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(Note: Information Originally Published In 1955 - Presented For Historical Perspective!)
SANTA CLARA-SANTA CRUZ AND CENTRAL COASTAL DISTRICT
The neighboring counties of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz, with the Santa Cruz Mountains forming the border between the two, are usually grouped together as one winegrowing district. Extensions of this district include the winegrowing areas in San Benito County and in the central coastal counties of Monterey and San Luis Obispo.
Santa Clara County, with some thirty-seven active bonded wineries, rates fourth in number in the state. It can be divided into three winegrowing areas, spreading west and east from the Santa Clara Valley floor to the adjoining hills and mountains.
West of the Santa Clara Valley, in the foothills, lies Los Gatos, and higher yet, in the hills beyond, Saratoga, together forming the Los Gatos-Saratoga area. Here are the homes of some of the finest table wines and champagnes of California, while excellent aperitif and dessert wines are also produced there.
To the east of San Jose lies the hillside Evergreen area with its vineyards stretching onto the slopes of Mt. Hamilton. From this section hail a number of superior table wines.
The southern part of Santa Clara County and of its valley is noted for an important winery section, centering around Madrone, San Martin, and Gilroy, with good wines of all types being produced from the neighboring hillsides. Many a sound "country" table wine also is produced in the small wineries, run mostly by Americans of Italian descent, in the section west of Gilroy up toward the Hecker Pass and in the Uvas area.
Santa Cruz County is noteworthy for its wines although the number of active wineries has been reduced to only two. Some excellent table wines are produced above Felton and some good ones at Soquel. Besides there are scattered vineyard areas in the county including Vinehill, toward Los Gatos, Bonny Doon, southwest of Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek, north of that Scottish-named elevation, the Laurel area in the mountains toward the Santa Clara County line, and the Casserly section, up toward Mt. Madonna.
San Benito yields some well-known table wines south of Hollister, and Monterey County can boast, in the Salinas River Valley foothills above Soledad near Pinnacles National Monument, some very fine vinevards from which champagne has been produced with marked success.
San Luis Obispo County, where Paderewski once grew his wine grapes and almonds, is noted for its hillside table wines of sound quality and especially for its Zinfandel.