Local winemaker and Saison Hospitality Co-Founder & Beverage Director Mark Bright invites the Santa Cruz community to celebrate his new Scotts Valley wine bar and cellar space and preview its distinctive selection of local and global wines.
Saison Cellar & Wine Bar will offer a curated and deeply personal wine collection by Bright, with hyperlocal Santa Cruz Mountain AVA labels as well as a heavy focus on the wines of France. “My first travels as a sommelier took me to Burgundy and the Rhône Valley, where I found my life-long inspiration in the wine world,” says Bright, “but it was the diverse soil types and ocean-influenced climate of Santa Cruz that drove me to make wine myself.”
Along with a comfortable yet elevated wine bar experience, the space will provide unique wine storage opportunities and amenities to Saison Cellar Wine Club members. The front space will feature a mix of couches, dining tables, bar seating, and outdoor seating. The back wall, awash in ‘Saison Blue’ displays a curated collection of bottles, each a favorite that Mark Bright has enjoyed and collected over the years. The bottle collection continues behind the bar and is displayed along with Bright’s wine-themed art portfolio, each piece with personal meaning to him. The cellar is lined with 30 custom-made wine storage lockers. It is a space for wine club members, wine education, visiting producer events, curated tastings, and special events (caviar and champagne anyone?). Reservations are not required but are available.
ABOUT SAISON CELLAR & WINE BAR / SAISON HOSPITALITY GROUP :
Under the guidance of sommelier, winemaker, and Santa Cruz Mountains resident Mark Bright, Saison Cellar & Wine Bar invites guests to sip the global story of wine in every glass.
Saison Hospitality Group is a sustainable hospitality group dedicated to evolving in the world of food, wine, and hospitality. Their restaurants have won numerous awards since their modest launch in 2009 of Saison as a pop-up, with Saison winning Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, and Angler winning Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence and GQ’s Best New Restaurant in America 2018.
Saison Cellar & Wine Bar marks the group’s first establishment in Scotts Valley, CA. Their emphasis will be on serving outstanding wines with warmth and world class hospitality.
Mark Bright has been passionate about wine since he traveled to Europe at the age of 15 and became a sommelier on his 21st birthday. Bright quickly moved to San Francisco to work with Rajat Parr and found his lifelong inspiration upon traveling to Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. In 2009, Mark co-founded and opened Saison in San Francisco. Recognized as the original fine dining establishment in the U.S. to use open hearth cooking, Saison is a two Michelin star restaurant that has been placed on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list and has been awarded a Wine Spectator “Grand Award” every year since 2014. Later, Mark formed Saison Hospitality Group to evolve in the world of food, beverage, and hospitality. The group comprises Saison, Angler, Smokehouse, Saison Cellar, Saison Winery, and now Saison Cellar & Wine Bar. Mark is a passionate advocate of winemaking and vineyards in Santa Cruz and lives in Ben Lomond with his wife, son, and many, many animals.
Director of Operations
Jane McElrone will be leading the opening as Director of Operations for Saison Cellar & Wine Bar. A longtime Scotts Valley resident and self-professed wine, food and music lover, she is excited to bring a warm and welcoming space for fellow wine enthusiasts to gather in. “I’m looking forward to greeting and meeting everyone that enters our space and sharing our wine and food offerings. The concept of our wine bar is so unique and fills an unmet need that our community is going to get to experience first. I’m also excited about developing our monthly wine club program which will include on-premise storage in our cellar area and wines personally selected by Mark.”
Tony Pappa, avid tennis player and longtime Scotts Valley local, will be heading up service at the new Wine Bar and Cellar space as its Manager. Always quick to say hello with a smile, he is planning to focus on providing a level of welcoming service to all our guests. “I’m excited to continue my wine journey with the opening of our new wine bar. I’m looking forward to connecting with all of our guests when they come in and want to make each visit memorable.”