SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA — With over 500 meaderies in the United States, one of the largest – also a near-century-old winery and the oldest in the region – is in Santa Cruz County. Now, Bargetto Winery’s sparkling mead – essentially wine made from honey instead of grapes – is getting lots of buzz amongst wine lovers. Bargetto’s Chaucer’smead has been a staple at the winery for some time, however, the addition of bubbles has converted this sweet wine into a cause for celebration.
Mead is made by fermenting honey and water with yeast, but it can also be flavored with fruits, spices, grains, and hops. Mead falls between beer and wine, enjoyed like a beer, wine, or cider. The honey for this specialty drink is sourced from hives throughout California’s Central Valley and Sierra Mountains. Chaucer’s Sparkling Mead is a blend of many types of honey: alfalfa, orange blossom, wildflower, and sage. The mead is then blended with orange and ginger to give it a sweet and spicy flavor with a crisp, clean finish with lingering hints of Valencia orange. Chaucer’s mead is available in bottles and cans for picnics on the go.