Highway 85 to Highway 9 to Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz Mountain wine trail provides a unique wine country experience. Discover wonderful wineries among the Redwoods and mountains of Santa Cruz. Ridge Winery is one of the most famous wineries in all California wine country. The Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon is outstanding. Picchetti is located on the Mid-Peninsula Open Space so you can wine taste and then hike.
Top Wineries to Visit on This Wine Trail
- Ridge Winery – Mountain top winery with award winning wines
- Picchetti Winery – Historic winery and best picnic spot
- Cooper-Garrod Estate – Most unique winery
- Savannah Chanelle Vineyards – Jewel in the Redwoods
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
See Restaurants See Lodging Take Highway 280 to the Foothill Expressway exit. Go south on Foothill Boulevard (which becomes Stevens Canyon Road) approximately three miles to Monte Bello Road. Turn right on Monte Bello and drive 4.5 miles up the mountain road to Ridge Winery. The Ridge Winery is open only on weekends. During the week, start this tour with a visit to the Picchetti Winery, just a short distance up Monte Bello Road.
Winery Descriptions, Driving Directions, Tasting Room Hours
This hidden winery is very close to the freeways and urban areas. You would never guess that you would find a mountain top winery in this particular area. The Ridge Winery is located at the very top of Monte Bello Ridge and has a spectacular view of the Bay Area. The wines produced at Ridge are equally as spectacular. The wines have a long reputation for excellence. Year after year, the Ridge wines receive rave reviews from the wine experts. Ridge produces wine from both its estate vineyards on Monte Bello Ridge, and other selected vineyards in Northern and Central California. See blog on Ridge Monte Bello
Head back down the Monte Bello road from Ridge about 3.5 miles. You will see the entrance to Picchetti Winery on the right. Picchetti is one of the oldest wineries in California and is located on the Peninsula Open Space Preserve known as the Pichetti Ranch. So, you can wine taste and go for a beautiful hike, all in the same area. The tasting room is spacious with lots of room for tasting. The Picchetti wines produced are only sold at the winery or through their wine club.
The next stretch of this tour runs through some interesting and varied terrain. When you get to the bottom of Monte Bello Road from Picchetti, turn right and head out Stevens Creek Road. Drive about 1.5 miles and take the left folk to Mt Eden Road and travel 1.4 miles to the winery entrance. This stretch of Mt Eden road travels through a luxurious housing development. You might wonder how a winery fits into this picture. Just about then, you will see the sign for Cooper-Garrod. As you turn left, will find yourself in a totally different type of winery. This winery is definitely one of the most unique California wineries. What makes it so unique is the fact that the Cooper-Garrod family runs an equestrian center side-by-side with the winery. Don’t let this fool you. The wines are really very good here. They produce about 3000 cases per year from their 28 estate acres. The Chardonnay and the Cabernet Franc are excellent. Wines are available only at the tasting room or online at their Web site.
As you leave Cooper-Garrod, turn left on Mt. Eden Road. Turn right on to Pierce Road. Turn Right on Big Basin Way/Congress Spring Road that is also Highway 9. Look for the signs leading to Savannah Channel. Be ready for a quick turn to drive up the road to the winery. Savannah Chanelle is located in a quiet and secluded area of redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Savannah Chanelle produces four estate wines from 15 acres in the surrounding vineyards. They also produce several top wines from grapes grown elsewhere in California. Particularly good is the Pinot Noir grown from Gary’s vineyard, which is located in a cooler area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you have the time, take a walk up the hill to the vineyards for a breathtaking view and a look at some old vine Zinfandel.