Storrs Winery + Silicon Valley Wine Auction

By Meghan Gieber | June 03, 2015
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The inaugural Silicon Valley Wine Auction is just weeks away and we cannot wait to see the winemakers in action, drink delicious new flavors and munch on epicurean delights. We've been learning about the vintners from the Santa Cruz Mountains that are going to be there; their commitment to the art of winemaking and giving back to the Silicon Valley Education Foundation is going to make this event a (grape!) smashing success.

Be sure to look out for the Grand Wine & Food Tasting on Saturday, June 20 that will feature over 150 wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains paired with bites and a magnum auction. This is a rare opportunity to taste wines from sought-after vintners and to visit with winemakers – a chance to sample from wineries that have long waiting lists for releases, many of which are closed to the public. Get tickets to the Grand Wine & Food Tasting here.

In anticipation of the Silicon Valley Wine Auction, we connected with the winemakers from Storrs Winery to find out more about their vineyard!

What are you most looking forward to during the Silicon Valley Wine Auction?

As a winery, we are very much looking forward to meeting new people. When we leave Santa Cruz and travel to the Peninsula and South Bay, often times many people are not aware of the great wines that are grown in their backyard.

Tell us about the history of your winery and what makes it stand out.

Storrs Winery began with the vintage of 1988. When we started our winery, we decided to focus on the amazing grapes that grew in the cool climate of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Back then, there were many wineries in the mountains, but nearly all chose to focus on grapes grown in better-known venues. With Steve’s background as a UCD-trained viticulturist, we recognized the unique opportunity that this special terroir could bring to ultra-premium wine. Today, our focus remains firmly planted in the terroir of these mountains and we have amassed many accolades to support this decision. In 2001 we purchased land in the Pleasant Valley district of Corralitos on the western edge of Mount Madonna. With cover cropping and time, we slowly began the conversion from a retired apple orchard to an organically-farmed vineyard planted to 5 clones of Pinot Noir and 2 clones of Chardonnay. Today, experts regard our estate vineyard as a leading example of a diverse, wildlife-friendly environment that enhances soil and water conservation. In the next year we hope to open our net-zero-energy winery building that will house winery operations just minutes from our vineyard sources and offer tastings in one of the most bucolic locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

What does this upcoming harvest season have in store for your wines?

So far, this season is looking to be a little early, though the weather has cooled these past few weeks. Given our experience over the past 20+ years, we suspect that our meso-climates will yield wines with excellent balance and the full maturation of flavors that comes from a cooler Region I climate.

How has the drought affected your business?

As always, we will continue to be very frugal with water in our vineyard; however, this year, we will begin drip irrigation of our vines utilizing our new 10,000 gallon rainwater catchment system installed using the rainwater runoff from the roof of our new winery.

What does the Santa Cruz Mountains region offer that other wine-growing regions might not?

The Santa Cruz Mountains offers innovation, iconoclastic winemaking and a terroir – soil, exposure, climate – that is unparalleled for the growth of Burgundian varietals.

When is your favorite time to drink wine?

Over dinner with good friends and family.

How does winemaking inspire you?

I love the challenge that comes of creating excellence from grapes that differ with every single vintage. No two years are ever identical.

What's your perfect paired meal?

A glass of our Christie Vineyard Chardonnay from Pleasant Valley paired with wild Monterey Bay salmon grilled simply with Meyer lemon and butter; best eaten while watching the sunset off Manresa Beach.

What's the most unique part about having a winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains?

The part that we most appreciate is the opportunity to craft wines from such a unique micro-climate – our grapes experience a nearly perfect combination of long, warm days (not too hot) tempered by cool, ocean-influenced evenings that allow our grapes to achieve a structure and balance unique to a few select, coastal vineyards,

What do you hope to gain by participating at the Silicon Valley Wine Auction?

I look forward to a day when the children of those who pick the fruit for our wines have equal access to computers and as stimulating & engaging a STEM education as our own children.


We hope to see you at the Silicon Valley Wine Auction on June 20!

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