Soif Wine, 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz; (831) 423-2020, vwww.soifwine.com. Soif means "thirst" in French, which seems appropriate. For tasting, they pour 2-ounce and 5-ounce pulls from the list of 60 served by the glass. It's a 12-mile drive from Aptos, but worth it. Dinner only. Entrees $14-$18.
WHERE TO STAY:
Brookdale Lodge, 11570 Highway 9, Brookdale; (831) 338-6433, www.brookdalelodge.com. The only accommodations in Boulder Creek (a good central location) is this kitschy, down-at-the-heels lodge. An actual brook runs through the restaurant (which makes the place kind of damp). Doubles $79-$99.
Historic Sand Rock Farm, 6901 Freedom Blvd., Aptos; (831) 688-8005, www.sandrockfarm.com. At the southern end of the mountains, this charming B&B is an excellent choice. The inn is a lovely restored Arts & Crafts-style cottage on 10 acres. Doubles, $185-$225, including breakfast.
TO LEARN MORE:
Santa Cruz Mountain Winegrowers Assn., 7605-A Old Dominion Court, Aptos, CA 95003; (831) 479-9463, www.scmwa.com. The association provides information and maps to all the region's wineries. Most open only on weekends or by appointment. On Passport Days -- the third Saturdays of January, April, July and November -- some additional small wineries open their doors. You must buy a lifetime passport, $25.
-- Janis Cooke Newman