Santa Cruz Mountain Wine Trail: Bear Creek
Highway 35 to Bear Creek Rd. to Santa Cruz
Burrell School Vineyards
The Santa Cruz Mountain wineries provide a unique wine country experience.
Discover wonderful wineries among the Redwoods and mountains of
Santa Cruz. This is an exciting getaway to this mountain wine region.
From San Francisco,
take Highway 280 to Woodside Rd, Highway 84 Exit. Follow Highway
84 West. Highway 84 takes you through the small town of Woodside
and up the moutains to Skyline Blvd, Highway 35. Turn left onto
Highway 35. Drive 4.5 miles to the Thomas Fogarty Winery. It will
be on your left. Be ready to make a sharp left into the winery.
If you need to pick up a picnic lunch, try Roberts
Market in the town of Woodside.
Winery Descriptions, Driving directions, Tasting Room Hours
Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards
An eye-catching view will meet you as you drive through the gates
of the Thomas Forgerty Winery. Here, amid a forest of Redwood
trees, are beautiful acres of vineyards overlooking the Peninsula
and the Bay Area. The tasting room has one of the most beautiful
views of any tasting room you will find. Thomas Fogarty, a famous
cardiologist, started the winery as a hobby and began producing
wines in 1981. The winery produces excellent estate Chardonnay,
Pinot Noir, and small amounts of Merlot. The climate in the Santa
Cruz Mountains is ideal for growing these varieties. They also
make a great Gewurztraminer from vineyards in Monterey. The days
are warm and the nights cool. There are two tasting menus, one for $6 and the other for $8
Tasting Room open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 to 5:00,
11:00 to 5:30 during the summer.
Phone: 650 851-6777, E-mail: email@example.com, Thomas
Leave Thomas Fogarty and head south on Highway 35. You will travel
about 20 miles along roads lined by forests of California Coastal
Redwoods. At Highway 9 turn right and travel about a mile. Look for
the Ahlgren entrance on the left side of the hill. This winery is
owned and run by husband and wife team Dexter and Val Ahlgren. This
is a very small production winery. Dexter is the wine maker but both
team up to run the entire winery operation. The wines are made from
carefully selected vineyards from the Napa, Livermore, Dry Creek Region,
and the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Chardonnay and the Syrah are excellent
choices. The wines are all made at the winery and aged in their 199
barrel cellar. The Ahlgrens host the wine tasting and provide good
conversation about their wines Since this is a two-person operation
the tasting room is only open on Saturdays.
Tasting room open on Saturdays, 12 to 4 pm
E -mail: :firstname.lastname@example.org, Ahlgren
After leaving Ahlgren Winery, continue south on Highway 9 towards
Boulder Creek. As you enter the town of Boulder Creek, you will see
a sign for Bear Creek Road. Turn left and travel about 7.5 miles
to the Byington Winery. Drive carefully on these beautiful mountains
roads. Byington will come up quickly on your right. 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 eight estate acres. They also make some very good
wines from grapes acquired from other vineyards.
Tasting is open Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 408 354-1111, e-mail: email@example.com, Byington
Continue on Bear Creek Road just a very short distance (1/4 mile)
to David Bruce. 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), Sonoma County, and the Central Coast Wine Regions. You might
want to try comparing the various Pinots to get an idea of the subtle
differences 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 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.
Phone: 800 397-9972, e-mail: DBW@davidbrucewinery.com, David
Leave David Bruce and continue on Bear Creek Road until you get to
Highway 17. At this point, you can head straight to Santa Cruz on
Highway 17 (just follow the signs) or visit another unique winery,
Burrell School Vineyards and then take the back roads into Santa Cruz.
Continue on Bear Creek Road to Summit (Highway 35). Take Summit for
about 5 miles to Burrell School Vineyards. To the right of the red
schoolhouse is the tasting room. The deck outside the tasting room
provides a dramatic view of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Tables are
provided and all you need is a glass of the Burrell School Chardonnay
and some food and you are set for a great picnic. You will enjoy
the friendliness of the tasting room as well as the very good Chardonnay
and Merlot. These are the only two wines currently being produced
by this winery.
Tasting is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Burrell
to Santa Cruz via the backroads, head down Summit a very short distance
and turn right on to Soquel Santa Cruz Road. This will get you to