November 11, 2014 – Joining the migration of Santa Cruz County vintners heading south, three partners in the Watsonville Winemakers Studio are opening a tasting room in Carmel Valley.
“Santa Cruz is becoming more of a beer town and sales are really slow, so we’re going where the money is,” said Mica Raas, who owns Myka Cellars. Wargin Wines and Bunter Spring Winery will join him in a small tasting room next door to Talbott Vineyards, which they hope to open by December 1—pending permits. Watsonville’s Windy Oaks Winery recently opened a tasting room in Carmel and Odonata of Santa Cruz purchased the Marilyn Remark Winery on River Road last spring.
Raas, 32, says they plan to keep the Winemaker’s Studio in Watsonville open for the time being and see how things go. Currently he makes wine at there and at Scheid. Raas says they are planning a rustic decor for the new tasting room, that he describes as “nouveau hick.”
Myka Cellars, which is on track to produce 50,000 cases a year, sells mainly in Southern California and is especially known for its unoaked Santa Cruz Mountains Mitzi Chardonnay. Bunter Spring Winery produces all organic, sulfur-free wines using grapes from Napa and the Sonoma Coast. Wargin Wines is a family-owned boutique winery specializing in California-Italian varietals including Pinot Gris and Petite Sirah.