The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA (American Viticultural Area) was established in 1981 and was the first to be defined by its mountainous topography and fog line. It stretches about 60 miles from Mt. Madonna, near Watsonville in the south, to Woodside in the north. This unique AVA covers approximately 480,000 acres, of which 1300 acres are planted to the following varietals: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot on the warmer Santa Clara Valley side, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the cooler Pacific Ocean side where vineyards are located on exposed rugged ridges and mountain tops, cooled by fog, wind, or both.
Soils in the Santa Cruz Mountains are primarily Franciscan Shale, made up of varied decomposed sandstone, limestone, clay, loam and granite, resulting from compressive uplift caused by a leftward bend of the San Andreas Fault. These soils give the wine from this premium AVA its signature mineral character, expressive fruit and balanced acidity. They are unique world-class age-worthy wines.
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