2013 Harvest Report – Foxx Viticulture

Hi all,

80% of the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards I work with are coming in heavy. Most Pinot Noir Vineyards, especially in the Corralitos area are at a minimum of 25% over yield of last year and 2012 was a big year! A select few vineyards are showing even more production, some as much as 50% or more over normal. Quality is very high. There have been some issues with even ripening in younger vineyards and wine quality may have been affected if allowed to overproduce. Older vineyards are showing the best fruit I have seen in years even with a big set.

I attribute this to the perfect spring weather and excellent set. Disease pressure was very low during summer months. There were no heat spikes after verasion. We have enjoyed a slow steady maturation period that has produced perfect numbers. pH is coming in 3.2 to 3.5 depending on harvest date. Sugars are 23 to 25, less for those choosing to pick at the first hint of ripeness. TA is hitting 7 to 8. This is what I call a winemaker’s year. With environmental pressure low (no significant rain or heat) winemakers can pick their harvest date based on individual vision and style preference. Each vineyard I work with is in full expression of it’s terroir showing fruit flavors unique and fully developed across the board. In general cluster size and density is up, phenolics are strong, color is good even at first crush. Pinot Noir clusters that normally average 2 oz are showing easily 3 oz per cluster. Bins are regularly topping out at a pure half ton. 2013 promises to be a phenomenal year in every sense.

Bon appetit!

Prudy Foxx
Foxx Viticulture
Santa Cruz Mountains

Executive Directors Message – September 2013

Dear Members,

As many of you know my husband and I are expecting our first child in late October. I will be going on maternity leave, part-time, beginning September 28. I will be working (remotely) from home until the baby arrives.  I will slowly be phasing back into a more active role beginning sometime in late December or early January. While I am able, I plan to remain engaged in strategic conversations so that our learning’s from this year can inform greater success in the next.  I have already been working with the Board to ensure consistent delivery of high quality service to our members, partners and customers during my absence.

Implementation and management of upcoming events including the Professional Wine Tasting and Premier Cruz will be handled by Heather Hazen who is currently working for Beauregard on a part-time basis. Heather has extensive wine industry experience from working in marketing and event management in the Napa Valley. In the last year she has relocated home to Santa Cruz, and we are thrilled to have her assistance during this time.

Office administration and event support will be handled by Guadalupe Sanchez and she will continue to report to myself as well as Dave and Heather. Guadalupe has been a huge asset to the Association and has demonstrated that she is a quick learner and effective multi-tasker (critical skills for us!). We have the utmost confidence that she will be able to take direction from Heather for event support and handle any calls or current projects in the office.

Dave will be accessible to all of us and has been provided an internal timeline for the completion of 2013 projects that are underway. He will also be meeting with Heather and Guadalupe every Friday to ensure things are going as planned.

I take my role and responsibility as Executive Director very seriously and manage the Association as if it was my own business, which as you all well know takes dedication and hard work. I have been advised to embrace and cherish this upcoming event, which I will, but I also feel a strong commitment to the Association and its continued growth and success. Thank you all for the support and opportunity, and I look forward to wonderful things for the Association in 2014.


Megan Metz

Executive Director


President’s Letter – September 2013

I would like to begin by thanking all of our members for supporting the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. Especially as we’ve been undergoing some substantial evolutions over the past year, working to build a foundation for sustained growth, your continued support and engagement has been critical. As we finish out 2013 and are getting to work bringing in perhaps one of our best harvests of all time, it is already time to begin planning for the next year ahead.

Before we move forward it is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the elements of change that the Association has experienced in 2013. After recruiting and hiring Megan Metz as our new Executive Director, the Board went to work developing a 5-year strategic plan to guide our efforts elevating the status of the Santa Cruz Mountains on the local, regional and national stage. Our goal is simply to have our region attain its well deserved status among the world’s premier wine producing regions.

With renewed focus and increased Board participation, along with Megan’s professional guidance, we have implemented a suite of internal operational and accounting improvements.  We also focused heavily on our promotional events, aiming to improve the experience for our customers and value for our members.  We made strategic decisions to invest in increased promotion and outreach to key wine industry opinion leaders in the trade and media.  Results from these efforts include recent articles in the Huffington Post, Wine Enthusiast, Connoisseurs Guide, Tasting Panel, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sommelier Journal to name a few.

