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APTOS, Calif.  (April 20, 2018)—Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association has retained the support of public relations firm McCue Communications to increase awareness of the Santa Cruz Mountains as a premier winemaking region, increase demand for Santa Cruz Mountains wines, and drive tourism to this under-the-radar wine tasting destination only one hour south of San Francisco.

Journalists are invited to contact Marcella Thompkins at [email protected] or Chelsea Kurnick at [email protected] for story ideas or information, images or requests to tour the region.

About the Destination

Nestled between San Francisco, Monterey Bay and Silicon Valley, the Santa Cruz Mountains are an off-the-beaten-path destination for travelers seeking a premium wine tasting experience. Wine tasting in the Bay Area’s backyard means distinct, terroir-driven wines; intimate yet laid-back tastings with award-winning winemakers; and picnic-perfect, family-friendly tasting rooms with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valley and majestic Coastal Redwoods.

The region’s 70+, mostly family-owned wineries are spread across three California counties: Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and San Mateo. With over 850 square miles of mountainous terrain, most travelers opt for a wine trail that features just a handful of wineries in one sub-region of the mountains. While some tasting rooms are open during the week, many are only open on the weekends or for special events.

Signature events include Passport Celebration Days (April 21, July 21 and November 17), Silicon Valley Wine Auction (May 19 and 20), Taste of the Mountains (June 2 and 9), Pinot Harvest Dinner (August), Premier Cruz (November) and more.

Outside of wine tasting, the region is well-known as one of the world’s best surfing spots, and attracts visitors with its charming shops, eclectic restaurants and the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park.

Nearby lodging includes the Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, the Hyatt Place Santa Cruz, the Pajaro Dunes Resort in Watsonville, Hotel Los Gatos, Saratoga Oaks Lodge and the Best Western SeaCliff Inn in Aptos. This idyllic location along the coast also boasts many unique and affordable Airbnbs.

About the AVA

The Santa Cruz Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA) was formally recognized by BATF in 1981 and, as the first wine-growing region in the nation to be defined by mountain ranges rather than political boundaries, is known as “America’s Premier Mountain Appellation.” Though winemaking in the Santa Cruz Mountains began with Spanish missionaries in the 18th century, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the region was recognized as a premium wine production region, once local winegrowers began to receive acclaim in national and international wine competitions. In 1976 a wine from the Santa Cruz Mountains (1971 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon) earned 5th place against nine other French and Californian wines at the legendary Judgement of Paris; it later earned the #1 spot at the 30th anniversary re-tasting in 2006.

Only 1,500 of the appellation’s approximately 480,000 acres are planted to wine grapes. Most of the acreage is rural, consisting of rugged, steep terrain hosting majestic redwood groves and wildlife along the San Andreas Fault. Fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay makes the Santa Cruz Mountains one of the coolest grape-growing regions in the United States. Pinot noir, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are the most widely-planted grapes in the AVA.

About McCue Communications

McCue Communications was founded in 2008 with the goal of erasing boundaries between traditional public relations and digital communications to provide “next generation” brand storytelling services to clients in the tourism, wine and hospitality sectors. The agency maintains four offices in California and New York and serves clients throughout the U.S. and abroad. For more information, call (213) 985-1011 or visit www.McCueMC.com.

About the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association

The Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) is an alliance of more than 70 wineries and grape growers, most of them family-run, working to promote the unique aspects of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA and its wines. Formed in 1981, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is nestled in one of the most unique winegrowing regions in the world, beginning just south of San Francisco and spanning the mountain range between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Mountain terrain, marine influence, varied microclimates, and distinctive soils combine to produce ideal conditions for high-quality winegrowing. The small size of the wineries allows for greater attention to detail, which maximizes the potential of the grapes. For more information about SCMWA, visit scmwa.org, call 831.685.8463 or email [email protected]. Join the conversation on social media at Facebook.com/SCMWA, Twitter.com/SCMWA and Instagram.com/santacruzmountainwine.

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