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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Merlot

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

Popular Wineries in Santa Cruz View all

  • Burrell School Vineyards

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

  • Picchetti Winery

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

  • 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

  • RBA, that shellfish platter looks amazing.  You would have had to roll me ... ... Mount Eden was in the Santa Cruz Mountains, not the Russian River.  The word "Estate" made me think that the wine was made from winery-owned vineyards.  Santa Cruz Mountains? Russian River Valley?  Why am I getting this geographic discontinuity?Well, after some ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Burrell School Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Enjoyed this wine at the 4th annual Santa Clara County BBQ Championships, paired perfectly with the brisket, ribs, and delectable barbequed meats. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • It's a bit of a schlep from Carmel/Monterey up to Ridge and Mt. Eden. Better to stay in Santa Cruz or over in the Silicon Valley area if you're interested in them.DM is right I was probably over-optimistic about the driving times between those wineries and Monterey.  It's been a few years and, so, may no longer be a problem but there always was ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • If you want wine, then Santa Barbara wins out, hands down. If you want romantic ... anywhere in Monterey 5th. Santa Cruz...me Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • It's a bit of a schlep from Carmel/Monterey up to Ridge and Mt. Eden. Better to stay in Santa Cruz or over in the Silicon Valley area if you're interested in them. Driving those roads at the end of the day (evening rush hour) can also be a nightmare. The Monterey/Carmel area wineries are not at the same level.Santa Barbara area is generally frie... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines


  • Rhys Horseshoe Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Very attractive clear, light yellow color in the glass. Bright fresh nose of tropical fruit and citrus. Although there may also be a hint of yeast. Tart papaya on the tongue. Quite lean. Oak is detectable in hint of vanilla, but is not overwhelming. Very much in the style of a Chablis. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • 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...


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