Looking forward we have much to be excited about. To begin with, we are hopeful our upcoming Professional Wine Tasting event (replacing the previously scheduled Wine Competition), will continue to build improved press and media exposure as we welcome a strong set of top flight professional tasters to experience our wines.

By now you all have received our announcement about the new SCMWA website. This updated website provides a fresh new online face for our region to the world. Currently SCMWA.com receives almost 6,000 unique visits a month from folks wanting to learn more about the region. We expect our improvements in site function, efficiency, and information quality will help drive new customers to our tasting rooms and promotional events. We look forward to continual improvement in our website and social media engagement.

As a Board, we understand that there is a need for improvement in membership communications as well. Along with the new website, another major new initiative we are rolling out to address this need is a monthly digital newsletter, which will include information about Staff and Board activities, upcoming market events, Committee reports and opportunities. Currently planned newsletter topics include:

  • Internal and external calendar Items
  • Ongoing PR tour notices and media coverage
  • Social media/Google analytics
  • Committee report & opportunities
  • Access to SCMWA financial summaries and Board minutes
  • Local/Industry issue info/action

Please make sure that you contact Megan if you haven’t been receiving email notices from the SCMWA office.

In addition to these efforts we have an ambitious set of tasks planned for late fall including:

  1. Revisiting & Updating the Strategic Plan
  2. 2013 Event Review
  3. 2014 Calendar Discussion and Approval
  4. 2014 Membership Renewals
  5. Board of Directors Elections
  6. Ideas & Brainstorming Sessions:
    1. Increasing wine tourism
    2. Increasing trade and media visits

I am hopeful you find the information contained in this letter informative and useful. We have made significant strides in this past year and have much to be excited about for the coming one. I believe strongly that the best days are yet to come for the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region and I look forward to sharing those with you. As President, and speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, our doors are always open. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact any one of us.  Contact emails can be found on the new website under About Us.

Wishing us the best success in the wine industry,

Dave Moulton

President SCMWA

Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Auction

VinDeMontagesCome celebrate the Vin des Montagnes of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association on Sunday, August 25, from 2pm to 5pm. Enjoy the grounds at Roaring Camp while sipping wines made by legendary winemakers and tasting edible delights. This event is accompanied by a silent and live auctions to support the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

The Train

For those guests interested in riding the train there is one scheduled at 12:30 pm returing at 1:45 pm. You can purchase your tickets with Roaring Camp Railroads by clicking here.

Roaring Camp Railroads Frequently Asked Questions

Day of event train ride coupon click here.

The Auction

Bid, bid, bid! Support the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association by participating in their live and silent auctions. This annual fundraiser supports the Santa Cruz Mountains wine appellation and its wineries by helping the Association promote this legendary wine region.

The Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association is an alliance of more than 70 wineries promoting wines produced from the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation. The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation was among the first to be defined by mountain topography, following the fog line along the coast to encompass the highest vineyards on the ridgetops as high as 2600 feet. The region encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountain range and extends from Woodside in the north to Watsonville in the south; from Monterey Bay along the coast to the Silicon Valley inland. Here one can be proud to support a small group of artisan wineries tucked among the redwoods along scenic mountain roads, or perched atop ridges with sweeping views to the sea. Visitors can meet the winemakers, enjoy legendary wines, and experience the natural beauty of the region.

Auction items will include rare wines, getaways to world class resorts, sporting tickets, unique private winemakers’ dinners and much, much more.

Passport Days Coming Up!

PassportDays2Passport Days to the Santa Cruz Mountains was introduced in 1993, by the Winegrowers of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Four times a year the winegrowing community of the Santa Cruz Mountains comes together to celebrate the generations of farmers, vintners and families that are the roots of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region. Over the last 20 years the event has become a beloved tradition among wine lovers who enjoy wines produced by our legendary, artisan winemakers all within the idyllic Santa Cruz Mountains.
The third Saturday of January, April, July and November, passport guests are welcomed into 30+ wineries throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains, each offering a unique pairing of artisan handcrafted wines, gourmet food and entertainment. Take a vineyard tour for a grape-to-glass look at Santa Cruz Mountains wine. Meet the winemakers, grapegrowers and sample exclusive vintages from wineries generally not open to the public. Delight in discovering each winery’s unique Passport “theme,” a tradition of the event. The possibilities are as varied as the wineries themselves and promise a fun, unforgettable weekend. Enjoy!