Santa Cruz Moutains Wineries
Some friends and I will be checking out wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains soon, and I was hoping to get some guidance, since I am not able to find many reviews. Thanks!
Here's a few more links to add to Gail's. There is a concentration of tasting rooms on the west side of SC and a few others just off Hwy 1 to the east, so you don't really have to do a lot of travelling.
Santa Cruz Mountains wineries and maps
Pinot Noir map
I'm married to Mr. Wine Guy, so we taste only at the wineries where we get the full impact of vineyards surrounding us and perhaps meeting the wine maker and the vineyard dogs. So I guess that is why it becomes a traveling experience for us. Tasting room in town or elsewhere just doesn't feel the same.
I too thought of Bonny Doon (some ezcellent dessert wines). maybe half the day was spent figuring out how the heck to find PCH #1 from Santa Cruz (I swear one Sunday it felt like a Twilight Zone episode - I just want to go home to SF via Pacifica!) but it's a nice stretch of coast near there for a ptcnic
Check out the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers website at www.scwma.com. They have lots of info, maps and descriptions of dozens of wineries in the area and also sponsor a number of reasonably priced wine tasting events in the area. For example, there's an upcoming self-guided tour of Pinot Noir producing wineries at the end of March and one of the quarterly Passport days in April, which features lots of local wineries with unlimited tastings for one price.
Two of the SC wineries with interesting stories behind them are Ridge
and Thomas Forgarty. Ridge was founded by Paul Draper who was a
philosophy student at Stanford, Its flagship wine is the Monte Bello cab,
which was part of the wines which received recognition at the Judgement of Paris
competition in 1976. Definitively one of the most distinguished wineries in CA
[they have also an extension in Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma which focuses on zins].
Thomas Forgarty is interesting because its founder is a distinguished heart
surgeon at Stanford,. If you go to his web page, you will see he makes a
compelling case for viewing wine as a "health food."