First Certified

Organic Winery

in the Country


How and why it all started

John C. Schumacher though only 27 when he began operating Hallcrest he already had a long history of winemaking.  His first attempt at producing wine came at the age of 13 when his parents left for vacation and left the plums on the tree.  Before his mother could return to can her plums, John piled a bunch in a vat and waited for the magic to happen.

Hallcrest Vineyards produces just over 20,000 cases annually; a full line of wines including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah.  With the introduction of organically grown grapes and organically processed wine, Hallcrest Vineyards’ brand, “The Organic Wine Works”, became a pioneer in the ecological movement, establishing the first California Certified Organic Farmers vineyard on the Central Coast and the first Organic Processor to be recognized by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

“The Organic Wine Works” has now been nationally recognized.  Challenged by an industry that believed quality wines could not be produced without the use of sulfites or other additives, The Organic Wine Works became the nation’s first certified organic wine without the use of sulfites and received positive reviews by prominent wine writers, winning many awards at wine competitions.


Clearing Up the Confusion About Organic Wine

There is a lot of interest and a lot of confusion about organic wine these days. The interest stems from the increasing presence of wines with organic claims on store shelves and from wine consumers who want organic alternatives to conventional wines. Most of the confusion has to do with the labeling of these organic wines.

For a wine to be labeled “100% Organic” and bear the USDA organic seal, it must be made from 100% organically produced ingredients (in other words, the grapes must be grown organically), have an ingredient statement on the label, and give information about who the certifying agency is. A wine in this category cannot have any added sulfites. It may have naturally occurring sulfites, but the total sulfite level must be less than 100 parts per million. Note: *Most wines produced from grapes that are nutritionally balanced from organic vineyards produce no detectable sulfites.


Local friendly faces

Tasting Hours:


Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday 12-5pm

Saturday 11-5pm


Tuesday & Wednesday

Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the quaint town of Felton is the historic site of Hallcrest Vineyards & Tasting Room.


We welcome you as our guest, and invite you to bring a picnic, grab a bottle of wine, and sit on our deck to enjoy a relaxing and memorable afternoon. Just down the road is Wild Roots Market where you can pick up everything for your picnicking needs.

The Prince of Pinot

“"Hallcrest is the most award winning winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Organic Wine Works wines were the first certified organic wines in the United States and the first wines allowed to state “organically grown and organically processed” on their label by the BATF."”


© 2019 by Hallcrest Vineyards