Report from the Vineyards: Yes, it’s true that wild man winemaker Richard Alfaro has cut his locks — “I donated a 15-inch pony tail to Locks of Love,” he revealed a few days ago. (You can see why I didn’t pry any further.) Alfaro also says he’s experiencing a “reverse Samson” effect from the hair cut: “my strength has doubled and my six-pack abs have returned.”
Alfaro officially started the harvest of 2010 as of September 27 – “bins are being cleaned and loaded on the trailer for delivery…. winery equipment is being sanitized….. lab work has started…the phone is ringing off the hook with fresh information from my growers…the fridge is stocked with beer and the margaritas are being mixed!!!!” Alfaro says he expects to pick until the end of November. “The fruit is late but WONDERFUL” he added. Most of his Corralitos and south appellation colleagues are ready to begin their harvests too — “the action is started.”
I chatted last week with Peter Rinaldi, a third-generation Santa Cruzan who’s about to open Rocco’s at 503 Water Street. Why am I telling you this? Because Rocco’s is the new Italian-influenced dining place occupying the site of the late Limoncello, that’s why.
We’re happy to know that there will soon be a fresh new restaurant in this familiar old location, and Rinaldi — who also manages next-door Callahan’s — said that he wants to make sure the restaurant is casual, inviting and uses as many local purveyors as possible. Stay tuned! . . . .
And Chris leVeque tells me that his long-awaited El Salchichero house of artisan charcuterie is moving along — the interior tilework is, in a word, awesome. But he’s thinking that perhaps Thanksgiving might be a more realistic opening date than Halloween. Stay hungry!. . . .