Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Country, Santa Cruz
It might surprise you to hear that the Santa Cruz area is a major wine making region. It doesn't get the publicity that Napa Valley gets, but it produces world class wines. It is far more beautiful and less crowded than Napa. Few places charge for tasting, and you will very possibly meet a winery owner or two. The wineries are not as close to each other as they are in Sonoma or Napa, or even Amador County. So, arm yourself with a map and listing of wineries (the link on this page is good) and enjoy your search for the small Santa Cruz wineries tucked amongst the redwood forests.
Give yourself plenty of time - we started at 12:30 pm and ended at 4:00 pm - and visited only 3 wineries because of all the driving time required. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable afternoon as we drove through some of the most beautiful forests in California. A GPS system is very helpful.