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...

  • Syrah

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Santa Cruz View all

  • Chaine D'or Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • Picchetti Winery

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

People getting updates on Santa Cruz Wines

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Santa Cruz on Snooth

  • OK, let's make it interesting and either more fantastic or real, ... up ... up PCH from Lompoc towards Santa Cruz. Stop at a) Post Ranch for dinner with a table overlooking the Big Sur coast, or b) at Nepenthe out on the terrace for late lunch and a different angle on that same coast. Wine and food?You're cycling from Ojai up into the Sespe, a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic wine and food combination

  • 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...

  • Mindego Ridge Chardonnay Santa Cruz 2013


    From Benu's wine list Read More

    Wine review by alm mtw

  • Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Chardonnay 2012


    I see that I commented on this wine, last spring. My notes, this time, are almost like a rerun. Very attractive pale yellow color. Lots of tropical fruit on the nose. Tropical fruit and citrus dominate on the tip of the tongue. As the wine passes mid-palate chalky earthiness pops up. Nicely light on the oak. Good acid freshness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Martin Ray Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Dave Mooty

  • I love it when I'm right!My gift is a 2013 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains which I am convinced came from my friend Napagirl. Thank you my dear. I'll save this one for Spring or early Summer if I can. :-)    Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015

  • Well, reveal day is upon us. Why don't I mosey on over to the cellar and ... ... vintage Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains or Northern Marin County. I sure hope I'm correc Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015

  • Rhys Syrah Santa Cruz Mountains Skyline Vineyard 2011


    Nose of red fruit. Same on introduction to the tongue/palatesome cherry, some red plum. As the wine moves back there are some earthy or graphite hints. A fairly light-bodied Syrah. Also, very light on tannin. Excellent acid tartness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Rhys Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains Alpine Vineyard 2012


    Lively and spritely on the tongue and under the palate. Deft use of oak and M-L provide a touch of vanilla and butter, but it does not dominate. Good fruit flavor of tart stone fruitpeach, apricot--and, maybe,a hint of melon. Very refreshing. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Here's a weekend wine... pricey but sooooo worth it!  We just were at ... at ... for example, making Santa Cruz mts wine!  I am happy to see this region get the recognition they so deserve...&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

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