Matt Oetinger

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Deep into Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Country at Fernwood Cellars

Talk about off the beaten path. This has to be one of the most scenic drives to a winery I’ve ever been on.  I’m not talking sweeping, panoramic views. Instead the road is shrouded in morning mist, and the oak trees form a tunnel above the pavement and redwood trees touch the sky. The atmosphere is eerily romantic. That Fernwood Cellars is nestled into northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains is an understatement. It sits on the site of a former retreat, at the very end of the historic Redwood Retreat Road in Gilroy, a town more famous for garlic than wine. Arriving at the barn that houses the small Fernwood winemaking operation, you feel you’ve really gotten away from it all – and discovered really good wine as a bonus. The Fernwood property has been in winemaker Matt Oetinger’s mother’s family since 1860. His great grandfather homesteaded here and started…