“There is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the greatest and most overlooked terroir in the United States....the single most exciting place to visit in California. No other region offers the same mix of history, innovation and what appears to be virtually unlimited potential. To be sure, these hillside sites are capricious and hard to work with. But they are also capable of producing riveting, emotional, world-class wines”. - Antonio Galloni

Local information source:

Located south of San Francisco and west of Silicon Valley, this area has a long history of wine growing as well as stunning natural beauty.

Be forewarned: When planning your itinerary, it’s advisable to limit your winery stops to 3 or 4. The windy mountain roads make it much more exhausting than touring in Napa.

According to noted wine writer Matt Kramer, the Santa Cruz Mountains is “California’s all time most underrated wine district”. This historic area has been recognized since the late 1800’s when local winegrowers first began to win acclaim for their wines in international competitions. In 1981 the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA became federally recognized as one of the first American viticultural areas to be defined by topographic lines.