One of the great things about visiting Santa Cruz is the number of tasting rooms right in town. While I love visiting the vineyards, sometimes it’s just easier to walk around from tasting room to tasting room, sampling many wines from a region.
Traveling to Santa Cruz
Where to Stop in San Jose and Santa Cruz
More Tasting in Santa Cruz
My two favorite stops on this trip were local winery tasting rooms. The first shares a parking lot with several other wineries.
SCMV is one of the historic wineries in the region, and while they have undergone several significant changes of late, they are still making wines that capture the spirit of the region. Be forewarned, these are not your average California wines; they are complex, even if that means they are sometimes earthy or herbal. They are also structured for aging, making them tough in their youth at times. But in the end they are really fascinating wines—engaging, compelling and worth spending time with.
Storrs is a happy tasting room; the wines are happy and the staff is laid back and welcoming. With wines from both the local AVA as well as other well-known vineyards, this is not as purely a Santa Cruz experience (as one might find at some other tasting rooms) but the wines make for a worthy visit. They can be somewhat large-scaled at times, but they are filled with bright fruit—both SCMV and Storrs make great Santa Cruz Petite Sirahs that were standouts of my tastings. It’s worth buying a bottle of each and finding someplace to chill out and barbecue in true Santa Cruz style.