Our journey in wine has led us to the Santa Cruz Mountains, where a deep history of pioneering viticulture and winemaking and a recent wave of growers and wineries with a trajectory of excellence has inspired us to grow grapes and craft wine here.
The name Sandar and Hem references our family’s Norwegian agricultural origins. In the home place (Sandar) and surname (Hem) of our ancestors, we find inspiration in origin stories and the confluence of people and place. In our quest as winegrowers and winemakers, we aspire to make wines which express the breathtaking mountain sites upon which our grapes are grown and honor the dedicated people who take the grapes on their miraculous journey from soil to bottle.
When local winemakers discuss wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains, they talk in detail of the yet-to-be-formalized subregions of the AVA and we have been careful students of this movement as we work to gain a grasp of such a diverse place. These subregions range from the warmer sandy-loam Aptos-Corralitos region in the far south to the white Zyante sands and decomposed granites of Ben Lomond above Santa Cruz to the steep, rocky shale sites of the North Skyline region with its brisk ocean breezes and cool evening fog.
In particular, we believe chardonnay, above all other varieties, is able to capture the wide breadth of expressions and great heights possible from the rugged and geologically diverse sites with wildly varying microclimates of the region.