Santa Clara & San Benito Wine Heritage

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Drew Goin
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#1 Post by Drew Goin » June 7th, 2016, 10:35 pm

I have a strong interest in the history and culture of wine growing and making in the Santa Clara and San Benito areas.

Often (in my mind) the overlap of these two Counties occurs when I embark on researching a particular winery or vineyard. Less than one hundred years ago, the area had a strong hand in the establishment of California's legitimacy in producing high quality wines.

I would appreciate any and all insight, trivia, updates, anecdotes, etc. to be shared here.
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Sean Devaney
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#2 Post by Sean Devaney » June 8th, 2016, 7:29 am

If you haven't read Like Modern Edens: Winegrowing in Santa Clara Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains 1798-1981 by Charles L. Sullivan I highly recommend it but I have a hunch you have. [cheers.gif]

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Ken Zinns
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#3 Post by Ken Zinns » June 8th, 2016, 7:39 am

Sean Devaney wrote:If you haven't read Like Modern Edens: Winegrowing in Santa Clara Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains 1798-1981 by Charles L. Sullivan I highly recommend it but I have a hunch you have. [cheers.gif]
You just beat me to it, Sean - I was going to mention the same book. Great resource for the wine background of these areas.
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#4 Post by Peter Petersen » June 8th, 2016, 7:55 am

I'm almost certain Drew read that book since he has ready other books by Sullivan.

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#5 Post by Drew Goin » June 8th, 2016, 1:30 pm

The Sullivan book and another one, Wineries of Santa Clara County by Beverly Stenehjem, are en route from Amazon.

I delayed ordering the Sullivan book because I kept stumbling on great stuff online and in the Companion to California Wine book. A rather large section of the Cali book (1998) is dedicated to Santa Clara and San Benito personalities, wineries, history, etc.

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#6 Post by Drew Goin » June 8th, 2016, 1:56 pm

My greater interest is in what can I find today of high quality from "the survivors".

Who is carrying a torch for the superheroes of yesteryear?

Many of my finds have been unavailable for shipment to Louisiana, or not consistently derived from the old vineyards, or (worst of all) not made from the varieties that I want - *wah waaah* :(

BTW, there were some straight-up maniacs involved in the late 1800's/early 1900's in California winemaking. It appears that it helped sales when every kooky thing you said or did ended up in the newspapers (sound familiar?).

San Benito @ Geology Café site:
http://geologycafe.com/fieldtrips/cienega_valley.html
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#7 Post by Wes Barton » June 9th, 2016, 1:06 am

Good producers using San Benito fruit (and usually southern Santa Clara Valley fruit, too) include River Run, Alfaro, DeRose, Stefania and Ian Brand's stuff.

There's a quality boom going on in southern Santa Clara Valley, which I'm a little out of date on. Martin Ranch were once growers only (Harvest Moon Vyd.) Now they only sell to Kathryn Kennedy and Stefania, and actually buy a bit. Husband and wife team with very different tastes, so they have two labels. Stick with the hers, Therese Vineyards. Several years ago we did a tasting of 18 '07 SCM and SCV Cabs. Hers finished first, ahead of Monte Bello and Mount Eden (was my third behind those two). Other recs include Aver Family and Sarah's Vineyard (semi-new owners really boosted the quality). I'd say Medeiros Family is a good bet from what he did previously. Left bend is doing a great job with some Hecker Pass old vines, like their Carignane. Several people source Bates Ranch, incl. their own label.
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#8 Post by Drew Goin » June 9th, 2016, 3:54 pm

Thanks, Wes!

I have looked up many of the wineries you mentioned, and few ship to Louisiana. I am planning on buying from a few in the coming months, as finances are limited.

The scope of varieties that I am interested in is pretty small at this time, but I imagine that I will snap out of it eventually. :P

http://www.santaclarawines.com/wineries ... y-history/

Another thing that I am surprised by is how few of the older vineyards are recognized by the HVS. Perhaps a few upcoming releases from board favorites will bring greater attention to this region.
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#9 Post by Ian Brand » July 3rd, 2016, 9:08 pm

Drew,
I'm not sure if we ship to Louisiana, but we work from about six different vineyards in San Benito County, and another six or seven from Santa Clara County for various projects, including some of the oldest Cab Franc, Mourvèdre, and Cab Sauv in Cali, as well as some newer plantings. If you know what you're looking for and the geology of the region, there's some great vineyards and wines to be made. It's a great place to be working out of right now. We'll see how long it stays under the radar.
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#10 Post by Drew Goin » July 4th, 2016, 6:09 am

Ian, thanks for your insight! If my memory serves, I was not able to order a shipment to Louisiana. However, this was a while back.

