The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 64 of 124

64 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2017 { somm camp preview } Thomas Fogarty's Rapley Trail Vineyard tops off at 1,650 feet, well above the fog line. ISLANDS There is no better way to learn about a wine region than to spend three days immersed in its vineyards, from sun- up to sundown. This is a report previewing what a small contingent of sommeliers will experience at the Santa Cruz Mountains Somm Camp, which took place at the end of April and will be recapped in the August- September issue of The Somm Journal. Santa Cruz Mountains is not a walk in a park. You can get lost in its densely wooded glens and dark ravines, from scraggly ridgetops down to bucolic sand dunes. Megan Metz—Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, which is co-sponsoring this Camp with The Somm Journal—likes to describe this AVA as "islands in the sky"— remote mountain vineyards, floating atop wispy banks of fog. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean gives many of the appellation's vineyards their moderate climate, falling on the cool side. Ridge's famed Monte Bello Vineyard is here, perched on slopes 1,300 to 2,700 feet in elevation. So is Mount Eden Vineyard, founded on still another mountaintop (lest you forget the physical reality behind the name) in 1945 by the famously cantanker - ous Martin Ray. It is easy to forget that this is where the concept of handcrafted, minimal intervention California Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay was born, artisanal wine -

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