Given their proximity, you might expect that the nouveau riche of Silicon Valley might have more awareness of the quality of the wine region practically (and in some cases quite literally) in their backyards, but the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region has been quite slow to rise in the consciousness of California wine consumers. Even with superstars such as Ridge Vineyards having clearly established the region’s potential decades ago, it still remains a much less talked about and traveled wine region than its more famous brethren to the North, Napa and Sonoma.
This is a darn shame, because the Santa Cruz Mountains are turning out some of the most exciting wines made in California today. In particular, new Pinot Noir plantings are proving to be phenomenal in personality and quality, and new Cabernet plantings are showing great potential as well.
All of which is why anyone in Silicon Valley who considers themselves a wine lover should be attending the Silicon Valley Wine Auction. Launched in 2014 by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Education Foundation and the associated Winegrowers Association, this auction and tasting has been raising millions for kids’ education initiatives in Silicon Valley.
For wine lovers, the event, which features an exclusive dinner event, a silent auction and tasting offers the unique opportunity to do good while having a damn good time. More details can be found on the event’s website, but the point of this posting is promote the chance for you to taste the wines from more than 40 Santa Cruz Mountains producers in a single location. These are great wines that are worthy of your attention. And the event is for a great cause that is worthy of your support.
So mark your calendars for Sunday May 20th, and go taste some of what the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer.
2018 Silicon Valley Wine Auction
Grand Tasting Event
Sunday, May 20th
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Montalvo Arts Center
15400 Montalvo Rd
Saratoga, CA 95071 (map)
Tickets for the event cost $95 for general admission, or $145 for VIP access to the tasting 1 hour early and an oyster and sparkling wine bar, which sounds like the perfect thing for a Sunday afternoon. Tickets invariably sell out, so get yours online soon. There’s a super fancy private winemaker dinner the evening before, and the price on the web site reads “call for tickets” which means something like “if you have to ask…”
My usual tips for public tastings apply: dress in dark colors in case of spills; get a good night’s sleep and come hydrated and fed; leave off the perfume or cologne; and spit out your wine if you want to learn anything and last through the afternoon.