I did win a bottle of Le P'tit Paysan 2012 Petite Sirah from WineBid a couple of weeks ago. I am definitely interested in the San Benito "Spur Ranch" La Marea Mourvedre, but I have to wait to make a purchase (fingers crossed that it won't sell out by September-ish).

The area where many of the San Benito vineyards are located, IIRC, includes the old Almaden/Blossom Hill vineyards. The Gimelli, Pietra Santa, and DeRose Vineyards are a ridge or two away from the Calera quarry vineyards. I could be wrong on that, however.

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#11 Post by Ian Brand » July 5th, 2016, 9:26 am

Drew,

We should be able to make a Louisiana shipment happen when the weather accommodates.

The San Benito vineyard plantings are generally clustered around the old Blossom Hill facility and the Cienega Valley, but these days extend well beyond that. There are a lot of vineyards east of Hollister in the Comstock Road area, and Bonny Doon's new project is just outside of San Juan Bautista. There's some good stuff around Tres Pinos, including one of Bryan Harrington's main sources and, just south of there, the Vista Verde/Pebble Ridge planting that Williams-Selyem has used for years, and the Spur Ranch planting, on the south flank of Chalone Peak in the far southern reaches of the county. My favorite things in the area are Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre and Grenache, but there's an ever expanding variety of grapes in the region. The Calera plantings are a couple ridges west of the Cienega Valley, in the heart of the Gabilan Mountains.

In Santa Clara, the vineyards are clustered around Gilroy as Silicon Valley is threatening to eat up Morgan Hill. I think the stars of the area are the Besson and Bates Ranch properties. The Besson has 100 year old Grenache (us, Tribute to Grace and Birichino) and Zinfandel (Birichino). Stefania's new Syrah off Besson is very tasty, though I'm not sure when that will be released. Bates Ranch has Cabernet Sauvignon dating back to the late sixties and Cabernet Franc dating back to the late 70s, some young vine Cab Sauv and Grenache. Look for the Ghostwriter Bates Ranch, and from us, the Vocal Cabernet Sauv Bates Ranch and I. Brand and Family Cab Franc Bates Ranch both beginning with the 15 vintage. Katheryn Kennedy, Bargetto and, I think, Richard Alfaro get Bates fruit but I haven't had the pleasure of tasting any of those recently. Some of the older Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Bates bottlings are among the best California wines I've ever had.

Beyond that, I agree with a lot of Wes' recommendations. We've got our fingers in a few projects up in Santa Clara and I think that place will blow up pretty quickly. When you consider it's a half hour drive from Silicon Valley, there's almost no way it doesn't.

Ian
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#12 Post by Drew Goin » July 6th, 2016, 1:46 am

Ian, I just ordered a couple of the La Marea Spur Ranch Mourvedre from San Benito County, and a white from the not-Santa Clara/San Benito area. ;)

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#13 Post by Drew Goin » July 12th, 2016, 3:14 pm

These were posted in Facebook by MTP of Bedrock:
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Wirz Vineyard in Cienega Valley
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#14 Post by Drew Goin » November 3rd, 2016, 2:58 pm

From: "California Pioneers of Santa Clara County" by Paul Bernal
pbernal@scscourt.org
http://www.CaliforniaPioneers.com

"The Mirassou Winery was founded in 1854 by Louis Pellier and his brother Pierre (1823-1894). Louis Pellier was the father of the enormous prune industry in California, planting the first French prunes in San Jose in 1856. Because of Pellier, today California produces 99 percent of the nation’s prunes and 70 percent of the world’s prunes....

"Pierre Pellier brought the grapes known as Black Burgundy, French Colombar, Chasselas, Fontainebleau, Pinot Noir, Madeline and others from France to San Jose.

"With these new varieties, Louis and Pierre Pellier founded the valley’s French wine industry at City Garden. Louie bought 148.8 acres off Quimby Road in Evergreen, which was a part of the Chaboya land Grant.

