Santa Cruz Wine

Both environment and economics pose significant challenges to viticulture in Santa Cruz County, which is home to some of North America’s finest wineries. The coastal county enjoys unparalleled natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco. However, with benefits come drawbacks, as vineyard developers are forced to compete with urban aristocrats seeking the perfect plot of land for their million-dollar homes. When you combine these conditions with steep, rugged, remote vineyard sites and Pierce’s disease, you have either a winery owner’s nightmare or the stuff legends are made of. In Santa Cruz County, the latter description is more appropriate. A ‘Who’s Who’ of Central Coast winemakers call this county and its two AVAs (Santa Cruz Mountains and Ben Lomond) home. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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Popular wines made in Santa Cruz under $20

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Varietals Produced in Santa Cruz 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 View all

  • Picchetti Winery

    Located on a historic ranch a short drive from the Silicon Valley, Picchetti Winery is one of the...

  • Burrell School Vineyards

    Located at the historic Burrell School, our goal is to grow the best wine grapes possible so we c...

  • Kings Mountain Vineyard

    The vineyard at Kings Mountain was planted in 1992 on a private estate that has existed in Woodsi...

  • Chaine D'or Vineyards

    Chaine d’Or is a small winery in Woodside. Our founders, Anne and Jerry Anderson, planted our fi...

People getting updates on Santa Cruz Wines

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Santa Cruz on Snooth

  • Storrs Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2013


    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 BYAHHH

  • Storrs Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains 2014


    "This is a very intriguing, tasty and cerebral bottling from this producer, ... 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 Wine Enthusiast... Read More

    Wine review by BYAHHH

  • Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2013


    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 BYAHHH

  • Wow, that picture came out just a little bigger than I was expecting! lolGood ... ...  (I know a guy in Santa Cruz that brags about getting ½ton an acre!)Why Florida?  Hmmm, I like to Scuba dive, play golf, and love the beach.  And it's a lot cheaper to live here than California.   I also still own a business -  an air quality testing laborat... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Have enology-related questions?

  • I got the following article when I clicked on the "Here" is the ... ... is the ... bed at a home on Santa Cruz Avenue in Richmond, according to a police affidavit. The wine was from Donkey & Goat.Police also found some wine stolen from Donkey & Goat at a house in the 100 block of Tamalpais Road in Berkeley that had been rented by Sylvan and H... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and crime, part...

  • Very true Mark, the Ridge was just an excellent wine, top class CA Merlot. ... ... in CA. The cool climate of Santa Cruz Mountain, along with a cool vintage in 2010 I'm sure did not hurt.Havent found Saint Cosme (Wine Spectator darlings) to be especially exciting, though their St Joseph I've had a solid experience with, white pepper for days a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Syrah 2011


    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

  • "D, not everything winds up on the internet, at least not via the usual ... not a Riverside or Fresno or Santa Cruz).How was the snowcap that you could see? It is still May, Mark, and I've been snowed on in the Sierras in June, even within the past couple decade Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

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


    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

  • Well maybe we're not quite done, Fox, though we can switch over to Facebook ... his house in Soquel (near Santa Cruz) probably stop in their tracks slackjawed now.But perhaps that's a bit ambitious. Here're some songs to start with, in your circumstance:Billy Bragg, Handyman BluesKing Hokum, Handyman BluesEthel Waters, My Handy Man&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Time for an offline?

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