Santa Cruz Mountains Wine

 

The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is a vast region within San Francisco Bay in California’s Central Coast. Most of it is within Santa Cruz county, but also flows into Santa Clara and San Mateo. Just minutes away from the bustling city are wineries grown high into the hills and tops of ridges, some of the highest elevated vineyards in the state. The Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay all contribute to a predominately maritime climate in the region. But there are many soil types and microclimates, with warmer temperatures inland and cooler temperatures reaching the coast and ridges. For this reason a variety of grapes are grown from cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah. 
 
Wine-making can be traced back to the very early 1800s with missionary plantings for ceremonial wines. Like many California wine regions, a successful wine industry took shape from the mid to late 1800s, then fell apart between Phylloxera Read more »

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Popular wines made in Santa Cruz Mountains under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Cruz Mountains View all

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Popular Wineries in Santa Cruz Mountains View all

  • Ahlgren Vineyard

    No hype, no fad, not a trend. AHLGREN wines have earned a reputation for consistency of quality:...

  • Naumann Vineyards

    Naumann Vineyards Wines are grown exclusively in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appelation. We believe ...

  • Clos Tita Winery

    Artisinal wines made in limited quantities from the Santa Cruz Mountains, high above beautiful Mo...

  • Mount Eden Vineyards

    The genesis of Mount Eden Vineyards was the arrival of Burgundian winemaker Paul Masson to San...

  • Kathryn Kennedy Winery

    The Kathryn Kennedy estate vineyard is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines cover gentle slopes in ...

  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

    Since 1975, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard has been producing terroir-driven, food-oriented wines k...

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Santa Cruz Mountains on Snooth

  • Pinot Paradise, a celebration of the Pinot Noirs of the Santa Cruz Mountains, is March 27-28. On Saturday: the wineries are open for Pinot Pathways, with special barrel tastings and new releases. On Sunday: the Grand Cruz Tasting at Villa Ragusa in Campbell in the afternoon. And that morning is the Technical Session: this year focusing on the in...

    Comment by 100512SMV 100512 SMV


  • Vin0Vin0,  I was a big fan of Balletto's 2006 Syrah.... lots of white ... it.  I just tasted a Santa Cruz Mountains (Corralitos) Syrah from Windy Oaks (sold out now) that was also amazing....  I get a lot of black pepper out of that particular region, along with a tiny tad of menthol, prolly from all the Eucalyptus around the various vineyard Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Hopefully we can get a couple of wet years in the near future. Would definitely make new projects like this a lot more feasible. Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • if my kid got thyroid cancer vs. a knee injury, I'd be waaaay more upset.  That turf with ground up tires is nasty.  As the father of a sometime-goalie, that's scary. Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • Hey, OT, are they going to use recycled corks?  I think between the regulars here we could probably donate enough for the red zone, at least.  I've got about 300 corks sitting in containers at my house.  I can't think of a better product.On other fronts, I'm bumping my non-wine thread.  Water plays a role in that, too. Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • I said it a while ago to JD:  No golf courses that require artificial irrigation.  Period.  If you look at where the residential communities use the most water, it's those exurbs pushing into the desert and Palm Springs. Why?  Golf.  No one can eat it, only a few can play it... and we grow grass for it in the middle of the desert. Also, rice in ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • "There is some talk of replacing grass on school athletic fields with artificial turf.  I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that.  If we can't have plastic bags at the supermarket, how can we have plastic grass?  Also, of course, we're talking about the intermural fields, not the revenue-producing, administration protecting, alumni worshiping ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • Oh, BTW, since you left the area, David, there is wine made on Hearst's Ranch: http://www.hearstranch.com/about/history/  Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • Okay, getting back to the topic at hand, in effect the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is the other side of those mountains.  Arroyo Seco is basically due east of Big Sur.  And there's San Antonio Valley a little further south.  (Pierce Family, whom I have touted on the "Completely Different" thread, are down there.)  Here's a nice map: http://wine.ap... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


  • DV - You wonder how my selection compares with the Monte Bello?  I did ... ... Bello Vineyard is in the Santa Cruz Mountain Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • NG, I agree that you and I are not terribly apart.Darren, Governor Brown issued an executive order, yesterday, that communities must reduce water usage by 25%.  That is the high level. The details are a bit fuzzy to me.The report that I read did mention some useful steps like replacing water guzzling flora with more drought tolerant examples, co... Read More

    Forum post in the topic From Santa Cruz south through...


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