Santa Cruz Mtn. wineries - Printable Version

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- cpurvis - 07-26-2001 03:25 PM

The S.C. Mtn. winery Passport program is set up to allow quarterly public visits to over 20 wineries...many that are otherwise not open to the public. The better known producers (David Bruce, Bargetto, etc.) see high traffic. We search for the can't-get-there-from-here wineries.

Began at Silver Mountain Vineyards. The chards are for splinter lovers & the pinot was forgettable. The Bordeaux blends were solid efforts...tasted '96 & '97. However, can do as well for half the $18 price. Preferred the more robust '96 w/ it's 30%+ cab. franc.
Enjoyed the Bordeauxs with lunch in the gazebo overlooking Monterey Bay & surrounding mtns.

Disappointment/surprise: Crescini Wines has ceased selling to the public. However, Paulé Crescini took pity on us & let us barrel taste what he was bottling. A merlot that was REAL merlot...more complex than just jam, & a very nice cab. franc that needs 4-5 yrs. Still working on getting my friends to barter for a few cases [img][/img]

Soquel Vineyards provided the unusual blend of the day: the Trinity blend is Zin, Cab. Franc, & Carignane. At $12.50, a very good, drink-now, full-bodied table red. 90/88

Last stop was best: Trout Gulch Vineyards, producers of chard, pinot & a methode champagnoise sparkler. Tasted 3 pinots...the '95, '97, & '99. At $14 retail, the latter two are worth the price of admission...'97 fruity & '99 downright unusual in an enticing kinda way. Try it if you can get it. The '99 needs 3+ yrs.

So far, Zayante & Trout Gulch are the gems discovered during our Passport visits...& you REALLY have to want to get to both. Well worth the effort.


- Innkeeper - 07-26-2001 03:49 PM

Sounds good. Tell more about this Passport thing.

- cpurvis - 07-27-2001 11:45 AM

IK, Most S.C. Mtn. wineries are small & open by apptmt only. The Passport Program sets 4 Saturdays per year for public visits to participating wineries...over 20 at present. For $10, you receive a Passport to the wineries. You can have the Passport stamped & turn it in for "a reward" when full. Most wineries allow anyone visiting with a Passport holder to taste. We had 8 people & only 2-3 Passports among us.

The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers' Assoc. maintains good event info re: Passport & other events on their web site, including a map, addresses & phone #s. The web site is:


WHEN: Always the third Saturday of January, April, July and November.
TIME: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
WHERE: Participating wineries