"In 1860, Pierre planted vines and ranched an area near Mission San Jose (Fremont). After three years, he returned to San Jose. Louie sold his Evergreen ranch to his brother Pierre for $1,000. Pierre planted 150 acres of vines and farmed about 300 acres. Pierre added to the Evergreen property, and by 1869, the Pellier ranch became one of the largest in Evergreen."


I wonder if the Pellier Brothers introduced and propagated Mourvedre and Carignan in the Santa Clara and San Benito areas...

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#15 Post by Ken Zinns » November 3rd, 2016, 6:05 pm

I've seen that Pierre Pellier is often credited with bringing the first Pinot Noir vines to California. Sort of doubt that he would have brought in Mourvèdre or Carignan but who knows?
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#16 Post by Peter Petersen » November 3rd, 2016, 7:44 pm

There'll be a Sandlands Mataro from Enz vineyard in San Benito, the only Sandlands vineyard designate that I've heard of.

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#17 Post by Drew Goin » November 3rd, 2016, 10:05 pm

Peter Petersen wrote:There'll be a Sandlands Mataro from Enz vineyard in San Benito, the only Sandlands vineyard designate that I've heard of.
Do tell.

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#18 Post by Peter Petersen » November 4th, 2016, 8:14 am

That's all I know. Presumably it'll be released with the other '15s next year.

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#19 Post by Drew Goin » November 4th, 2016, 3:12 pm

Good overall survey of the San Benito area's wine industry, and the answer to the infamous Cabernet Pfeffer question:

https://benitolink.com/magazine-calls-s ... ine-secret

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#20 Post by Drew Goin » November 4th, 2016, 6:46 pm

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#21 Post by Dan Kravitz » November 4th, 2016, 6:58 pm

Just spotted this thread and love it. Lots of new stuff for me to investigate... especially if pricing is below Santa Cruz Mountains for virtually unknown wines.

People on this thread know that in the late 1800's, Santa Clara Valley and Napa Valley were neck and neck candidates for top terroir in California. Of course today Santa Clara Valley is far more famous... unfortunately not for wine, more colloquial name is Silicon Valley.

Oh for the days when I could visit Gemello behind the bowling alley in Mountain View and pick up some of the greatest Cabs in California history.

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#22 Post by Drew Goin » February 3rd, 2017, 4:48 pm

A pretty nice overview of the Pellier family and its contributions to the fruit business of Santa Clara:

http://www.evergreenmuralwalk.com/2016/ ... ributions/
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#23 Post by Drew Goin » March 1st, 2017, 9:17 pm

Santa Clara County Assessor's Office Search Tool:

https://www.sccassessor.org/index.php/o ... l-property

Santa Clara County Assessor's Interactive GIS Map Tool*:

https://www.sccgov.org/gis/giswelcome/


* Requires Flash Player to view
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#24 Post by Drew Goin » March 25th, 2017, 1:26 pm

Here's a YouTube video (no audio) of "Working the Mirassou Ranch, 1962", compliments of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara:

[youtube]N6eYcR2RFXk[/youtube]

Homepage:
http://californiapioneers.com/Trailblaz ... azers.html
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#25 Post by Drew Goin » May 6th, 2017, 8:10 am

Vineyard photo from the Facebook page of Mr Cody @ Bedrock Wine Company...
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#26 Post by Drew Goin » May 11th, 2017, 7:01 am

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#27 Post by Drew Goin » May 18th, 2017, 8:58 pm

Some images I stole from an Enz Vineyard harvest photo album Mr Hardy Wallace (Dirty & Rowdy) posted on Reddit:


What is up with that soil?!?
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#28 Post by Drew Goin » August 21st, 2017, 6:26 pm

Article from my perusal of the internets:


"Wine story: Oldest wine region in California is here in South County" by Marty Cheek in Morgan Hill Life (2014)

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#29 Post by Sean Devaney » August 22nd, 2017, 8:03 am

Thanks for the article Drew.

Here is a working link http://morganhilllife.com/2014/02/15/wi ... th-county/

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#30 Post by Ken Zinns » August 22nd, 2017, 12:38 pm

Drew Goin wrote:Article from my perusal of the internets:


"Wine story: Oldest wine region in California is here in South County" by Marty Cheek in Morgan Hill Life (2014)
Possibly the "oldest wine region" that's once again a notable wine region, but hard to argue against the Los Angeles area being the first major commercial wine region in California with the plantings of Chapman, Vignes, etc. in the 1820s and 1830s.
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#31 Post by Drew Goin » August 22nd, 2017, 9:30 pm

Ken, I am sure that you are correct. :)

The migration of the Spanish Northwards from the Mexican conquest would most certainly pass through the San Diego area and LA region prior to Santa Clara.

