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WINES BY REGION

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Santa Cruz Mountains

Antonio Galloni stated in 2012 that Santa Cruz Mountains was "the greatest and most overlooked terroir in the United States".  No small praise there.  But when you more closely examine some of the incredible wines being produced here, it quickly becomes clear that Galloni's words are no overstatement.santacruzvines.jpg

Located less than 100 kilometers to the south of San Francisco, on the Pacific Coast, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA was created in 1982, and is one of the smallest in the broader Bay area, with less than 200 hectares under vine.  Most vineyards are quite small, and the terroir of these various sites varies enormously, as elevation, exposure and orientation, and soils is taken in to account.  An interesting geological feature is that many vineyards straddle the San Andreas faultline, so some are planted on the encroaching Pacific plate and others on the slowly disappearing North American plate.  This is most strikingly visible at Rhys Vineyard's two sites, 'Home' and 'Family Farm', which are only meters apart yet on different techtonic plates!

There are a surprising number of wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains region, many located near the industrial outskirts of San Jose, but only a few actually have vineyards in the region, many buying fruit in from other regions.  There are a number of quite exceptional producers here, both famous and up-and-coming, giving the area a real sens eof over-achieving in terms of the quality of wine coming from area.

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