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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Merlot

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Cruz Mountains View all

  • Vine Hill Winery

    With a venerable viticultural history in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region in North Central Ca...

  • Thunder Mountain

    It's exciting to realize that our wines are resting in cellars all over the world, and practicall...

  • Thomas Fogarty Winery

    Internationally recognized heart surgeon, Stanford professor and inventor Dr. Thomas Fogarty foun...

  • Mount Eden Vineyards

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

  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

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

  • Soquel Vineyards

    Twins Peter and Paul Bargetto, along with friend Jon Morgan, began the winery in 1987 after leavi...

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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


  • Storrs Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    This is a great wine at a price that's a bit more accessible than many similar ... ... pinot that brings the Santa Cruz Mountains to life Read More

    Wine review by 1001679BYAHHH 1001679 BYAHHH


  • Storrs Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2014

    Snoothrank:

    "This is a very intriguing, tasty and cerebral bottling from this producer, which has an urban tasting room in the heart of Santa Cruz. Aromas of Brie cheese rind, Meyer-lemon pith, light jasmine and sea-salt-crusted cashew lead into a very grippy palate laden with pomelo pith and incredibly vibrant citrus and saline flavors." - Matt Kettmann Wi... Read More

    Wine review by 1001679BYAHHH 1001679 BYAHHH


  • Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Delicious, affordable pinot from a local Santa Cruz Mountains producer that knows what they are doing. This full bodied pinot offers strawberry and cherry on the nose with a luscious mid palate, white pepper, and an elegant finish. Read More

    Wine review by 1001679BYAHHH 1001679 BYAHHH


  • Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Ive heard of people getting a meatiness from some red wines and Ive never understood that until right now. The nose on this wine is meaty, but, also, with, maybe a sensation that I would associate with tart fruits. On the tongue there is only a hint of fruit (blueberry?), but there does seem to be a taste that makes me think of raw beef. The... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Branciforte Creek 2005

    Snoothrank:

    The Pinot Noir produced from the grapes of Dr. Jennifer Choate and Dave "Woody" Wood's vinyard has spoiled me and set a new bar height in what I'll expect from this kind of wine. Absolutely wonderful range of flavors, from first sip through last aftertaste. This is a definitely a wine of highest rank, to be enjoyed on its own or accompanied b... Read More

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • Ahlgren Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains Bates Ranch 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Donna George


  • Clos Lachance Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    it is bad. very flat taste, slightly melon at best . not eve worth the $8 i paid for it. poured it down the sink Read More

    Wine review by cpolk10005


  • Big Basin Vineyards Cabernet-Syrah Blend Santa Cruz Mountains Odeon 2007

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce


  • Rhys Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Alpine Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Very big oaky nose of vanilla. Yes, on the tongue I get the vanilla, and, maybe caramel. Make no mistake, this is no butter bomb. Citrus fruit flavors come with concomitant hit of refreshing acid. Quite spritely on the back of the palatemy guess is that is coming from the acid. Winner, winner. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Yes, the Monte Bello was 2012.  2007 was a great vintage, and well worth a ... into the best product.  Santa Cruz Mountains (and hence Monte Bello) was spared the worst heat spikes. so it will be great as well. I am a big advocate for Clay's wines, but it's pretty hard to fault them, and the wine is what started the relationship.  As he says, 9... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Good deeds, good wine, good...


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