Premier Cruz is the first exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon tasting of the Santa Cruz Mountains Wines. It takes place in the historic Opera House in downtown Los Gatos on November 13 from 5 – 8 p.m. The tickets are only $75 for a great selection of fine Cabs. Guests will have an opportunity to sample some of the finest examples from this cool climate appellation. Several rare older vintages will be offered and paired with food purveyors including Just Catering, The Picnic Guild and Fiscalini Cheese Company.
This year’s tasting will include library wines from many of our distinguished wineries. Two of the featured wines will be a 1978 from Ridge Vineyards and a 1984 from Mount Eden Vineyards.
Santa Cruz Mountains are world famous for their Cabernet Sauvignon. These lush mountains appear to have the perfect combination of altitude, soil and climate to produce rich, ripe Cabs without overpowering tannins. The soft, balanced wines deliver an abundance of floral and fruit, yet still have the structure to pair nicely with foods and long savory finishes.
Cabernet Sauvignon first gained importance in Bordeaux in the early 19th century and reached California some sixty years later. The earliest plantings of Cabernet in the Santa Cruz Mountains appear in the late 1870's when William Pfeffer developed his vineyard in the foothills above Cupertino. Pierre Klein purchased 160 acres on Monte Bello Ridge naming his winery Mira Valle. This property, called Jimsomare today, is part of the famous Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard. By 1889 there were over 100 planted acres of Bordeaux varieties in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today, there are approximately 250 acres.
Recognition in the past included medals for Pierre Kleins' cabernets from the Paris and Brussels Expositions of 1889, and 1900 and praise from Frank Schoonmacher in the 1940's for Chaffee Hall at Felton and Martin Ray's cabernets made by the Rixford family at La Questa. And, of course, at the famous Judgment of Paris Tasting in 1976, Ridge Vineyards 1971 Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon went up against some of the best Cabs from Bordeaux Premier Cru vineyards in France and showed what California Cabs can do. Most recently the results of a 30 year repeat of the Paris Tasting focused international attention on the Santa Cruz Mountains cabernet.
Participating Wineries in the 2011 Premier Cruz include:
- Black Ridge Vineyards
- Burrell School Vineyards
- Clos Tita Winery
- Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards
- Fernwood Cellars
- House Family Winery
- Hunter Hill Winery
- Kathryn Kennedy Winery
- La Rusticana d'Orsa
- McCarthy Family Estate Vineyards
- Mount Eden Vineyards
- P M Staiger
- Ridge Vineyards
- Silver Mountain Vineyards
- Testarossa Winery
- Thomas Fogarty Winery
- Woodside Vineyards
For more information: Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers