The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation encompasses approximately 480,000 acres, from Woodside in the north to Watsonville (Mount Madonna) in the south, some 60 miles as the crow flies and 100 miles to drive. Within this area are some 60+ wineries and over 200 small vineyards growing approximately 1300 acres of winegrapes, divided about ¼ evenly among Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and ‘other’ varietals (most notably Merlot and Zinfandel). A single vineyard in some appellations has as much if not more acreage as we have in our entire appellation! Our winegrapes are rare and in demand.
Our broad region is marked by diverse microclimates: warm on the eastern (inland) side where Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Merlot predominate; and on the coastal side and ridgetops, cooled by ocean breezes and fog, cooler climate varietals such as Pinot Noir are grown. Soils are varied (decomposed rock, clay, loam, limestone); an abundant mineral content often releases a fresh, mineral character to the wines.
The region’s vineyards actively support sustainable winegrape growing. Our winegrowers have used best vineyard and sustainable practices, including cover crops, erosion control, canopy management, for decades. Since the first sustainable workshops in 2004 the region has seen an increase in the adoption of sustainable vineyard practices. Some have adopted alternative energy such as solar and biodiesel. Several vineyards grow organically, and one is certified organic by the CCOF.
Aptos VineyardAptos Vineyard
Casanova VineyardsCasanova Vineyards
Chaine d’OrChaine d’OrContact: Jerry Anderson
Looking down on Stanford University from the mountains to the west, Chaine d’Or is a small boutique winery producing only estate bottled wines from our own grapes. We blend Cabernet Sauvignon with small quantities of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot harvested from our 25 year old vines. As a counterpart to the red wine, we also grow and bottle a French style Chardonnay.
Lago Lomita VineyardsLago Lomita VineyardsContact: Mark and Robin Porter
Portola VineyardsPortola VineyardsContact: Len Lehmann
We are a community-supported micro-winery focused on making hand-crafted Pinot Noirs. Since 2005, we have been producing award-winning wines from our estate vineyard in Portola Valley.
We strive to make outstanding vintages that showcase the taste of the mid-Peninsula foothills. We practice organic and ecologically balanced farming techniques that improve rather than degrade the land.
Above all, we seek to create connections — to allow people in our community to know their vintner, to work the vines that produce their wine, and to come together with neighbors in the beauty of the foothills.
Radonich Brothers VineyardsRadonich Brothers VineyardsContact: Randolph & Bradford Radonich
Located in the historic Santa Cruz Mountains above Los Gatos, California at an elevation of 1,980 feet, our focus is on estate grown Pinot Noir, handcrafted in small lots using traditional methods, and aged in the finest French Oak barrels.
We produce a truly exceptional Pinot Noir that reflects the special characteristics of the Santa Cruz Mountain wine growing region.