Last minute visit to Santa Cruz: suggestions for a winery or 2 to visit?

Hello all,
A few friends and I are planning a quick meet-up in Santa Cruz for a day. We booked ridge, but could not get a tasting in at Mount Eden. Any other suggestions for winery visits in the area?


Big Basin.

Thomas Fogarty…


Santa Cruz Mountain Winery!!!

Not a winery, but Soif for wine (with or without food) in Santa Cruz itself.

Birichino and Storrs. Both are downtown.

Thanks all for the excellent suggestions. Will post notes.


Fyi, if you mean the city of Santa Cruz, that’s quite a long drive to Ridge. An hour each way, without traffic. That’s crossing a mountain range, driving north a bit, then driving up a mountain. Most of the other suggestions are in Santa Cruz. Big Basin is a nice scenic drive away.

+1 on Big Basin!

there is a fire along highway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains currently. Around 15 acres right now, started Saturday night and is expected to be going a day or two more. I advise avoiding anything along there. City of Santa Cruz would be fine and Many wineries in south Santa Cruz County (Windy Oaks for one).

bumping this thread up.

Has anyone tried the new Mt. Eden tasting experience?

I’m visiting Ridge on 9/14. Would like to do another tasting somewhat close. I’ll be staying in Redwood Shores or nearby there. Mount Eden appears to be booked that day. Thanks!

Harvest season, so some stuff is likely off the table.

Friday evenings Waxwing in Belmont has an open house. Might have to check close to the date if he’s able to do it that day. Just off 101. so near where you’d be staying. There are a brewery and distillery in the same complex that share this event.

One thing to do after Ridge is visit Cooper-Garrod. Rustic ranch with horse stables, rolling hills, solid wines, trails.

Further on, in the town of Saratoga are some tasting rooms and wine shops. Notably Big Basin, Lexington and Mindego Ridge. Some good restaurants, too…

Thanks, Wes. I appreciate the info.

Second Thomas Fogarty.

Yes. Only a short 75 minute drive from Ridge. Worth considering, it that makes any logistical sense.

I do have the whole day to burn.

Is this a case where Google maps significantly understates the drive time? I haven’t been up in those hills in about 10 years. IIRC, the last time I think I was equipped with a Tom-Tom device which was seriously inaccurate and tried getting me to go down roads that didn’t exist. Any advice on routing between Ridge, Cooper-Garrod and Thomas Fogarty would be appreciated. Three tastings is a full day for me.

Picchetti is near the bottom of Monte Bello road as you are driving up to Ridge, and has nice grounds and hiking trails. Their wine is hit or miss for me. Vidovich Vineyards is above Ridge. Never had their wine, but the view looks amazing.

Fogarty has good directions on their website, especially on roads to avoid.

There is a great overlook about 5 minutes South East on Skyline Drive.

You’d be going to Ridge from 280 or 85. Foothill Blvd. becomes Stevens Canyon Rd and passes by Stevens Creek Reservoir. Just after that is the right uphill turn onto Monte Bell Rd. leading way up to Ridge. (I’d suggest picnicking up there). When you come back down, turn right onto Stevens Canyon. You’ll get to a point where you’ll fork left onto Mount Eden Rd. which will take you to Cooper-Garrod. After that, I’d continue on (passing the long road leading up to Mount Eden), turning right on Pierce and then right onto hwy 9, which will take you to Skyline Blvd., turning right. After a bit, you’ll pass the Rhys Skyline Vyd. A ways after that is the Page Mill-Alpine Rd. crossing (so down a ways are the Horseshoe, Alpine and Mindego Ridge vineyards). Continuing on will get you to Fogarty. When done there, continue north. You could come down 84 through Woodside. Or, you could keep going. If your timing is right, The Mountain House restaurant is along there (opens at 4:30 on Saturdays), which would be a fun place to eat. North from there is hwy 92, which will take you to hwy 101 in San Mateo.