Excerpt from "The History of California Wine" (pdf, 2012) by Wine Institute of California

"In 1769, Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary, brought settlers from Mexico into San Diego. He established a mission there and the first known vineyard in California. As he moved north along the route that became known as El Camino Real, he and others established 21 missions linking San Diego in the South to Sonoma in the North...

..."About 1830, the commercial era started through the efforts of a Frenchman, Jean Louis Vignes. Arriving from Bordeaux, he saw the land’s potential and soon imported cuttings of many varieties of the native European Vitis vinifera."


I am not a specialist in the history of California, but I do appreciate the wine that is made out yonder. ;)

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#32 Post by Drew Goin » September 29th, 2017, 8:38 pm

Cool Read :)

LA Times Article - "Peaceful Valley : A Little-Known Historic Wine Area Is Almost Hidden by the Diablo and Gavilan Mountain Ranges, Near San Juan Bautista"

October 11, 1987 | ROBERT LAWRENCE BALZER


http://articles.latimes.com/1987-10-11/ ... n-bautista

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#33 Post by Drew Goin » October 3rd, 2017, 7:32 am

From The Mercury News online site:

"Grape Tales: Cabernet Pfeffer"

by Mary Orlin
PUBLISHED: January 22, 2015

http://www.mercurynews.com/2015/01/22/g ... t-pfeffer/

"[Nicole] Walsh had vines from the Wirz Vineyard analyzed by Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis for DNA identification, which found that the Pfeffer vines she submitted are actually Mourtaou, an obscure French variety. The lab report states that Cabernet Pfeffer is used as “a synonym” for both Mourtaou and Gros Verdot, another French variety, in the state of California, but there is no relation to Cabernet Sauvignon."

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#34 Post by Drew Goin » October 3rd, 2017, 7:40 am

From Santa Cruz Sentinel

"Wine Press: Ser’s Winemaker Nicole Walsh Committed to Wines of Place"

By: Stacey Vreeken
POSTED: Tuesday, May 30, 2017


http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/lifest ... s-of-place

http://www.serwinery.com

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#35 Post by Drew Goin » October 3rd, 2017, 8:06 am

"Is a Riesling Renaissance beginning in California? – Chapter 1 (Ryan Stirm)"

January 5, 2017
by John Haeger

http://www.oenosite.com/is-a-riesling-r ... yan-stirm/

According to the www.stirmwine.com website, Ryan Stirm's team is now taking on the role of farming the Enz Vineyard!

http://www.stirmwine.com

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#36 Post by Drew Goin » October 3rd, 2017, 12:32 pm

The Bedrock Wine Company YouTube channel has a new video featuring Mr Pat Wirz of the Wirz Vineyard in Cienega Valley. Bedrock has bottled a vineyard-designated Riesling from this site for at least two vintages.

[youtube]6wswaULfibs[/youtube]

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#37 Post by Drew Goin » November 5th, 2017, 2:51 pm

I am always happy to stumble on some trivia related to the old-vine sites of the Santa Clara and San Benito region.

From the online retailer RockJuice (via a product highlight from Ryan Stirm and Andrew Nelson), here's a bit of info on the Enz Vineyard and STiRM Wine Company's "Mezcla de Campo" Rose:

"Originally planted in 1895, the Enz vineyard is located in the shadow of the Gabilan mountains in Lime Kiln Valley, inland from Santa Cruz near San Juan Bautista, where Andrew’s grandfather, Manuel Botelho, farmed apple orchards. Farming of the 28-acre vineyard, originally planted to Iberian varietals – Mataro (Mouvèdre), Carignan, Mission, Palomino, & Orange Muscat – fell under the care of Ryan Stirm in 2016. Pesticides or herbicides have never been used in the vineyard, and, since many of the vines are 90-120 years old, everything is completely dry-farmed. Andrew and Ryan do everything by hand, from bottling and affixing labels (some of the coolest label art I’ve come across, designed by their tattoo-artist friend) to schlepping the wine from Santa Cruz to us in SF. So much love and care, along with the extraordinary age of the vines, comes across in this complex field blend of red + white grapes – there is a certain seriousness, gravitas even, that urges one to sip slowly and savor all that is going on in this gorgeous package. It’s savory, herbal and textural, with wild Mediterranean herbs, sour cherry and watermelon, and a long, dry finish. One of our favorite discoveries in this whole Cali mix!"

