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Terroir Of Santa Cruz Vineyards

Santa Cruz Vineyards enjoy a unique mountainous terroir as well as a long history of wine production. The AVA is significantly affected by wind and fog, often in the late summer months immediately before and during harvest.

 The slopes facing inland are substantially warmer than those facing the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, the ocean side receives about twice as much rainfall as the inland side. Very few vines are planted below 1000 feet on the ocean side due to excessive fog and wind. However, some Santa Cruz Wineries source grapes from a few exquisite Pinot Noir plantings.

One example is the Mount Eden Vineyards 2000 Estate Pinot Noir. It is derived from coastal facing vineyards that are cool enough for sufficient acidity, but that also recieve enough sun to completely ripen this varietal.

Terroir Of Santa Cruz Vineyards

Higher elevations are less affected by the wind and fog. This part of the AVA is predominantly made up of steep slopes which limits plantings and production.

Because the San Andreas Fault runs through the region, the soil composition all over the map and too diverse to generalize. Geologically, the region is very young, and the Santa Cruz Mountains are slowly getting taller. Santa Cruz Vineyards enjoy unique terroir and continue to produce some fabulous wines.