Free flow Estate Chardonnay

The Vinelady/CEO, Cathy tending to her precious vineyards.


OPEN SATURDAYS - NOON TO 4PM

BY APPOINTMENT - (831) 288-0074

About Us

Suzi-Q our vineyard dog. Commander in charge of pest control

Pleasant Valley Vineyards in Aptos


Pleasant Valley Vineyards


Cathy, the Vinelady, and I decided to transform our home in the Santa Cruz Appellation into a boutique winery in 1990.  Knowing the terrior’s rich attributes and the valley’s unique micro-climate influenced by the Monterey Bay, we envisioned to produce the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay possible.  We find that passion is a result of loving what we’re doing and including friends and family in the process. We call our passion Pleasant Valley Vineyards.

The vision required a lot of work!  Our grapes are on a steep bowl which serves as an amphitheater to the rear of the estate.  Preparing the land to handle the grapes in a way to ensure proper sunlight and drainage were major considerations. Volume is not an option for us, so each decision was made to ensure we get the best from our land.  The Estate Pinot Noir is planted on the North and NorthEast sides of the property. The Chardonnay is planted on a South facing slope.  This ensures we maximize the sun and warmth for the Chardonnay, while protecting the more delicate Pinot Noir, which remains in the cool shade of the hill until the morning fog burns off and it is kissed by the afternoon sun.
 
We produce the Brittany Morgan Chardonnay and Dylan David Estate Pinot Noir from the French Dijon clone vines planted in 1996.  We spent the first years allowing the vines to come to maturity while honing our craft.  Our family celebrated the first crush in 2000.  A band of hard-working volunteers, now known as the PV Wine Ratz, helped us harvest, de-stem, and press the grapes.  This tradition continues on today.  All of our Estate vintages are hand-picked by family and friend volunteers, many of whom now have over fifteen years of experience.  The crew keeps building too! We’re pleased to say that many volunteers are also wine club members, and friends that come back year-after-year to celebrate our Crush with great food, conversation, music and some of our earlier vintages.

The Estate Dylan David Pinot Noir, recognizable by the faded-blue Les Paul guitar on the label, is our pride and joy.  Our appellation and location, Corralitos, is known for Pinot, which is why we also partner with the Lester family, our neighbors, to produce multiple unique Pinot offerings from their select Dijon, Swan and Pommard clones.  The Pinots reside in first-fire French Oak for 12 to 19 months.  Each year and vintage varies until it sings the notes I’m looking for.  We strive to represent the understated, delicate nature of this varietal and allow the grapes to express themselves.  We are proud of the bouquet each Pinot develops, neither jammy, nor ensconced with minerals. We expect the perfect balance of grape, oak and time. This combination is how we grew our member-base and reputation. Grown primarily through word-of-mouth, our members secure the vast majority of our production.

 As our reputation, scale and network grew, we sought and were invited to produce wine from many superior grape producers. We now source other grape varietals from varied regions, including our own appellation, Rockpile and Dry Creek (Sonoma Coast), and Shenandoah Valley (Amador County) to place our exacting standards on our Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, and Zinfandel.

 As a family operation, all of our vintages are named after grandchildren, nieces and nephews who are likely to be on property if you stop by. I’m so proud of the community we’ve created between friends and  four generations of family as we’ve opened Pleasant Valley Vineyards.  We hope you get a chance to experience our wine and events. The way our wines join a select community of great people is something we are as proud of as the wine itself.


Cheers, Cathy and Craig Handley


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Cathy and Craig Handley proprietors Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Dylan David Estate Pinot Noir grapes

Dylan David Estate Pinot Noir Vineyard

Dylan David Estate Pinot Noir must

Our Estate Wines: Dylan David Pinot Noir and Brittany Morgan Chardonnay