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November 02, 2011

A Taste of Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowing History at Vinocruz

CVC blogger June Smith recently visited Vinocruz, a unique wine experience in Santa Cruz... To walk into Vinocruz is to sense an atmosphere not usually found in a retail shop. And that’s just what owners Jennifer Walker, Steve Principe and family member Ryan Bond have in mind for customers. On the day I visited, the smooth sounds of Middle East fusion by Buddha Bar was playing, putting me into an unhurried mood. Vinocruz shop and tasting room showcases wines produced in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation exclusively. Local vineyards provide excellent growing conditions due to mountain terrain, marine influence and distinctive soils. Wines reflect this unique environment and customers are encouraged to stop in, taste and join enlightening discussions about the wineries and winemakers. When Walker purchased the store from past owner J-P Corea, there were about a dozen bottles left, as Corea had virtually depleted his entire stock in a close-out sale. Since then they have added wines from his recommendations, diligently tasting them all and gradually ordering from new wineries appearing on the scene. Since purchasing the shop, more seating with stylish, high dark wood tables and chairs and deep burgundy-colored wall panels featuring rotating local artwork have been added. A sleek wine-tasting bar, built by Carlos Prentiss, features oak barrel staves to demonstrate the wine theme. The store is open every day. Preparations for a First Friday showing of stage pieces from the recent production of Henry lV, Part One were underway. A Shakespeare Santa Cruz 30th Anniversary Challenge Match donor drive is on now through the end of the year. The fact that Vinocruz and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art are located in the complex formerly housing the old county jail is a timely testimony that Santa Cruz wine, art and history are still alive in many forms. Head to downtown Santa Cruz and visit Vinocruz today!



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