Harvest is over and all of the 2014 grapes have been crushed and/or pressed.  So, now it is time to turn our thoughts to chili. Yes, chili!

It’s Chili Cook-Off time in Santa Cruz!  On October 25, Villa del Monte winemaker Neil Perrelli and his family will be participating in the 5th Annual Chili Cook Off at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Neil’s team, The Perrelli-Jensen Chili Masters, has entered both categories: Red Meat Chili and Red Vegetarian Chili.

Chili cook offAll chili contestants will be judged by a professional tasting panel.  Additionally, there will be a People’s Choice award and a booth decoration award.  Spectators may purchase tasting kits ($9) containing bowl, spoon, five taste tickets, and a People’s Choice Ballot.  If you are planning to attend the chili cook off, please come by our booth for a taste.  We would love to have your vote for the best amateur team!

Although Neil’s team is sponsored by Villa del Monte Winery, he will not say whether or not his secret ingredient is wine…

This fun community event is also a fundraiser for local charity, Haven of Hope Homes, which helps to prepare adolescents to meet the challenges of life as independent, confident, self-sufficient adults.