Santa Cruz Mountain Wineries off Highway 17


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

You can get to two excellent, premium wineries in well under an hour from the San Jose or Santa Clara Metropolitan areas. The David Bruce Winery and the Byington Winery are located within a quarter mile of one another on a beautiful and rugged mountain road in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Directions from San Jose Area

• Take Highway 17 and head towards Santa Cruz.
• Take Bear Creek Road exit.
• Follow Bear Creek Road for 5 miles to the David Bruce Winery
• The Byington Winery is just about one-quarter of a mile past David Bruce.

Picnic Lunch

Best place to pick up a picnic lunch is the Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse. It is off Highway 17 at the Los Gatos Saratoga Rd Exit. Turn right on University – Easy access from Highway 17 – not open on Sundays
575 University Ave

David Bruce Winery

The David Bruce winery is famous for its Pinot Noir wines. Their Pinot Noir wines account for sixty percent of their wine production, producing them from the Santa Cruz Mountains (about six acres), the Sonoma County, and the Central Coast Wine Regions. You might want to try comparing the various Pinots to get an idea of the subtle difference among the various wine regions. The winery has a long list of active wine club members. Not only do these members receive special shipments of Pinot Noir, but they also get to attend the many special events held throughout the year by the winery. Besides the Pinot Noir, David Bruce also bottles varietals of Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay.

Tasting room open daily from 11 to 5 pm. (800) 397-9972

Byington Winery

Just ahead about a quarter of a mile on the left is the entrance to the Byington Winery. This is one of the most magnificent wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains. There is a small picnic area that overlooks a stunning view of the mountains. The acres of vineyards surrounding the winery are Pinot Noir. This area receives intense heat during the summer days and at night the temperatures cool down considerably making for ideal growing conditions for the Pinot Noir grape. The winery does not use any irrigation system relying on the rainfall it receives during the winter and spring months. The winery produces only about 250 cases of Pinot Noir a year from its eight acres of the grape variety. Try the Pinot and compare it to the David Bruce Pinots. What a great idea for hosting a wine tasting when you get back home. Byington also make some very good wines from grapes acquired from other vineyards. This is a very good choice for lunch, if the day is not too hot.

Tasting is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (408)-354-1111 ext. 204

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

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