Who to Visit after Ridge?

We have an 11am tasting at Ridge (Monte Bello) tomorrow that should finish up by 12 or 12:30pm. Will probably grab lunch and then start heading back towards Santa Cruz. Where else should we stop on our way back?

Mount Eden and Rhys can’t see us. Still waiting to hear back from Big Basin.

Was thinking of 1 or 2 of these - Cooper Garrod, Cinnabar, Fogarty. Any that would be at the top of one’s list? Any other recommendations?

Big Basin’s tasting room is in Saratoga Village next to Cinnabar so if you can’t get an appointment at the winery you can still taste some current release’s. In the area is Savannah-Chanelle just up hiway 9. Testarossa in Los Gatos is also a nice stop. David Bruce was a pleasant suprise on Vintners festival weekend. None of these needs a reservation.

Pack a picnic and eat lunch at Ridge.
I like Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards on Ingalls street in Santa Cruz since you are headed that way.
There are a bunch of wineries in the same complex.

The Saratoga tasting rooms suck and should be used only as a last resort. You are dealing with people who’s job is to just pour you a little wine and take your tasting fee. Brandon Tai and I had a terrible experience at the Cinnabar tasting room a couple months ago and would never go back, or ever buy their wines as a result.

The Savannah-Chanelle winery is a nice visit and you should include their mustard tasting in your visit. (their mustards are better then their wines)

Have you considered visiting Storrs in Santa Cruz itself? IMHO, very nice wines and worth the stop. Is Roudon-Smith still in business. We snagged several of their 1979 Cab a few years ago and they were wonderful wines at 25+ years of age. Don’t have any idea what they’d be like now.

Roudon-Smith is still there in the same place. The only issue with these places is that coming from Ridge, you need to drive all the way back over to Santa Cruz.

The Roudon-Smith lable still exists but the facility is now Skov Winery, the owners were partners in R-S before the split. I believe they are only open on weekends.

Sorry about your disappointing experiences at Cinnabar and Big Basin’s tasting room. A visit to BB winery would be my preference but if that can’t be arranged the tasting room is worth a visit IMHO.

The BB tasting room visit wasn’t a disappointment. It was just your standard tasting room visit staffed by the standard tasting room employee. I do enjoy their wines. Only Cinnabar sucked.

not missing out with no visiting mt eden.

My one visit to Big Basin’s tasting room was fine, especially a syrah vertical. Try the pinots.

Burrell School on Summit Rd. (the other side of Hwy 17 from Ridge) has a great back porch to taste from. Every year they make one wine that I really really like and one I really really don’t and the rest in between, and every year the wine I like is different, and a bargain. Not far away is Loma Prieta, they’re building a winery but right now it’s a house only I think; I’ve never had a bad wine from them. Good Santa Cruz Mts wine selection at Summit Store, then you can cruise home on San Jose-Soquel Road, stop at Shoppers Corner for more good Santa Cruz Mts wine selections.

There’s a winery near Cinnabar --Pichetti? – that’s supposed to have great views.

I am not a fan of Thomas Fogarty reds except for their terrific lowest-end Santa Cruz Mts. pinot, underpriced.

I’d suggest a visit to Cooper-Garrod. They’re on the way to Saratoga. My favorite of their current line-up is their Syrah.

The wines at Savannah-Chanelle mostly suck. Best thing to do there is check out the natty old vine zin vines.

So, I’d also suggest picnicking at Ridge, then Cooper-Garrod, then the Big Basin tasting room. If there’s still time, the Testarosa tasting room in Los Gatos is worth seeing.