By Garrick Ramirez
Thanks to talented winegrowers, hospitable soil, and the cooling waters of nearby Monterey Bay, you won’t have trouble finding world-class wines with distinctive terroir in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. But what about a setting that is equally delicious? As local hikers and nature lovers are well aware, the Santa Cruz Mountains abound with a striking natural beauty which provides an inspiring backdrop for the many wineries dotted about its hillsides. Below, you’ll find three picturesque wineries where you can sip amidst the vineyards, and drink up the scenery.
Did you know that the Santa Cruz area is home to one of the oldest wine growing regions in California? The Santa Cruz Mountain appellation-lauded for its high elevation, ocean influence, and varied microclimates-enjoys more than 200 vineyards, 75 wineries, and, maybe most importantly, zero hassle. Here, it’s the scenery that will take your breath away, not the crowds or tasting fees. Santa Cruz wineries are small, intimate and family-run, and, oftentimes, your glass will be filled by the winemaker or owner themselves. From urban tasting rooms to spectacular country settings, the following wineries should be on your radar and on your next Santa Cruz County itinerary.
Raise your glass in Santa Cruz County to California Wine Month! Sip, savor, and experience the spectacular wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains during the month of September with these special events:
By Visit Santa Cruz County
The Santa Cruz Mountains have been nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards for “Best North American Wine Region!”
By Molly Ressler
Sometimes we need a gentle reminder to slow down and enjoy the moment. Even at dinner—a meal that should be savored and drawn out over a glass (or two) of local wine—we often forget to simply settle in and relax for a spell. While wine certainly helps, the soothing strum of an acoustic guitar or the irresistible groove of an upright bass gives you the perfect excuse to linger over that last bite and stay for dessert. You can find dining with live music here in any season, but in the summer months, bands pop up across the county both inside our favorite restaurants and on outdoor patios across the county.