About our Winery
Specializing in Burgundian and Rhone style wines from select Coastal vineyards, Pelican Ranch is a family owned and operated winery in the heart of Capitola. The winery itself is just a few blocks from the Monterey Bay which provides a constant, cool, coastal influence that allows for the making of fine elegant wines.
Our winemaking approach emphasizes proven old-world methods accompanied by successful modern strategies. This combination results in elegant and flavorful wines, which are bottled with minimal cellar treatment. Each vineyard select bottling is limited to 200 cases. The white wines are barrel fermented exclusively in French Oak; the reds are aged for 12-24 months and are bottled with minimal treatment. High profile vineyards from the Santa Cruz Mountains and beyond are the source of the twenty wines we make each vintage.
Our family winery was established in 1997. We have a loyal following of wine enthusiasts in Capitola, in the Monterey Bay Area and in the Silicon Valley. It would be ideal to have our wines in your cellar! We are at the ready to personally introduce our wines to you and friends.
Meet Winemaker Phil Crews
Our passionate home-wine-maker, wine educator and UCSC science professor eventual took his “hobby” public. Phil is a professor of chemistry at UCSC’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and a noted expert in the natural products of marine sponges. As part of his professional activities, he also teaches a course titled, Introduction to Wines and Wine Chemistry.
Phil says his goal in life is to combine a love of winemaking and his university work on discovering bioactive molecules from sponges. He notes that the wetsuit he brings along for sponge-collection foraging expeditions serves three purposes: 1) it protects him from things poisonous or venomous, 2) it keeps him warm, and 3) it’s ideal for transporting four bottles of his Pelican Ranch wines to the expedition site – a bottle in each arm, a bottle in each leg. This is essential for end of the day celebrations!
It’s this light-hearted nature that makes Phil a popular winemaker in our region.
Meet Associate Winemakers Mitch Crews & Matt Wilson
This dynamic duo is committed to operating guitars, spitting out lyrics that go on and on, while also transforming grapes into world class wines. Mitch (the left) has experience in marine microbiology and translates this understanding into crafting fine wines. Matt (on the right) is a songwriter and digital music mixer. On stage and in the cellar they are both constantly harmonizing, while also deeply engaged in maximizing wine flavors and quality. Their commitment to creating music and wines that are ready for ‘prime time’ is refreshing.