Santa Cruz Cider Company holding grand opening Saturday

Santa Cruz Cider Company held a pop-up soft opening of its new tasting room in July. This Saturday the business will officially open on Hanger Way. — Johanna Miller/The Pajaronian file

WATSONVILLE—For the past six years, Santa Cruz Cider Company has made craft hard cider from apples grown in Santa Cruz County. Since its earliest days, fans of the family-owned company were eager for a tasting room.

On Saturday they will get their wish. 

Santa Cruz Cider Company will open the doors of its first-ever tasting room in Watsonville.

The Apple City Cider Tasting Room, located at 65 Hangar Way (next to Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co.), will officially open to the public with a special grand opening event.

The tasting room’s name pays homage to the deep apple roots of the Pajaro Valley. A century ago Watsonville was the number one grower and seller of apples in the world, which earned it the nickname “Apple City.” 

Santa Cruz Cider Company’s owners say they are proud to carry on this rich local history and share their ciders made from Pajaro Valley apples.

Wife and husband Nicole and Felix Todd started making cider in 2011 with a truckload of found apples. In 2013, Nicole partnered up with her sister Natalie Henze to form the Santa Cruz Cider Company. Now the sisters run the business while Felix helps with cider production. Natalie’s husband, Justin, built everything at the tasting room from the tap handles to the new bar. Natalie and Justin’s son Miles even lends a hand by posing for pictures in the orchard.  

The entire Santa Cruz Cider Company family will be present at the grand opening.

The event will be held on Saturday from noon-8 p.m. and feature a full line up of ciders to be enjoyed as a flight or by the glass. Bottles and cans will also be available for purchase. Attendees can also enjoy food provided by Killer Chef as well as live music. 

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