Quick Take:

With seven events on this year’s slate from March to November, oenophiles (or aspiring oenophiles) have plenty to choose from in exploring the Santa Cruz Mountains Agriculture Viticulture Area’s subregions, iconic wineries and grape varieties.

This story was originally featured in this week’s Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Be first the first to hear about food and drink news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Lily’s email newsletter here and text alerts here.

Tickets are now on sale for the Taste of Terroir wine dinner series, put on by Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The organization will host seven dinners from March through November at wineries and tasting rooms throughout the Santa Cruz area. These events showcase the Santa Cruz Mountains Agriculture Viticulture Area’s subregions, iconic wineries and grape varieties with special celebrations with winemakers and chefs.

Here’s what’s coming in 2023:

Friday, March 31: Elevated Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Explore wines from wineries located near the Summit, including Muns Vineyard, Burrell School Vineyards and Roberts Ranch Vineyards during a tasting reception at Regale Winery, followed by a four-course wine dinner of contemporary Italian cuisine prepared by pop-up By Brutta. Tickets: $175.

Wednesday, May 17: Wines of Montebello Road
Experience the exceptional wines from wineries along famed Montebello Road, including Ridge Vineyards, Naumann Vineyards and Mount Eden Vineyards during a tasting reception at Ridge Vineyards in Saratoga. Afterward, chef Brad Briske from Home restaurant in Soquel will prepare a five-course wine dinner paired with Ridge wines. Tickets: $225 / $55 reception only.

Sunday, June 25: Distinct Pinot Noirs of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Discover the different characteristics of pinot noirs grown throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA from notable wineries like Sante Arcangeli Family Wines, Storrs Winery and Windy Oaks Estate at Regan Vineyards Winery in Corralitos. Pinot pairings will be poured alongside Briske’s cuisine. Tickets: $175.

A dining table set up outdoors under a string of lights

Friday, July 14: Midsummer Night’s Dinner
Enjoy a summer dining experience at Silver Mountain Vineyards showcasing the vineyards nestled in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Wines from Aptos Vineyard, Cooper-Garrod Estate Winery, Muns Vineyard and more will be paired alongside the seasonal cuisine of chef Ross Hanson of Los Gatos’ Oak & Rye. Tickets: $175.

Saturday, Aug. 19: Mountain to Sea
Celebrate the bounty of the earth and sea at Madson Wines on Santa Cruz’s Westside. At this wine dinner, experience Santa Cruz Mountains wines from wineries like Big Basin Vineyards, Beauregard Vineyards and Sandar & Hem with contemporary Italian cuisine prepared by pop-up By Brutta. Tickets: $175.

Friday, Sept. 8: Into the Fog
Oceanic influence and complex mountain topography are two factors that have the greatest impact on Santa Cruz Mountain wines. At this tasting salon and dinner at Thomas Fogarty Winery, learn about how these elements contribute to the distinct character of local wines while enjoying a dinner prepared by chef Scott Cooper of San Jose’s Le Papillon. Tickets: $185.

Friday, Nov. 10: Premier Cruz
An exclusive tasting of cabernet sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains, featuring 16 local producers, followed by a wine pairing dinner, chef TBD. Tickets: $195 / tasting only: $65. Tickets are not yet available for this event.

Lily Belli is the food and drink correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Over the past 15 years since she made Santa Cruz her home, Lily has fallen deeply in love with its rich food culture, vibrant agriculture...