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Santa Cruz Wineries
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List of Santa Cruz Wineries

These are some of the wineries that we visit frequently. Some of them you are only able to visit with the Santa Cruz Experience so check with us before making plans. Feel free to call us if you have any questions about any of the wineries listed below. We have included a description and their daily tasting fees for your convenience.

Soquel Foothills Wineries

Soquel Vineyards

Soquel Vineyards

Established by twin brothers Peter and Paul Bargetto, Soquel Vineyards is perched above the town of the same name on a hill side in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With sweeping views of the hills leading down to town and out into the Pacific Ocean, the Bargettos have created a winery that offers not only a variety of very special wines, but magnificent beauty both inside and outside the tasting room as well.

Tasting Fee: $5-$10

Hunter Hill

Hunter Hill Vineyard

Hunter Hill Vineyard has been in the Slatter family for over 100 years and for a long time boasted apple orchards. In 1990 Christine and Vann decided they wanted to try their hands at wine and began to plant merlot among other varietals. Now the south facing slope of the Hunter Hill winery is entirely covered with vines including syrah, pinot noir, and merlot, and the Slatters are happy to be making some of Santa Cruz County’s best wines.

Tasting Fee: $5

Bargetto

Bargetto Winery

BARGETTO WINERY has produced hand-crafted wines in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 1933.We specialize in estate grown varietals from our Regan Estate Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay. The mountainous, cool climate region is host to low-yielding vineyards which produce wines of richness and intensity. BARGETTO WINERY produces Pinot Noir, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and several Italian varietals. Our family invites you to taste our award-winning wines and experience the long tradition and dramatic beauty of this internationally-acclaimed appellation.

Tasting Fee: $7 / $12

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Pelican Ranch Winery

Pelican Ranch Winery, run by Phil and Peggy Crews, is located near Park Drive in the Soquel/Aptos area. They specialize in Rhone blends as well as pinot noir and dessert wines. Phil is always there with a smile and a wealth of information, ready to pour wines and explain to his patrons the process he utilizes in making his unique wines.

Tasting Fee: $5

Poetic Cellars

Poetic Cellars

Poetic Cellars is situated on 33 beautiful redwood-studded acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the town of Soquel, near the historic winegrowing district of Vine Hill. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it enjoys a temperate climate that is an ideal location for growing the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that are planted on the hillsides. The scent, flavor, body, and texture of the wines from Poetic Cellars are a bold tribute to the soil and climate as well as the skill of the winemaker. The views are stunning and the winery setting is tranquil and conducive to a relaxing winetasting experience. Every bottle of Poetic Cellars offers a sensuous pleasure for the mind, body and soul. You are cordially invited to visit the winery, taste the wine, and experience the essence of Poetic Cellars.

Tasting Fee: $5

The True Olive Connection

www.TrueOliveConnection.com

True Olive Connection is a family-owned tasting room and retail boutique with over 35 of the freshest, extra virgin, first cold extracted olive oils from around the world and 20 balsamic vinegar’s from Mode, Italy. True Olive Connection is open 7 days a week!

We can also include an Olive Oil Tasting in your tour!

Corralitos Wineries

Alfaro FAmily Vineyards & Winery

Alfaro Vineyards

Come taste the difference – Alfaro’s estate grown and bottled Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah reflect the unique terrior of Corralitos, at the southern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. After a long and satisfying career as the founder of a restaurant and the wholesale baking company known under his own name – Alfaro’s Micro Bakery -Richard Alfaro shifted gears in 1997, acquiring an aging 75 acre apple farm south of Santa Cruz in Corralitos, California, which he and wife Mary Kay (a certified sommelier) subsequently transformed into the beautiful Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery.

Tasting Fee: $10

Nicholson Wine

Nicholson Vineyard

This family owned vineyard run by Marguerite and Brian Nicholson is located in the Aptos foothills in Pleasant Valley. The Nicholson family has been growing grapes since 1996 and now have started an Italian olive tree project as well. The first time we met Marguerite she gladly welcomed us onto their vineyard and showed us where they make their estate Pinot and Chardonnay. With our tour you too will get to personally meet Marguerite and have the same wonderful experience among their vines that we had.