https://rockjuiceinc.com/wines/2016-los ... vine-rose/
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STiRM Los Chuchaquis Enz Vineyard Rosé "Mezcla de Campo", 1
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#38 Post by Drew Goin » December 2nd, 2017, 2:56 pm

A magazine article on Grenache from several California producers tapping oft-overlooked regions:

Food and Wine
"The Twizzlers of Wine"
by Megan Krigbaum
January 22, 2016

"Winemaker Ian Brand of La Marea makes a Grenache with fruit from Spur Ranch Vineyard in San Benito County. The vineyard was planted 20 years ago in an ancient limestone seabed; Brand described the crumbly soil as looking like the surface of the moon. The wine was spiced, with an olive-y edge that evoked the Rhône wines I love. Brand also produces a Besson Vineyard Grenache. His version was a bit quieter than the Birichino I’d had earlier in Big Sur, but just as compellingly drinkable."
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#39 Post by Drew Goin » December 2nd, 2017, 3:13 pm

Esther Mobley's article on some of the vineyards and producers of California Riesling includes the Wirz Vineyard in San Benito County:

San Francisco Chronicle
"California Riesling's Popularity & Quality Return"
Esther Mobley
September 28, 2016


"The Wirz Vineyard in Hollister (San Benito County) harks back to that mid-60s swinging pendulum: planted to Riesling in 1964, at a time when the grape looked, once again, like California’s next great white wine.

"Like California Riesling at large, the Wirz Vineyard is underappreciated, misunderstood. Its half-century-old Riesling vines are own-rooted, head-trained, dry farmed; some of them sit directly on the San Andreas Fault. Says Pat Wirz: 'The Cienega Valley doesn’t get a lot of press, but I think it’s one of the best places for growing grapes in California.' Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t heard of it.

920x920.jpg
Jesus Morales picks increasingly popular Riesling grapes at Wirz Vineyard in San Benito County - Photo: Michael Short, The Chronicle
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"Yes, the site is hot (107 degrees last week), but it gets a welcome coastal influence through the Gabilan mountain range. If you’re standing in it, with mountains towering on all sides, the vineyard can feel like a flat, low valley, but it actually stands at 1,000 feet above sea level.

"The logic isn’t obvious. If you taste the wines, you’ll see: The charge that Wirz Vineyard — that California in general — is too hot for Riesling, famously a lover of cool climates, is a fallacy."[/i]

In her article on the current status of Riesling in California, Esther Mobley surveys historical ups-and-downs in the variety's popularity, the limited scope of vine material genetics in the ground, as well as a few winemaker's thoughts on conjuring the utmost potential from Riesling grapes.

Mr Pat Wirz's fifty-year-old vineyard in the Cienega Valley is held up to readers as an unlikely paradigm of Riesling cultivation.
Last edited by Drew Goin on April 10th, 2018, 3:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#40 Post by Nate Simon » December 2nd, 2017, 3:29 pm

Drew, just returned from the Bedrock pickup event, and you will want to check out the “Vineyard Under The Mountain” wine, to be released next year. Old vineyard near Morgan Hill, mostly Zinfandel IIRC!

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#41 Post by Drew Goin » December 2nd, 2017, 6:55 pm

Nate Simon wrote:Drew, just returned from the Bedrock pickup event, and you will want to check out the “Vineyard Under The Mountain” wine, to be released next year. Old vineyard near Morgan Hill, mostly Zinfandel IIRC!
Thanks for the heads up, Nate!

Did you see the "Gregory Carignan" barrel on this thread (from MTP's FB page)? I contacted the owner of the "Under the Mountain" Vineyard via email a while back. It is being sourced by Bedrock Wine Company as well as Storrs in the recent past. There's some great history around Redwood Retreat Road! I hope to get my hands on a bottle of the wine you mentioned!!! :)


From Mr Philip Gregory of the "Under the Mountain Vineyard":


"Our vineyard is predominately made up of mixed blacks (which is about 80% Zinfandel). We have one block of Petite Sirah which contains some mix of Alicante Bouschet. And additionally we have a couple of acres of Carignane. It may be of interest to you that we are 'clearing' a former block of Muscat that had been let go and returned to forest. The old vines have survived in spite of sharing the acreage with oak trees. Our intention is to clear the block by hand and bring the old Muscat vines into production.

