Road Trip to Santa Cruz. Need winery advice.

I’m driving up to the Santa Cruz area from Santa Barbara, taking HWY 1, on Tuesday the 28th. I looked back at some older threads and got some ideas, but am wondering if there is anything new I should check out.

I’m thinking of driving into the city and going to Surf City Vintners. Is it worth a stop? I’ll probably stay in Los Gatos or Saratoga that night. Is there anything I shouldnt miss between Santa Cruz and those areas?

I’ve got an appointment at Ridge the next morning. What other wineries in the mountains should I look into? I cant get a tasting at Rhys.


I just helped a friend with a detailed itinerary. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

In Santa Cruz proper, there is a group of tasting rooms, brew pubs, coffee places, etc. all in one complex. Name escapes me, but I think it is off Mission St. Santa Cruz Mtn has a tasting room there and they are selling library wines from the Burnap era. Storrs has a good tasting room in a complex called the Sash Mill (don’t ask) at 305 Potero; worthwhile stop. Roudon Smith has a tasting room in the area.

Near Los Gatos, Testarossa; nice chards and pinots. You can taste inside and outside they serve wines and snacks on a patio; very pleasant. Nearby are Big Basin and Pichetti (the old Sunrise I believe); very beautiful grounds with a creek and peacocks; they taste out of an old barn. This is right on the way to Ridge.

You could also swing through Carmel Valley; lots of tasting rooms nearby: Bernardus, the original Talbott room, Bookenoogen (sp?), Chateau Julien (showy property, mundane wines), and Morgan has a tasting room in a shopping center, Cross Roads Center ?? There are also tasting rooms in Monterey including Taste of Monterey, a consolidated tasting room which pours wines from smaller wineries.

One piece of advice: use GPS. This is the only place I get lost. I got lost both times I went to T-rossa. The roads/hills are very confusing and poorly marked.

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