May 14, 2013

Celebrate Santa Cruz Mountains’ wines at “Roots That Rock”

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 As if you needed an excuse to head to Santa Cruz, the 24th annual “Roots That Rock” Vintners’ Festival—sponsored by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association—is coming up the first two weekends in June.

On the agenda: more than 50 Association member wingrowers will offer special attractions such as barrel tastings, winery tours, new wine releases, meet-the-winemakers, live entertainment, artists and artisan food producers.

“This year’s Roots the Rock Vintners' Festival is an evolution of previous events,” said Megan Metz, the Association’s executive director. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for wine lovers to connect with our region’s great winegrowers and their award-winning wines, touring and tasting at individual wineries located throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as at a new street faire in Downtown Santa Cruz that will feature local wine, artisan foods, music and live entertainment.”

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Metz noted that the area’s “unique mountain terrain, marine influence, varied micro-climates and distinctive biodiversity combine to produce some of the finest conditions in the world for winegrowing.”

The Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation was federally recognized in 1981. It was among the first appellations to be defined by mountain topography, following the fog line along the coast to encompass the highest vineyards on ridgetops as high as 2600 feet elevation.

The region encompasses the Santa Cruz Mountain range, and extends from Woodside in the north to Watsonville in the south; from Monterey Bay along the coast to Silicon Valley inland. Here one can find intimate, artisan wineries tucked among the redwoods along scenic mountain roads, or perched atop ridges with sweeping views to the sea. Visitors can meet with and talk with the winemakers, and drive from the mountaintops (where it snows in winter!) to the coast and enjoy a sunset walk on the beach. Wine tasting here is as much an experience of the natural beauty of the region as it is a delightful discovery of unique world-class wines.

Here’s what you need to know about Roots That Rock:

Dates & Locations
  • June 1, noon-5 p.m.: Participating wineries, Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties.
  • June 2, noon-5 p.m.: Participating wineries, Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties.
  • June 8, noon-5 p.m.: Participating wineries, Cruz County.
  • June 9, noon-5p.m.: Participating wineries, Santa Cruz County.
  • June 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Downtown Santa Cruz Street Faire, Pacific Ave. (between Locust & Walnut Sts.)
  • Winery Tour and Downtown Santa Cruz Street Faire tickets are $40 per person online in advance and $50 at the door. Ticket price includes four days of wine tasting at all participating wineries and entry at the Downtown Santa Cruz location (including 10 tasting tickets). Tickets available online at

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