The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA is located just south of San Jose, California. This huge appellation holds over 350,000 acres. Its boundaries being defined by the elevations of 400 feet on the west side and 800 feet on the east side, while to the south the peak of Mount Madonna forms the southern boundary and Half Moon Bay defines the northern boundary. During the growing season, the fog rolls in from the Pacific Ocean early in the evening and is burned off with the morning sun.
This region was devastated by prohibition in the 1930s and has taken a while to rebuild its industry. Martin Ray of Mount Eden almost single-handedly brought the wine region back to prominence in the 1950s, while Bonny Doon, David Bruce and Ridge Vineyards have since helped pick up the torch. Today, more than 60 wineries operate in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
One sub-appellation, Ben Lomond Mountain, exists within the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA.