Bargetto Winery releases 2014 'La Vita' blend


New label honors California farmworkers

(Bargetto Winery owner John Bargetto (right) is joined by winemaker Bobby Graviano in the tasting room at Bargetto Winery in Soquel with their latest La Vita wine release. Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

SOQUEL — June 10 marked the 17th annual release of Bargetto Winery’s “La Vita” wine.

The oldest winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains and one of the oldest in the state, Bargetto Winery is celebrating its 85 anniversary this year with a number of events.

“Honestly, I think it was the best ‘La Vita’ event we’ve ever had,” said Director of Winemaking John Bargetto. “At least, it was my favorite. The place was packed — and I think the wine turned out exceptional this year, so of course that made it even better.”

“La Vita” wine is a special blend of Santa Cruz Mountain varietals grown at the Regan Estate Vineyards in Corralitos. Every year is a different blend; this year’s had been aged since 2014. It is a blend of 50 percent Dolcetto, 29 percent Refosco and 21 percent Nebbiolo.

Winemaker Bobby Graviano described the wine as “somewhat fruity, full-bodied and powerful,” while Bargetto added that it has a slight peppery taste.

With the release of “La Vita” also came the unveiling of this year’s new label. Always showcasing the intersection of wine and art, Bargetto Winery enlists local artists to create a label that encompasses a unique theme.

This year, painter Warren Chang created “Give Us Our Daily Bread,” an oil on canvas work depicting Regan Estate’s Vineyard Foreman, Jesus Figueroa and his family enjoying a meal together. Figueroa and his family were present at June 10's event for the unveiling.

According to Bargetto, the winery wanted to pay tribute to the Latino farmworker community, who he dubbed “the backbone of the California wine industry.”

“These are people who are often overlooked, but oh-so vital,” Bargetto said. “We thought it was long overdue to pay tribute to everything they do.”

“La Vita” also gives back to the community, with portions of its proceeds going to a scholarship that supports local nonprofit organizations. This year, it went to the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust.

“We wanted to find an organization that in some way supports the farmworkers,” Bargetto said. “The Health Trust does tremendous work to support the Latino community.”

Bargetto also mentioned that last year’s beneficiary, the Soquel High Scholarship Fund, is looking to make their scholarship perpetual, and is asking for donations. He asks that anyone interested contact him directly by emailing him at [email protected]

“We’re happy we can support the community so directly,” he said. “It makes what we do that much more gratifying.”

Following the “La Vita” release party, Bargetto Winery will continue to celebrate its 85th anniversary this year with a number of upcoming events and projects. Under construction is a new barrel room and employee deck, which Bargetto says is one of the biggest projects the winery has ever undergone. They hope to have it completed by the end of August.

The winery also unveiled a new Heritage label — a label first used in the 1930s and now utilized for the winery’s “Northern Italian Varietal Series.” Additionally, toward the end of July, Bargetto Winery will host its 30th annual Art & Wine Festival, with wine tastings, and local artists and food vendors.

“There seems to always be something happening here these days,” Bargetto laughed.

For information about “La Vita,” upcoming events at Bargetto Winery and more, visit bargetto.com.