The Santa Cruz Mountain area has been recognized as a premium wine producing region since the late 1800's. Few of the original wineries survived prohibition, but many new wineries have developed since the 1940's. In 1981 the Santa Cruz Mountains Viticultural Appellation, from Half Moon Bay in the north to Mount Madonna in the south, became federally recognized - one of the first American viticultural areas to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The individual microclimates, marine influence, mountain terrain, distinctive soils, and low crop levels, all contribute to the production of intensely concentrated fruit. There are now over forty, small, family-owned wineries in the region producing handcrafted wines. The same spirit of innovation, independence, and determination that distinguished the great winemakers of the 19th century lives on today.