The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 120 of 148

120 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 CAMP [ ] First ere Was a On top of the Ridge Monte Bello Vineyard: Montage Beverly Hills Somm Jesus Evangelista and Dolphin Bay Somm Robin Puricelli of Pismo Beach. story and photos by Randy Caparoso Mount Eden Vineyards overlooks Silicon Valley. Santa Cruz Mountains, Seth Wilson of Chicago's RPM Steakhouse proclaims, "is vast and complex." Yet at the same time—as the contingent of 11 sommeliers participating in our Santa Cruz Mountains SOMM Camp discovered in April—this American appellation is as small and exclusive as the Silicon Valley enclaves surrounding it. During his opening remarks as President of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association, which sponsored our three-day study, David Moulton told us, "The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation encompasses more than 322,000 acres, and is defined by mountain elevations starting at 400 feet, going up to 2,700 at the highest points. The total number of planted acres, however, amounts to barely 1,500 acres." What blew Wilson's mind was how getting around underscored the appel - lation's uniqueness: "We rode in vans on stark, rickety roads threatening our demise, though the resulting experiences made taking that chance (with lots of Bonine!) absolutely worth it." Mountain OUR SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS SOMM CAMPERS DISCOVER THIS SMALL YET ICONIC AVA

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