"The property is a dry land farm. In California that means the vines must survive from May through October without rain. As a result each vine produces less fruit, but it is much richer and we believe makes a far superior wine."



Historic Vineyard Society page for the "Under the Mountain Vineyard"
Last edited by Drew Goin on April 10th, 2018, 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#42 Post by Drew Goin » December 3rd, 2017, 1:53 pm

Santa Clara Wines "Member Wineries Map"

Screen-shot-2013-06-25-at-7.39.20-PM.jpg
Santa Clara Wineries
Screen-shot-2013-06-25-at-7.39.20-PM.jpg (38.97 KiB) Viewed 2011 times
Homepage for Santa Clara Valley Wines

Santa Clara Valley Wines: "Wineries"

Santa Clara Valley Wines: "News"

Wineries of Santa Clara Valley
P.O. Box 562
San Martin, CA 95046
Last edited by Drew Goin on April 10th, 2018, 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#43 Post by Drew Goin » December 11th, 2017, 6:27 pm

I found a blog with a 3-part visit to wineries in the Santa Clara area:

Winery-Sage Santa Clara Valley, Part 1

"Wineries Visited:
Lightheart Cellars – production: 1,000 cases
Clos LaChance Winery (we forgot to get the total production on this one – hey no one’s perfect)
Sycamore Creek Vineyards – production: 2,500 cases
Aver Family Vineyards – production: 1,200 cases
Jason Stephens Winery – production: 15,000 cases"


Winery-Sage Santa Clara Valley, Part 2

"Wineries Visited:
Kirigin Cellars – production: 3,600 cases
Fortino Winery – production: 15,000 cases
Sarah’s Vineyard – production: 5,000 cases
Solis Winery – production: 4,500 cases"


Winery-Sage Santa Clara Valley, Part 3

"Wineries Visited:
Guglielmo Winery – production 50,000 cases
Morgan Hill Cellars – production 1,500 cases
Satori Cellars – production: 2,400 cases
Sunlit Oaks Winery – production: 500 cases
Thomas Kruse – production: 2,000 cases
Creekview Vineyards* – production: 1,400 cases"


*Of greatest interest to me is the latest release of Creekview Vineyards' Santa Clara County "Old Vine" Mourvedre. Just where are they getting their fruit??! :o

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#44 Post by robert creth » December 11th, 2017, 9:56 pm

This is my home ground and I have tasted most of these. Sarah’s has been a fav with their riper take on Pinot and Chardonnay which helped me lay a solid base to start real tasting from. Always grab their Charbono. Aver makes lovely Rhône grape blends in rather small batches. They are more restrained in their approach. These are not cutting edge or sommelier favorites. They are California versions of Village wineries. Farmers working the land and making the best wine they can and make a living. Met some wonderful people who spent real time with me and shared their passion. I spend more in the Santa Cruz Mountains now, but love these Valley folk who helped me learn.

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#45 Post by Drew Goin » December 12th, 2017, 12:10 am

Thanks for chiming in as a local in-the-know, Robert!

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#46 Post by Ian Brand » December 12th, 2017, 2:06 pm

Thomas Kruse winery shut down a few years ago and the property was bought by a really nice family with roots in the Willamette and San Jose. The winery has been leased out and now three or four labels operate out of it as Blended: a winemaker's studio, including Ted Medeiros' label. We take all the cab off the 25 year old vineyard for our P'tit Paysan Cabernet. Jason Stephens has moved into a custom crush facility near the outlets, and the Dorcich family will be taking over the winery and tasting room space next spring with their family's wine label (they are the property and vineyard owners and farmers). Also missing from the list is Stefania, which has a tasting room on Day Road open a couple saturdays a month, and Martin Ranch, which is technically in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but only about a mile or two from Sarah's Vineyard.

The old vine Mourvedre for Creekview comes from a plot east of the 101 in San Martin. It's a 2+/- acre vineyard of old vines, with some Mataro, Zinfandel and other things, on the corner of a couple of side streets just a couple block off the 101. It's owned by a old gentleman, whom I spoke to a couple of years back when I was driving by. He was difficult to understand, so I didn't glean a lot of information from the conversation.

