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Santa Cruz Mountains AVA: Wikis


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Santa Cruz Mountains AVA (wine region)
Type American Viticultural Area
Year established 1981[1]
Country USA
Part of California
Sub-regions Ben Lomond Mountain AVA
Size of planted vineyards 1,500 acres (6 km2)[2]
Grapes produced Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, Grenache, Malbec, Malvasia, Merlot, Mondeuse, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier, Zinfandel[2]
No. of wineries 76[2]

The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is an American Viticultural Area centered around the Santa Cruz Mountains and three counties in California: Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Mateo. The mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and the nearby San Francisco Bay have a wide ranging affect on the appellation, creating several microclimates in the region-depending on the elevation of the land and on which side of the mountain it is on. Vineyards in this area have been severely affected by Pierce's disease in the past.[2]


The region bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountain range, from Half Moon Bay in the north, to Mount Madonna in the south. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation, extending down to 800 feet in the east and 400 feet in the west[3] extending through Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.


The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to more than 70 wineries producing Chardonnays, Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignons, as well as Pinot Noirs, Ports and other varietals and blends. Some of the oldest wineries in California are in this region. Two wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountain region participated in the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting with the 1973 David Bruce Winery Chardonnay placing 10th in the white wine tasting and the 1971 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon placing 5th in the red wine tasting.[4]

Other notable wineries in the appellation include Bonny Doon Vineyard, Byington Vineyard, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Mountain Winery, and Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards.


  1. ^ Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.31 Santa Cruz Mountains." Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Jan. 4, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Appellation America (2007). "Santa Cruz Mountains (AVA): Appellation Description". Retrieved Jan. 4, 2008.
  3. ^ "Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Web Site". Retrieved 2006-05-27.  
  4. ^ G. Tabers The Judgment of Paris pg 305 Simon & Schuster 2005 ISBN 0743247515



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