I went through all the wineries on the Santa Cruz Mountains Winery Association website and searched their websites for wines that were less than $30. This dollar amount could be due to club or case discount, if I could easily figure these out. After scanning the websites for hours I came to the conclusion that it might be easier just to ask the wineries.
So I started sending out this email:
I am a local Santa Cruz Mountains wine enthusiast. I have visited most of the Santa Cruz Mountains wineries and am a club member of many.
I like to put together blind tastings to enjoy with my friends. I typically blog our findings.
I want to put together a blind tastings of reasonably priced Santa Cruz Mountains Pinots. The Pinot must be from the Santa Cruz Mountains region and must be available for under $30 before tax. The under $30 price can be reached via club membership and/or case discount; it can also be reached via a reseller.
Do you have any wines that meet these requirements? Please note that I’m not asking for you to send me the wines, just looking for a list. I tried to figure out this list myself via http://scmwa.com/wineries/ and navigating everyone’s website, but in the end I thought it more fair just to ask; so as not to miss any.
If you do have any, please reply with the name of the wine and how the <$30 price was reached.
Accidental Wine Snob
After reviewing the list, I realized some of the wineries I was familiar with were not in the Santa Cruz Mountains Winery Association. I added everyone to the list I knew or could find by scouring google maps for wineries.
Sue guessed we would get 30 and could name the tasting 30 under $30. I guessed we would get closer to 15.
- Wines had to be below $30. Some wines were really close to $30.
- Only one vintage of a wine. A number of wineries had different vintages of their wine. I chose to only allow one, preferring 09 - 12.
- Only one wine per winery. Some wineries had more than one qualifying wine. I chose to only allow one, asking the winery which they would prefer.
I attempted to contact 84 wineries via form submissions and email.
I received a lot of encouragement and informative replies.
Judy Schultze from Windy Oaks provided me with this insight on price:
"A few of the reasons it’s under $30/bottle:
- Not aged as long as our other pinots (but still ~16-17 months)
- Not a block designate
- No single fermentation (but still total fermentation time of 30-40 days)
- Not as much new French oak as our other pinots"
Here's the list of wineries I attempted to contact. Am I missing anyone?
|Alfaro Family Vineyards & Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Beauregard Vineyards||Web Site Form||*|
|Big Basin Vineyards||Matt@BigBasinVineyards.com||*|
|Black Ridge Vineyardsemail@example.com|
|Bonny Doon Vineyardfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Bottle Jack Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|Bruzzone Family Vineyardfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Burrell School Vineyards & Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|Byington Vineyard & Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Clos de la Tech||Info@closdelatech.com||*|
|Clos LaChance Winesemail@example.com||*|
|Clos Tita Winery||*|
|Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Dancing Creek Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|David Bruce Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fellom Ranch Vineyardsemail@example.com||*|
|Four Gates Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Heart O' the Mountainemail@example.com|
|House Family Vineyards||Web Site Form||*|
|Hunter Hill Vineyard & Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|J. Lohr Vineyards & Winesemail@example.com|
|Kathryn Kennedy Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Kings Mountain Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|La Honda Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|La Nebbia Wineryemail@example.com|
|La Rusticana Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Left Bend Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|Loma Prieta Winery||LomaPrietaWinery@aol.com||*|
|McCarthy Family Estate Vineyards||Form Submission Failed||*|
|Michael Martella Winesfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Mount Eden Vineyardsemail@example.com||*|
|Myka Cellars||Web Site Form|
|Pelican Ranch Winery||Web Site Form|
|Perrucci Family Vineyard||Web Site Form|
|Picchetti Winery||Web Site Form|
|Pleasant Valley Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|P M Staigeremail@example.com||*|
|Radonich Brothers Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Regale Winery and Vineyardsemail@example.com|
|River Run Vintners||Web Site Form|
|Russian Ridge Winery||Web Site Form||*|
|Salamandre Wine Cellarsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard||info@SANTACRUZMOUNTAINVINEYARD.COM||*|
|Sante Arcangeli Family Winesemail@example.com||*|
|Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards||Web Site Form||*|
|Silver Mountain Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Silvertip Vineyards||Web Site Form||*|
|Soquel Vineyards||Web Site Form|
|Storrs Winery||Web Site Form||*|
|Testarossa Winery||Web Site Form|
|The Mountain Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyardsfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
|Trout Gulch Vineyards||Web Site Form|
|Villa del Monte Wineryemail@example.com||*|
|Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery||Proprietor@windyoaksestate.com||*|
|Wrights Station Vineyard & Wineryfirstname.lastname@example.org||*|
Wines Under $30
Here are the wines I have so far on the list. If you see more than one from a winery, it just means I haven't made the call on which one to taste yet.
|Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery||2013 Alfaro "A" Estate||$25.00||?|
|Bargetto Winery||2013 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir, Regan Estate Vineyards||$35.00||$28.00|
|2013 Pinot Noir, Regan Estate Vineyards||$28.00||$22.40|
|Burrell School Vineyards & Winery||2010 Estate Pinot Noir||$39.00||$29.00|
|Byington Vineyard & Winery||2012 Pinot Noir, Estate||$39.00||$29.25|
|Clos Tita Winery||Pinot Noir Cuvee||$26.00|
|Dancing Creek Winery||2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Legato, Pinot Noir||$28.00||$28.00|
|Domenico Winery||2009 Santa Cruz Pinot Noir||$35.00||$28.00|
|Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery||2012 Estate Pinot Noir||$40.00||?|
|La Honda Winery||2013 SEQUENCE, Pinot Noir||$28.00||$28.00|
|McHenry Vineyard||2012 "Swan Clone - Estate" Pinot Noir||$38.00||$28.99|
|2012 Estate Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$34.00||$25.99|
|Muns Vineyard||2010 Estate Pinot Noir||$40.00||$28.00|
|Nicholson Vineyards||2012 Pinot Noir, Cuvee||$30.00||$25.50|
|Pelican Ranch Winery||2011 Santa Cruz Mts., Meadowridge Vineyard||$35.00||$29.75|
|2010 Santa Cruz Mts., Amaya Ridge Vineyard||$35.00||$29.75|
|Perrucci Family Vineyard||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$34.00||$23.80|
|Radonich Brothers Vineyards||2012 Estate||$27.99||$27.99|
|Rexford Winery||2011 Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains||$25.00||$20.00|
|River Run Vintners||2013 Pinot Noir||$25.00||$20.00|
|Roudon-Smith Winery||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Private Reserve Pinot Noir||$30.00||$26.40|
|Russian Ridge Winery||2012 Russian Ridge Pinot Noir||$30.00||$25.50|
|Salamandre Wine Cellars||???|
|Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard||2010 Pinot Noir Bailey’s Branciforte Ridge Vineyard||$32.00||$29.00|
|Sante Arcangeli Family Wines||2013 Pinot Noir, Split Rail Vineyard, Corralitos||$36.00||$28.80|
|Sarah's Vineyard||2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir|
|Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$36.00||$28.80|
|Ser||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$33.00||$28.00|
|Silvertip Vineyards||2012 Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, Estate||$32.00||$24.00|
|Soquel Vineyards||2013 Estate Pinot Noir||$33.00||$29.70|
|Storrs Winery||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$36.00||$28.80|
|Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$35.00||$29.75|
|Trout Gulch Vineyards||2012 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir||$28.00||$28.00|
|Villa del Monte Winery||2013 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains||$34.00||$28.90|
|2013 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Regan Vineyards Martini Clone||$32.00||$27.20|
|2013 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Regan Pommard Clone||$32.00||$27.20|
|2012 Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains Regan Vineyard||$32.00||$27.20|
|Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery||2013 Terra Narro Estate Pinot Noir||$29.00||$23.00|
- I acquire all of the wines.
- I randomly divide them into tastings of 6 to 8 wines.
- We will host as many tasting that are necessary in which 6 to 12 of my wine enthusiast (no wine professionals here) friends will blind taste them, rating them from 1 to 5, decimals allowed. I will blog on each of these.
- I hopefully have a final tasting of the winners or the highest rated.
I'm guessing this is going to take months, if not the whole summer. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it. :)
I'll try to keep this up to date as I get more replies.