We believe in a style of winemaking that allows the fullest expression of the site and the particular vintage. To this end, we spend long hours in our vineyard to insure that the grapes we grow are of the best quality possible. We believe in and employ sustainable and organic farming practices. The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes and fog, and fractured mudstone soils promote the development of color and complex flavors. By keeping the yields very low and harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, we strive to achieve the most important part of winemaking - great fruit. The winemaking then becomes the art of gently extracting what the fruit has to offer. We carefully destem the fruit into small (one ton) open top fermenters where we cold soak the whole berries. We rely primarily on indigenous yeast fermentations which helps promote greater complexity and depth in the finished wine.
Big Basin Vineyards specializes in Syrah while also making a Pinot Noir and Rose of Syrah. View all Big Basin Wines
About Santa Cruz MountainsView a map of Santa Cruz Mountains wineries
The Santa Cruz Mountain appellation encompasses the land between Half Moon Bay in the north and Mount Madonna (just near Monterey) in the south. Producing wine since the early 1800's, some of these wineries have been around for quite some time, mingling their vineyard lands with the sprawling redwood forests.
Notable FactsEven though the climate can be challenging, and only 1500 acres are under vine, over 50 wineries still operate successfully – and produce successful wine. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do well in this region, along with a few plots of Cabernet Sauvignon. Hills, valleys and forests generate multiple micro-climates, creating a diverse flavor among the wines.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.