Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association
Once referred to by wine writers as the Chaine d'Or -- or "golden chain" -- the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA sits above Silicon Valley, running along the craggy range next to the Pacific on some of the prettiest parts of Northern California. The area supports more than 75 wineries, despite being limited by geography and high land prices.
In 1981 the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation became federally recognized, one of the first American viticultural areas to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The appellation encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountain range, from Half Moon Bay in the north, to Mount Madonna in the south. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation, extending down to 800 feet in the east and 400 feet in the west.