We invite you to come and explore! The Santa Cruz Mountains wine region is nestled in one of the most unique natural environments in the world. With its mountainous terrain, marine and valley influences, varied micro-climates, and diverse soils the Santa Cruz Mountains offers our vintners the ideal place to grow high quality grapes and to produce some of the world’s most distinct and terroir driven wines.
The Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation encompasses more than 850 square miles beginning from San Francisco down the Peninsula to Silicon Valley and Gilroy over to Watsonville, Monterey Bay and back up to Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. Due to the size of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region it is often useful for our visitors to plan their trip by winery hours of operation, sub-regions or by urban winery locations.
Hallcrest Vineyards/Organic Wine WorksHallcrest Vineyards/Organic Wine Works
Appropriately named in the 1880s and originally a retreat for the Hall family, Hallcrest sits at the crest of a small hill above the town of Felton. In 1941, Chaffee Hall, a prominent business attorney from San Francisco, acted on his passion for wine and planted the Hallcrest Estate vineyard. An on-site winery followed in 1945 and is still in use today. The first vintage was released in 1946. At the time, Hallcrest was one of only three wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the only one producing varietal wines from estate vineyards.
Hallcrest Vineyards quickly became one of the outstanding wineries in California, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and White Riesling. Acclaim for the wines combined with Hall’s reputation as a winemaking pioneer in the Santa Cruz Mountains further elevated Hallcrest wines’ status.
In 1987, John Schumacher and his family bought the Hallcrest site, which had been operating as Felton Empire Winery since Chaffee Hall’s death. John and his family restored the original Hallcrest name and label. They pursue Chaffee Hall’s original crusade to make uncompromised quality wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Hallcrest is family owned and operated by the Schumacher’s. The winery’s focus is on handcrafting premium wine in small lots that bear a “signature” Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation character.
Heart O' The MountainHeart O' The Mountain
Welcome to Heart O’the Mouintain
Deep in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains lies an old estate rich in history and tradition. Established in 1881 by California pioneer Pierre Cornwall; this premium grape growing property was once owned by the famous director, Alfred Hitchcock. Today Heart O’ The Mountain is owned by the Robert Brassfield family, producing a limited amount of hand-crafted, Estate grown Pinot Noir.
House Family VineyardsHouse Family Vineyards
The sunny days and cool nights of the mountainside above Saratoga
California married with our handcrafted viticulture and classical
winemaking techniques produce limited quantities of our fine wines.
“Most exciting new producer in the Santa Cruz Mountains”
Sommelier Journal, April 2012
Hunter Hill Vineyard & WineryHunter Hill Vineyard & Winery
Located in an appellation known for world-class wines, this lovely property has been home to our family for over a hundred years. High in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Soquel, the vineyards enjoy sunny days, moderate nights and a long, cool growing season. Grapes ripen gently here and develop a depth of flavor that is distinctive to meticulous dry farming.
Hunter Hill wines are clean, fruity and finished. Through each step of the process, from hand pruning the grape clusters through delicate fermentation and graceful aging on American and French Oak, the wines of Hunter Hill are nurtured by an expert craftsman.
Our winemaker, Vann Slatter, follows a simple guiding principle: great wines are easy to make with well-loved, beautiful fruit. It is a philosophy that has brought a sophisticated audience and top-tier acclaim to Hunter Hill. Our 2002 Syrah beat out wines from 600 California wineries to receive the prestigious Golden Bear – a unanimous selection as California’s Best Wine in 2005. Most recently, our 2010 Sangiovese was honored with a Silver Medal at the 2012 SF Chronicle Wine Competition.
Visit the Hunter Hill tasting room and sample our remarkable Estate varietals. We invite you to stand at the redwood bar overlooking the forests of Nisene Marks, or take a seat by the fountain and enjoy a quiet view of the vineyards. You’ll enjoy the experience.
The Slatter Family and Team