Ian
ITB - Le P'tit Paysan, La Marea, I. Brand & Family
Salinas, CA
www.ibrandwinery.com

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#47 Post by Drew Goin » December 13th, 2017, 10:28 am

Thanks for the heads up, Ian!

I am always thankful for your contributions to this thread (and other ones, of course)!

As I have been expending the limited resources available online, I am finding myself performing more and more searches for wineries/vineyards in Santa Cruz and the SBC areas. I am doing my best to stay within the parameters of the OP, so any contributions from locals are appreciated! :)

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#48 Post by Drew Goin » December 14th, 2017, 6:24 pm

Work in Progress...I want to have a good understanding of the vineyard of the Santa Clara County. As for San Benito, I think there are fewer than ten or so vineyards...

Santa Clara County:

Gilroy

Besson Vineyards: Syrah, Carignane, Grenache (Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA)

Dorcich Family Vineyards Syrah, Mourvedre (Watsonville Rd, Gilroy, CA)

Dos Rios Vineyard: Grenache (Redwood Retreat Rd, Gilroy, CA)

Sarah’s Vineyard: Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Grenache (Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA

Summers Ranch Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel (Dryden Ave, Gilroy, CA)



Hollister

Morgan Hill

Chirala Estate Vineyard: Grenache, Mourvedre (Sunrise Ave, Morgan Hill, CA)


San Martin

Lion Ranch Vineyards: Viognier (San Martin Ave, San Martin, CA)


http://laviedansantewines.com/our-story ... -partners/

To Be Used:
https://www.distillery.news/?geodir_sea ... 21.8907041

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#49 Post by Drew Goin » January 3rd, 2018, 7:14 pm

Article featuring the DeRose Winery in San Benito County:

SanBenito.com
"It’s a Family Affair at DeRose Vineyards"
by Chrissy Bryant
October 28, 2014

"...Located high in the Gabilan Mountains in Cienega Valley, with elevations more than 1,100 feet, DeRose has a fairly cool growing climate.

"'We’re a late season region. We ripen later than most regions,' Pat said. Even before you arrive at DeRose Vineyards you get a sense of history as you drive through miles of winding mountain roads, surrounded by land that has yet to be touched by commercialization.

"...With Zinfandel vines that were planted in the late 1890s and Negrette vines that are more than 115 years old, DeRose Vineyards has a history unlike others in the area.

“'We’re the oldest existing winery in California. There are wineries that could be older than us, but (they) either shut down or changed ownership,' Pat said. 'We’ve never shut our doors since 1851.'*

"Pat’s love for making wines has been passed on to his son, Alphonse DeRose.

“'I’m passing the torch on—he’s now the head winemaker,' Pat said.

"...With ancestors who made wine for more than 10 generations, Pat and his family decided to buy the winery in 1988.

“'My son and I own the equipment and the inventory, but the property is owned by the entire family and there are 13 of us involved: the DeRose and Cedolini families,' he said.
When the winery was purchased, the vineyards had been abandoned for eight years.

"...There are 50 acres of vines and half of them are more than 100 years old—the other half are about 28 years old. Along with old vines, DeRose Vineyards is a historical landmark with the San Andreas Fault running through the property.

“'Part of our vineyards are on one plate and part are on another,' Pat said. 'The property moves about three centimeters a year.'

3437ccb4037fca52f80cd37cb39d278d-696x522.jpg
Photo by DeRose
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"DeRose Vineyards uses all natural fermentation, which means no store-bought yeast, only native yeast produced during natural fermentation.

"...'Everything in the winery is 100 percent run on solar panels. We’re very green-oriented here,' he said.

"With California’s continued drought, having enough water for vines to produce at their full potential can be an issue.

“'We’re 100 percent dry farm,' Pat said. 'We don’t irrigate or water anything.' But with dry farming and very little rain, 'our vines are producing somewhere in the 15 percent of their 100 percent—we’re going to have a short year.'

"DeRose Vineyards produces approximately 5,000 to 7,000 cases of estate wines on a good year. Due to the drought, Pat estimates DeRose will produce about 700 cases this year

"Luckily, it also imports about 4,000 cases from Chile, France, Italy, Spain and Argentina.

