Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains wine region has played a pivotal role in the history of California winemaking ever since the 1870s when Paul Masson and Charles Lefranc planted the first vineyards from cuttings transplanted from Burgundy. Recognized as an AVA in 1981, it is the first California appellation to be defined by its mountain topography. Today, the winegrowing community comprises nearly 300 small growers and wineries are united by a spirit of independence and shared passion to make elegant, distinctive wines that reflect the region’s unique terroir.
The region is planted to approximately 1300 acres of grapes, divided evenly among Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and “Other Varietals” (most notably Merlot and Zinfandel). The wines come from high-altitude, small vineyard lots surrounded by Redwood trees and native chaparral, growing atop an ancient seabed overlooking the Pacific Ocean. These growing conditions give the wines a distinct regional identity, characterized by fresh flavours, bright fruit, and minerality.