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The Soil and Geology of Santa Cruz Wine Country

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Because the San Andreas and several other faults runs through the Santa Cruz Wine Region, the soil composition is very diverse. Granite is probably the most consistently present material in these soils. Elevation extends to 600-800 feet on the east side; down to 400 feet on the westside.

There are anomalous pockets of counterintuitive varietals on both sides of the defining ridgeline that runs roughly north-south. Subtle changes in elevation and angles of sun-exposure make growing premium grapes a challenging, but rewarding process.

However, there is some validity to dividing the region between eastward and westward facing slopes. The easward facing slopes tend to grow fuller-bodied varietals and are generally less shaded during the day.

 The Soil and Geology of Santa Cruz Wine Country

The region’s soils produces everything from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon and Rhone varietals. A host of other varietals also do quite well. Conifer forests dominate the natural landscape.