Both environment and economics pose significant challenges to viticulture in Santa Cruz County, which is home to some of North America’s finest wineries. The coastal county enjoys unparalleled natural beauty and proximity to San Francisco. However, with benefits come drawbacks, as vineyard developers are forced to compete with urban aristocrats seeking the perfect plot of land for their million-dollar homes. When you combine these conditions with steep, rugged, remote vineyard sites and Pierce’s disease, you have either a winery owner’s nightmare or the stuff legends are made of. In Santa Cruz County, the latter description is more appropriate. A ‘Who’s Who’ of Central Coast winemakers call this county and its two AVAs (Santa Cruz Mountains and Ben Lomond) home.
While the early days of Napa Valley always mentioned the dust in summer, Rutherford Dust referred to an entirely different context. During a recent tasting in Napa Valley held by the Rutherford Dust Society a wide wide range of Rutherford wines shed new light on the long term meaning.