Tasting Fee: $10

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Pleasant Valley Vineyards was established by Craig and Cathy Handley in 1996. Nestled in its own private enclave, the family estate vines surround a cathedral grove of coastal redwoods. There are two petite vineyards of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay planted in select French Dijon clones. The property encompasses a five-acre bowl on the western ridge within Pleasant Valley in Aptos, California, a part of the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation.

Tasting Fee: $10 – $20

Windy Oaks

Windy Oaks Vineyard

Since our first vintage in 1999, Windy Oaks driving objective has been to produce world-class Pinot Noir that faithfully represents our unique vineyard terroir, with no compromises. Our winemaking begins in our vineyards, which we farm in a fully sustainable way, using many organic and biodynamic practices. In the winery, our philosophy is to use a minimal intervention approach to fully preserve the grape quality achieved in our vineyards. Nothing is rushed—every effort is made to let the wine evolve naturally to its best expression. Hence, the winery is all-gravity, wines are aged on their lees in French oak for 17 to 27 months, and all wines are bottled without filtering or fining.

Tasting Fee: $10

Summit Wineries

Byington

Byington Winery

Byington winery was founded in the 1980’s but the land has been in the Byington family since the early 50’s. It is undeniably one of the most serene and beautiful places we have ever been in the Santa Cruz area, not to mention, it offers one of the best tasting experiences around. The bocci ball, picnic setting, and views of the pacific ocean make this one of the most aesthetically pleasing stops on our tour.

Tasting Fee: $12

David Bruce

David Bruce

David Bruce Winery was one of 12 California wineries to participate in the now famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris,” in which California Cabernets and Chardonnays outscored French Bordeaux and Burgundies in a blind tasting in France. Since then, David Bruce wines have consistently taken top honors in competitive tastings. Most recently, the 1997 Central Coast Pinot Noir ranked in the Wine Spectator “Top 100-The Most Exciting Wines of 1999.”

Tasting Fee: Groups of 9 or less: Free! Groups of 10 or more: $10

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Loma Prieta Vineyards

You may recognize the Loma Prieta name from the famous earthquake of 1989, but the Santa Cruz Mountains also play host to this award winning winery and vineyard estate. Located at about 2,300 feet in these mountains, the winery offers spectacular views of Santa Cruz and Monterey. They also offer handcrafted wines produced in small lots and barrel aged in the finest oak.

Tasting Fee: $5

Regale

Regale Winery

With a nod to the Old World virtues of “Table-conscious” winemaking and gracious cordiality, Regale crafts a terroir-driven collection of elegant wines offered for taste and purchase exclusively at the winery and through their membership. Everything at Regale Winery and Vineyards – choice of vineyards, winemaking philosophy and style, and their spectacularly original wine experience – reflects a belief that wine is inseparable from food and belongs among the pleasures of the table.

Tasting Fee: $10 (SCEXP guests receive 10% off!)

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Wright Station Winery

Write Station Winery is located near the Summit store just off Summit road

Tasting Fee: $10

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MJA Winery

MJA Vineyards is a small family owned winery in near the summit of the Santa Cruz Mountains. They specialize in Napa Valley Cabernet, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, offered from Serene Cellars and DaVine Cellars selections.

Tasting Fee: $10

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Burrell School Winery

Located at the historic Burrell School, our goal is to grow the best wine grapes possible so we can create distinctive, concentrated wines reflective of their mountain home. Our grapes are hand-picked at optimal ripeness, crushed in small lots, and fermented with select yeast strains.

Tasting Fee: $10

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Silver Mountain Vineyards

Silver Mountain Vineyards is the epitome of a boutique winery. The winemaker and owner Jerold O’brien offers handcrafted chardonnay, pinot noir and zinfandel. Silver Mountain is located deep in the Santa Cruz mountain range and boasts incredible panoramic views of the entire bay area. Between its beauty and its exceptional wine it is a treat to be able to offer a tour of this unforgettable winery.
Tasting Fee: $10

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Villa Del Monte

Villa del Monte Winery is an award-winning, family-owned boutique winery in Los Gatos, CA. Using grapes primarily from Santa Cruz Mountain vineyards, Villa del Monte Winery specializes in small lots of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot, Syrah, Syrah Rosé, and Zinfandel, producing extraordinary single-varietal, single-vineyard wines that reflect the terroir of the vineyards.

Tasting Fee: $5

West Side Santa Cruz Wineries

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Equinox Wines

Equinox continues the tradition of the methode champenoise, producing only sparkling wines in the time-honored way. Hand-selected Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from varied micro-climates of the Santa Cruz Mountains are gently whole-cluster pressed, with the delicate juice barrel-fermented in seasoned oak. The new wine is aged sur-lie, until the cuvee is blended in the sprina. The bottled wine is aged en tirage for three years. The dosage (the mixture of cognac, wine and sugar) finishes the wine with a rich, full texture on the palate, but with a very dry finish.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Sones Cellars

Sones Cellars is a small family winery located on the Westside in Santa Cruz, California. Their goal is to produce small lots of fine quality, distinctively Californian wines from grape varieties that flourish in California. Their primary focus is on Petite Sirah and Zinfandel.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Storrs Wines

“At Storrs, with each new day, we strive to make the best, ever better. This thinking extends not only to each and every barrel, but to those choices along life’s path that move us daily from the expected to the exceptional.”

Tasting Fee: $5

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Bonny Doon Vineyards and Randall Graham

The creative and eccentric Randall Graham and his Bonny Doon vineyards are some of the most famous in Santa Cruz. Bonny Doon winery is located in the Swift Street Vintners area on Ingalls Street. They always have new wines to try at their winery and their staff are both pleasant and helpful. There is also a delightful eatery inside the tasting room know as the Cellar Door.

Tasting Fee: $7

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Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards

For 30 years, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard was located at one of the oldest continuously operated vineyards in California, originally established in 1863 as the Jarvis Brothers Vineyard. Ken Burnap started the winery in 1975, setting out to make the finest Pinot Noir possible in California. Ken had done years of research into what conditions were necessary to produce good Pinot Noir, and the Santa Cruz Mountains region ended up being his final choice as the area with the greatest potential for excellent wines. The first release under the Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard label was the highly regarded 1975 vintage.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Beauregard Vineyards

Beauregard Vineyards is a family run operation focused on luscious, hand crafted wines. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel all call the Santa Cruz Mountains home. Beauregard invites you to visit their Bonny Doon home to inhale the redwood trees, see the winking aqua blue waters of the Monterey Bay and of course, savor the fruits of labor – Beauregard Vineyard wines.

Tasting Fee: $10

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Vino Tabi Winery

Vino Tabi is located in the wine village on the west side of town with 8 other premium wineries. They provide a first-rate micro-crush wine facility, together with the best winemakers, wine education instructors, professional staff and progressive, fun learning events to bring the world of winemaking to life for you!

Tasting Fee: $5

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McHenry Vineyard
The founding Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dean E. McHenry, dreamed of growing a vineyard close to the spot where UC Davis scientists had discovered ideal conditions for Pinot Noir. In the early 1970s he, his wife, Jane, his son, Henry (a professor at UC Davis), and daughter-in-law, Linda, planted four acres. Linda trained in viticulture at UC Davis and guided the plants to fruition. Henry learned winemaking from his colleagues at UC Davis. The resulting wines surpassed their grandest dreams with gold medals flowing in from commercial wine competitions throughout the State.

Tasting Fee: Private Tastings Only

Saratoga and Cupertino Foothills Wineries

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Cinnabar
With the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east, Cinnabar’s “island vineyards” overlook Silicon Valley from the eastern rim of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Cool breezes roll off the bay each afternoon and modify a temperate climate that is ideal for grape growing. The routine pattern of warm, sunny days and cool nights slowly ripens fruit and enhances its structure. Unfortunately, you can’t visit their lush estate, however, you can visit their charming tasting room in downtown Saratoga to taste their wonderful array of award winning wines that originate in their “island vineyard”.

Tasting Fee:$5 – 10

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Cooper-Garrod

The charming and rustic Cooper-Garrod winery is set on a hillside just above Saratoga. They specialize in a variety of Grapes including Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Viognier. The Cooper-Garrod vineyards have been in the family for over 100 years making it a well established land mark in the Santa Cruz mountain appellation.  The historic site is home to a lively equestrian community, hosting a variety of year round horse related activities and competitions.  It is important to note that Copper-Garrod makes their wine exclusively from estate grown grapes, a true rarity in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Mountain Winery

The Mountain Winery in Saratoga is dedicated to preserving its rich history and restoring the property to its magnificent glory for the enjoyment of all. They are very proud to continue the tradition started by Paul Masson, and their committed team takes personal pride in creating innovative and memorable experiences for guests.

Tasting Fee:$10

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Naumann Vineyards
Naumann Vineyards Wines are grown exclusively in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appelation. Their Estate Merlot is grown at 2,000 foot elevation on an eastern facing slope overlooking the Silicon Valley. All work in the vineyard is performed by hand. They cultivate for low yield, high quality, intense fruit in order to produce extraordinary wines. The wine is extremely limited in production and the estate vineyard is open only to a very select number of private groups. For serious merlot and chardonnay lovers and wine buyers, Naumann Vineyards is guaranteed to be the highlight of your tour.

Tasting Fee: Private Tastings Only.

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Picchetti Vineyards

Located on a historic ranch a short drive from the Silicon Valley, Picchetti Winery is one of the oldest wineries in California. Picchetti offers a variety of award winning wines from various regions, specialty foods and wine accessories. The winery complex is open daily from 11 to 5PM for wine tasting and picnics as well as visitors interested in the history or a beautiful hike on the nearby trails.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Ridge Vineyards

When it comes to wine Ridge takes a straightforward approach: find intense, flavorful grapes; intrude upon the process only when necessary; draw the fruit’s distinctive character and richness into the wine. A visit to their beautiful mountain top property will confirm everything you’ve heard regarding Ridge’s amazing wines and unbeatable vies and atmosphere.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Thomas Fogarty Winery

Thomas Fogarty Winery was founded in 1978 by inventor Dr. Thomas Fogarty and winemaker Michael Martella. Dr Fogarty’s penchant for innovative thought and Martella’s viticulture instincts allowed them to lead the development of the cool Skyline Ridge area; true pioneers in one of California’s premiere Pinot Noir and Chardonnay regions.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Savannah-Chanelle

Savannah-Chanelle was established in 1892 and holds some of the Santa Cruz Mountain’s oldest vines. The winery was purchased in 1996 by the Ballard family who decided to name it after their daughters. At Savannah-Chanelle you will get to taste 7 different wines including some of California’s best Pinot Noir.

Tasting Fee: $10

Los Gatos Wineries

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Black Ridge Vineyards

Overlooking the majestic slopes of the Santa Cruz Mountains, nearly sixty miles south of San Francisco and only three miles outside of downtown Los Gatos, lie eighty pristine acres forming Black Ridge Vineyards. Here, the estate’s elevation and geographic orientation is ideal for protection from the harsh coastal winds and lingering fog to receive a full day of sun. The vineyard micro-climate also benefits from the Lexington Reservoir half a mile below. These perfect growing conditions are instrumental in producing high-quality, highly approachable wines.

Tasting Fee: $15

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Testarossa Winery

Testarossa is located near downtown Los Gatos at the historic Novitiate winery. Operating since the late 1800’s it is the oldest winery in the appellation and specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Tasting Fee: $10

Other Wineries

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Hallcrest Winery

Hallcrest Vineyards was established in 1941 in the Santa Cruz Mountains where the soil and climate are ideal for producing premium California varietal wines. Today, Hallcrest remains a small, family owned operation that takes pride in producing original wines with a taste of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Tasting Fee: $5

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Big Basin Winery
Our mission has been to restore this historic vineyard site using modern, organic viticultural methods. Drainage and erosion problems have been corrected, while we have nutured the soil with organic composts and cover crops. Over 90% of the estate is being preserved in its natural state. Mountain lions, bobcats, deer, fox, and coyotes are all found in this forest ecosystem. It is our hope that someday the redwood forest surrounding the vineyards will once again achieve the stature of a primeval old growth forest.
Tasting Fee: $10

Contact

The Santa Cruz Experience

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(831) 421-9883

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P.O. Box 7127 Santa Cruz, CA 95061