I’m sure you know by now that we love Napa Valley.  Sonoma and Napa are our favorite weekend getaway spots but there’s another wine region that is often overlooked in Northern California. It’s the Santa Cruz Mountains. I know what you’re thinking, Santa Cruz is a sleepy little college town filled with hemp clothing.  While that might not be untrue, there’s also a great wine scene there with solid vineyards, delicious restaurants, and impressive hotels. Take a look at some of our favorite places.  

Taste

Wrights Station Winery

An easy one hour drive from San Francisco, this winery is between Santa Cruz and Los Gatos.  Specializing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the vineyard has mountain views, a remodeled 1947 tasting room, and a family friendly vibe.  Interestingly, this vineyard benefits from the shifting soil caused by the San Andreas Fault which is close by.  

Silver Mountain Vineyards

This estate certified organic vineyard grows Mount Eden clone Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. It’s located just 20 minutes from Los Gatos overlooking Monterey Bay.  Guests can stroll around the flower gardens, enjoy the redwood views from Skyland Ridge, or picnic in the amphitheater.  Silver Mountain is also known for its Gold Medal-winning Pinot Noirs from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Lucia Highlands.

 

Eat

Manresa

With a rating of three Michelin stars, Manresa is a mandatory stop when in Santa Cruz. It’s focus on nightly tasting menus that highlight the seasonal delights of local farms make it a deliciously unique restaurant. There’s also an extensive wine list to pair with the tasting menu that showcases some of the regional varieties from the local wineries.  

 

Stay

Hotel Los Gatos

With a Mediterranean feel, this 72 room hotel is located at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains. The interior design is reminiscent of a charming villa, the hotel includes a modern touch with a spa, sauna, and steam rooms as well as an on-site Greek restaurant, Dio Deka. Just a short drive to the coast or to the local wineries, it’s the perfect homebase to explore this beautiful area!