From Our Editors
At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil which are represented by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields Cabernets, Merlots, and Zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. The SCMWA hosts events events such as Pinot Paradise - Picnic in the Park, where attendees can bring their own picnic and taste Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from vintners of the Santa Cruz Mountains.