Posted April 2006
Sante Santa Cruz
Wondering where to find a glass of local Zin or Pinot? Downtown
tasting rooms and wine bars are easy to find.
CRUZ—At the end of the boardwalk, just above the snack shop where
hungry tourists stop in for a nibble midway through their day,
is Beauregard Vineyards wine tasting room—one of several downtown
Santa Cruz tasting rooms plying their wines amidst the fudge
shops and bike rentals just a feet from the boardwalks and the
several other tasting rooms who've come down from the hills,
they're ambassadors for the increasingly sophisticated wines
of Santa Cruz, they're gaining credibility by the glass. Wineries
like Storrs, who are making critically acclaimed Merlot and
Pinot, are the perfect place for visitors to explore and learn
about the region—and taste some impressive wine.
with the tasting rooms, several wine bars—most impressively,
Soif—offer something even more educational: long lists of regional
wines that visitors can taste by the glass or by the bottle,
giving an even broader look at the wines of Santa Cruz.
is a list of some of the best tasting rooms and wine bars in the heart of Santa
Cruz. Though they may be far from the vineyards, all have brought a sense of
the mountains and the grapes both into the tasting rooms and the glasses of
Downtown Santa Cruz Tasting Rooms
Best Bet: Storrs Winery
Located in a rehabbed mill in downtown Santa Cruz, Storrs is one of Santa Cruz's
premiere winemakers. The UC Davis trained winemaking couple of Stephen and
Pamela Storrs are producing some critically-acclaimed Chardonnay, Zin, Pinot
that's among the best coming out of the Santa Cruz mountains. No tasting fee.Storrs
Winery: Old Sash Mill, 303 Potrero Street, Number 35, Santa Cruz, CA, 831.458.5030.
Hours: Daily noon to 5pm, no tasting fee.
Pelican Ranch Winery
Specializing in Burgundian and Rhone style wines from select Santa Cruz vineyards,
Pelican ranch is a family owned and operated winery in the heart of Santa Cruz.
The winery itself is just a few blocks from the Monterey Bay which, according
to the family, provides a "constant, cool, coastal influence that allows
for controlled, slow fermentation. The result is rich, full-flavored, complex
wines." Production is limited to 100 cases from each vineyard. Pelican
Ranch Winery: 402 Ingalls Street, #21, Santa Cruz, CA, 831.426.6911.
Open Friday through Sunday, 12 to 5pm, no tasting fee.
According to the winemaker," Beauregard wines are estate-grown by the
Beauregard Family in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Hand-crafted in very small batches
by the same hands that planted and tend the vines. This is wine made, literally,
from the ground up-- with an unprecedented level of attention paid to the entire
process." The tasting room is located on the Santa Cruz Wharf, and has
spectacular views of the Bay. Beauregard Vineyards, 107 Beach St., Santa
Cruz, CA, 831.425.7777. Open daily 11am to 6pm, no tasting fee.
Best bet: Soif Wine Bar & Merchants
With a wine list as long as your arm (maybe longer), this Santa Cruz wine bar
and merchant has an impressive selection of international and domestic wines
(more than 50 of which are featured by the glass), including many local wines.
Soif also presents wine classes, special tastings and food. Open weekdays
until 11pm, though the bar stays open as long as customers are still drinking,
we hear. Soif Wine Bar & Merchants, 105 Walnut Avenue, Santa
Cruz, CA, 831.423.2020. Wine bar open Mon - Sat 5 - 11pm, Sunday 3
Pearl Alley Bistro & Wine Bar
Warm and intimate, this local French-style bistro is a perfect place to share
a glass of local wine. Offering both by-the-glass and by-the-bottle, the
list includes plenty of Santa Cruz wines for visitors to try. The bar is
always first-come-first-serve, which is great place to grab a bite on busy
evenings if you don't have a reservation (they serve the full menu). Otherwise,
reservations are strongly recommended. Pearl Alley Bistro, 110 Pearl Alley,
Santa Cruz, CA, 831.429.4070. Dinner 5 to 11pm daily.
Tired of wines?
99 Bottles of Beer
More than 40 beers on tap, California wines and hard ciders, food. 'Nuff said. 99
Bottles of Beer, 110 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, CA. Open daily. Children's menu