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

  • Merlot

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

Popular Wineries in Santa Cruz Mountains View all

  • Silver Mountain Vineyards

    Silver Mountain produces handcrafted premium wines from its mountaintop winery in the Santa Cruz ...

  • Vine Hill Winery

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

  • Loma Prieta Winery

    You may recognize the Loma Prieta name from the famous earthquake of 1989, but the Santa Cruz Mou...

  • Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard

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

  • Domenico Winery

    Dominick and Gloria Chirichillo’s choice of name for their winery is a reflection of their commit...

  • Muccigrosso Vineyards

    Muccigrosso Vineyards is a family-run endeavor committed to producing small quantities of hand ma...

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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

  • Rhys Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Alpine Vineyard 2012


    Very murky in the glass. Kind of a forest floor nose. On the tongue life is good. Tart red fruit--cherry, mostly, but with some stone fruit. The fruit, I have to add, is not over the top--not syrupy, at all, probably due to the acid. I do get some hints of spice. It could be cinnamon or it could be clove, but "hint" is the operative word. ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Model Farm Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2016


    Pretty straw color. Nose of tropical fruits. On the tongue a very obvious lemon. Oak is restrained, although, there is a suggestion of caramel. Bitter sensation on the side of the tongue makes me think of lemon pith. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Vidovich Vineyards Lake Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce

  • Vidovich Vineyards Montebello Road Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by 453542Mr Dolce 453542 Mr Dolce

  • Liking that Liquid Farm Roger. I picked up a Golden Slope at Bottle Barn a ... ... a ... San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (8/6/2017)Second bottle of this in the past couple weeks and 5th in the last year. There has been some varition in the past two. The last one had a very oxidative nose. Last night had the fruit and zippy acidity tha... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Round 4 - and now for all of my Snooth US colleagues - the US setFirstly - if I ... price pointMount Eden CS [Santa Cruz Mountains] 2012CS 78 M 10 cf 10 PV 2Definitely my favourite, seriously good wine great depth no hole in the middle feels like it will age well, around AUD100 here but I certainly thought it outperformed the first 2 on both ab... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US

  • MY FIRST VISIT TO BERN'S STEAKHOUSE - Tampa (4/8/2017)Like any true ... true ... San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz MountainsThis wine was the surprise treat of the evening. My somm Rachel pulled this one out of her hat and nailed it. Color was medium dark red with a slight brickish tinge. The nose featured red berry and light baking spice along w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The wine geeks holy grail, I...

  • Here's an offer from another vendor on that list. Lots of mouthwatering ... ... Eden Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains -- 1994 750mL  (1)  $125.00  Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red -- 1995 750mL  (11)WA96scl  $135.00  Ridge Monte Bello -- 1989 750mL  (6)WS92   $229.00  Ridge Monte Bello -- 1989 750mL  (2)WS92bn  $229.00          Please let us ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Learning more about US wine

  • My brother and his family live in Mt. Herman over in the mountains by Santa Cruz.  His commute is nuts, but the town is a beautiful mountain village.  A mountain side creek not far from his house a trails to hike.  I like his area, but not the prices. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine storage tips

  • 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 1001679BYAHHH 1001679 BYAHHH

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