Santa Cruz Mountains wineriesFood & Drink Local News 

Sipping the Santa Cruz Mountains

By Julie Horner

Hallcrest Vineyards Felton

There’s a feeling you get when you pull into Hallcrest Vineyards in Felton. The sun is warmer here, the light more healing and soft. Tucked into a mountainside neighborhood of Victorian farm houses, roses and oaks and rolling meadow, the sound of the Roaring Camp steam train whistle echoes high and lonesome and you find yourself covered with goosebumps. Known for their Cabernet Sauvignon, hard ciders, and Rosé Blend, the rustic atmosphere and fresh air welcomes friends old and new. It’s the weekend in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the wine is good. Bring a blanket or festival chair for the meadow or take a seat beneath an umbrella close to the old farm truck where local musicians play. Enjoy sweeping mountain views and a late May music festival celebrating 80 years of winemaking (info: Dogs welcome. Open noon to 5:00 pm Thursday through Monday. 379 Felton Empire Road, Felton.

Live Music with Nomad at Hallcrest Vineyard in Felton | Photo by Mike Gendimenico

Big Basin Vineyards Boulder Creek

These mountains know the sunset, the haze of late afternoon giving way to crisp nights under the stars. Rows of grape vines like ribs of corduroy hug the swell and fall of Big Basin Vineyards mountaintop organic farm. The dance of nature between two bays, San Francisco and Monterey, produces beautiful wines. It’s Friday late afternoon and there is live music set to a backdrop of spring green and deepening purple shadows. Gathered around warming fires into the evening, the conversation turns to mountain ways and why the community’s resilience after the CZU Complex fire makes every sip sacred. Discover why locals hold this place with reverence. Fireside Fridays live music and wine on the patio from 5:30 to 9:30 with a food truck. Tastings outdoors on the weekends 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Dogs welcome. Santa Cruz tasting room opening soon. 830 Memory Lane, Boulder Creek.

Beauregard Vineyards Bonny Doon

The coastal fog plays tag with vibrant mountain sunshine some days at Beauregard Vineyards, at the crook in the road where the warm intimacy of the forest meets the cool calm of the Davenport coast just minutes away. Sample small batch, handcrafted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon (and many more) while enjoying the unique atmosphere of the rustic tasting room. Picnic tables set among the redwoods along a babbling mountain creek are exactly the sought after step away from the everyday. Very narrowly escaping recent fires and rich with local roadhouse history, Beauregard is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Weekend reservations recommended. The new Davenport tasting room is opening soon. 10 Pine Flat Road, Santa Cruz.

Wine tasting at Beauregard Vineyards in Bonny Doon | Photo by Juile Horner

Featured photo by Nic Chiro

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