The Under-the-Radar California Wine Region is in the Spotlight Due to a Surprise Inclusion in the Royal Nuptials and Accolades from a Top Critic
APTOS, Calif. (June 8, 2018)—The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA makes headlines this week with confirmation that one of the region’s wines was poured at the Royal Wedding, as well as a comprehensive report in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate—“the most extensive review of the Santa Cruz Mountains ever”—which includes 125 90-points or higher ratings and several 100-point scores for one producer. While the former puts the Santa Cruz Mountains on the pop culture map, the latter places the AVA firmly in the company of California’s best wine regions.
“We are thrilled to see the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA coming into its own,” comments Megan Metz, the executive director of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. “Many still don’t realize our producers are making some of California’s best wines. With the incredible news we received this week, we hope that is beginning to change.”
Representatives from Mount Eden Vineyards confirm that their Domaine Eden Pinot Noir was poured at the wedding celebration of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on May 19, 2018. Nielsen reports that an estimated 29.2 million Americans tuned in to watch this momentous occasion. Meghan Markle, the newest member of the British royal family and former actress from Los Angeles, has frequently named pinot noir as her favorite wine in the news.
Photo Credit: Mount Eden Vineyards
That their wine was served at the event came as a surprise even to the winery, particularly following extensive speculation by national networks such as CNN that event guests would enjoy wine from California’s better known Sonoma or Napa regions. “We’re absolutely delighted that our wine was selected for the Royal Wedding,” says Ellie Patterson, Co-Owner and CEO of Mount Eden Vineyards. “After all, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is the birthplace of pinot noir in California, and our Domaine Eden Pinot Noir has balance and transparency that reflects the caliber of wines our region has to offer.”
Wine Advocate’s Central Coast Wine Reviewer William Kelley validates Patterson’s remarks when he asserts, “Perched high above the Pacific, the hillside vineyards of the Santa Cruz Mountains are capable of producing some of the most exciting wine in California.” He acknowledges the region’s limited production by adding, “but demand is always likely to exceed supply.”
In his “Recent Releases from the Santa Cruz Mountains” report at the end of May 2018, Kelley offered 90-points or higher ratings to 125 wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Multiple vintages of the Ridge Montebello Cabernet Sauvignon—1974, 1992, 2013 and 2017—earned perfect 100-point scores. Noting the original 1962 release of North America’s first post-Prohibition vineyard-designate Cabernet Sauvignon, Kelley comments, “While other wineries’ fortunes have risen and fallen, Ridge Vineyards’ Monte Bello has maintained a record of consistent brilliance unrivaled in California ever since that inaugural vintage.”
Other Santa Cruz Mountains wines earning scores in the mid-90s and higher came from Rhys Vineyards, Mount Eden Vineyards, Mindego Ridge Vineyard, Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, Alfaro Family Vineyards, Thomas Fogarty Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Lexington Wine Co.
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/scmwine.