourced from Trout Gulch Vineyard. · An incredible wine featuring scents of brioche, buttered toast and yeast. Citrus flavors form the core with hints of apple and nuts. The finish is very tight and cleansing. Reviewed March 15, 2009 ARTICLE »