Mindego Ridge is a small 10-acre Santa Cruz Mountains vineyard perched on a south facing, shale-laced slope 8 miles from the Pacific lovingly farmed and cared for by husband and wife owners, David & Stacey Gollnick. Our mission is to produce 100% estate grown, single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that authentically express the marine-influenced mountain terroir that is our home. Wines are crafted in small lots with minimal intervention by cool-climate virtuoso, Ehren Jordan. 

David & Stacey Gollnick

What is the most overlooked terroir in California? It’s a question I am asked often. The answer is always the same: The Santa Cruz Mountains. These rugged hillsides just south of San Francisco are home to some of the world’s greatest vineyards and wines.

– Antonio Galloni, California’s Best Kept Secret, Vinous Media, July 2013

Mindego Ridge Vineyard Upper Mountain Blocks

N. Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation

N. Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyards & Wineries

Santa Cruz Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA)

The Santa Cruz Mountains have played a pivotal role in the history of winemaking in California, with roots going back over 100 years, and including legendary winemakers such as Paul Masson, Martin Ray, David Bennion (Ridge), and David Bruce. During California’s Vinous renaissance of the 1970s, it was arguably the first region to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a flavor, character, and textural profile reminiscent of Burgundy. The region gained international recognition in the 1976 Judgement of Paris with the 1973 David Bruce Winery Chardonnay placing 10th in the white wine tasting and the 1971 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon placing 5th in the red wine tasting. Recognized as an AVA in 1981, the Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation was among the first to be defined by its mountain topography. Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir is quite rare with approximately 600 acres planted in the entire appellation.

Mindego Ridge Micro-Climate & Geology

Growing degree days

Fractured Shale Subsoil covered with 10″-18″ of silty clay loam

675 to 935 ft

Purisma Formation ranging in age from the latest Miocene to late Pilocene

South-facing slope

Altitude and marine influence defines much of our cool climate since the site is bordered by two bodies of water – the Pacific Ocean on the west (8 mi) and the San Francisco Bay on the east. In this unique climatic zone, California’s late season heat spikes are moderated, producing expressive wines with vibrant fruit, energy, complexity and depth.

Mindego Ridge Vineyard Block Map

Mindego Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir Blocks 4, 5, & 6