Overlooking the renowned Silicon Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains is a winegrowing region where high tech gives way to high altitude. Here, where the mountains and Pacific Coast converge, more than 70 wineries and 200 growers produce wines shaped by the elevation and the ocean’s cooling influence. It’s a place where soaring cliffs drop into the sea, steep mountain vineyards overlook idyllic small towns and tradition meets innovation.
Santa Cruz Mountains wines come from high-altitude, small vineyard lots surrounded by Redwood trees and native chaparral, growing atop an ancient seabed overlooking the Pacific Ocean. These growing conditions give the wines a distinct regional identity, characterized by herbal aromas, fully ripened fruit, bright acidity and a thread of minerality. Known today for award winning pinot noir, the Santa Cruz Mountains have produced world-renowned wines since the 1870s, when Paul Masson and Charles Lefranc planted the region’s first vineyards with cuttings transplanted from Burgundy.
Shaped by its unique terrain and a maverick mindset, the Santa Cruz Mountains is a wine region for independent spirits with a taste for the extraordinary. From such lauded wineries as Mount Eden Vineyards, Thomas Fogarty Winery and Big Basin Vineyards to rising stars Sante Arcangeli and Mindego Ridge, the Santa Cruz Mountains attracts winemakers who buck trends and follow the dictates of climate and geography – producing pinot noirs that are distinctly Californian in essence, but with a European sensibility and structure.
As most Santa Cruz Mountains wineries are small and family-owned with limited distribution, the best way to experience Santa Cruz Mountains wines is in the place where they’re grown. Easy to reach from nearby San Jose and San Francisco, Santa Cruz Mountains is a winegrowing region with dozens of wineries spread across nearly half a million acres. Small towns like Aptos, Saratoga and Los Altos anchor the surrounding forest and vineyards. Scattered throughout the region you will discover wineries such as Lester Estate Wines, Armitage, Bargetto and Neely Wine. Visit the region and taste what makes it so special. Get to know the wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains and taste the Extraordinary!
The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association will be pouring at both the Friday and Saturday Grand Tastings with a variety of Pinot Noirs. Additionally, Thomas Fogarty Winery will be pouring at the Friday Grand Tasting, March 6 and Mindego Ridge Vineyard will be pouring at the Saturday Grand Tasting, March 7.