“It’s a hard grape to grow…it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early…it’s not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. It can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, ahhh, its flavors are the most haunting and brilliant, thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.” ~ The character Miles, from the 2004 movie, “Sideways”
Pinot Noir grows best in mountain terroir: high elevations, rugged terrain, cool climate. The Santa Cruz Mountains enjoys a proximity to the ocean and the benefits of its coastal cli- mate: warm days, cool nights, coastal fog in the morning, and soft breezes by afternoon to dry the vines without stressing them – all so important to growing premium Pinot Noir. Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards are distinguished from most California vineyards by be- ing so close to the ocean, enjoying the benefits it brings to producing quality Pinot Noir.
The appellation is bordered by two bodies of water – the Pacific Ocean on the west and the San Francisco Bay on the east. This situation creates a cool climate that moderates California’s late season heat spikes, producing intense wines with beautiful balance.
Family-owned vineyards and artisan wineries. Personal attention to the vines and the wine. Low impact farming. Attention to detail, patience, respect, the quality that time lends. The best Pinot results from this kind of dedication and artistry. This is Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir.
Santa Cruz Mountain wines offer all the key ingredients for truly fine wine – breathtaking balance, terrific concentration, uncommon minerality, thrilling complexity and Old World ageworthiness. With approximately 500 acres planted to Pinot Noir in the entire appellation, Santa Cruz Mountains.
March is Pinot Noir Month in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The SCMWA sponsored Pinot Paradise 3 day event will take place March 22, 23 and 24th. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Pinot Noirs the region has to offer www.SCMWA.com.
Shannon worked as the Director of Operations for the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrower’s Association for approximately 13 years. Shannon has brought wine events of all kinds to the area in an effort to excite interest in the local wines and food. She loves watching people from all over enjoying the region’s wine and witnessing the local vintners businesses grow and prosper.