"...Visit DeRose Vineyards at 9970 Cienega Road, Hollister."[/i]

* I am not certain of the verity of this statement, for several reasons. Also, one of the most distinct qualities of the San Benito wine growing districts (Paicines, Lime Kiln & Cienega Valleys,...) is the high proportion of old vineyards.
__________________________________________________________________

According to a 2004 document from the California Regional Water Control Board, Pat Rose and Tony Cedolini own a 100-acre portion of the old 700-acre "Almaden Vineyard" as well as its former winemaking facility and the disposal/percolation pond on Cienega Valley Road.


DeRose Vineyards Homepage
Last edited by Drew Goin on April 10th, 2018, 4:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#50 Post by Drew Goin » January 3rd, 2018, 7:31 pm

Here are two articles - the first includes a succinct historical overview of the region - discussing the "San Benito County Wine Trail" I cannot attest to what operations are still open today.


SanBenito.com
"A Taste of the Grape"
by Theresa Martin
January 4, 2008


"Here is a list of Cienega Road wineries which are open all year:

"DeRose Winery
9970 Cienega Road
636-9143
http://www.derosewine.com
Tasting room hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Classic car museum hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month

Pietra Santa Winery
10034 Cienega Road
636-1991
http://www.pietrasantawinery.com
Tasting room hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Calera Winery
11300 Cienega Road
637-9170
http://www.calerawine.com
Tasting room hours: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Flint Wine Cellars
13160 Cienega Road
636-8986
Tasting by appointment only

Enz Winery
1781 Limekiln Road
637-6443
Tasting room hours: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Open Saturday and Sunday

Summerayne Vineyard
Limekiln Road
902-5638
Tasting at Enz Winery

For information on wine trail events, visit http://www.sbcwinegrowers.org"
*

* This website is down. Please check out http://www.discoversanbenitocounty.com/ ... raft-beers

________________________________________________________________


Edible Monterey Bay
"San Benito Wine Trail"


"San Benito Wine Trail Vineyards, Wineries & Tasting Rooms Open to the Public:

"AIMEE JUNE WINERY
A small, family-owned winery that makes hand-crafted wine in an all-natural, old-world winemaking style without fining or filtration. Each bottle features hand-drawn or hand-painted artwork.
106 3rd St., San Juan Bautista
Tastings 12–5pm Saturday and Sunday
408.739.1920
californiabestwine.com

ALICATS WINERY
Alicats is the personal label of Alessio Carli, winemaker for Pietra Santa Winery. The name comes from the first names of the family members: Alessio, wife Catherine and their twin daughters, Alessia and Catia.
10 Nash Rd., Hollister.
Tastings during special events only.
831.636.7311

BONNY DOON VINEYARD
Bonny Doon’s 280-acre Popelouchum in San Juan Bautista is a biodynamic polyculture ranch where Grahm is seeking to hybridize 10,000 new vinifera grape varieties from seed. The aim is to create a truly unique American Wine and produce grapes that are particularly well suited to our region and its changing climate. The vineyard may be visited during special events only; a weekend pop-up restaurant is planned.
bonnydoonvineyard.com

CALERA WINE COMPANY
Established in 1975, owner and winemaker Josh Jensen specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Viognier. His Mount Harlan wines exhibit minerally characteristics of their unique limestone-rich vineyards. The tasting room and nearby picnic tables offer sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
11300 Cienega Road, Hollister
Tastings daily, 11am-4:30pm
831.637.9170
calerawine.com

CASA DE FRUTA WINERY
Growing since 1908, the Zanger Family produces unique fruit wines including apricot, plum, raspberry, blackberry and pomegranate. Varietal wines include Zinfandel, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Merlot. 10021 Pacheco Pass Highway, Hollister
Tastings daily, 9am – 7pm
408.842.7282
casadefruta.com

CETANI VINEYARDS
This family-owned and operated winery was founded in 2008 and focuses on handcrafted European-style red wines. Estate-grown Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 741 Riverside Rd., Hollister
Tastings by appointment
831.636.7590
cetanivineyards.com

DEROSE VINEYARDS
Established in 1988 on land supporting some of the oldest vines in California, this family-owned winery sits directly on top of the San Andreas Fault. DeRose offers some unusual, unique wines such as the Cabernet Pfeffer and Negrette.The vineyard also opens its museum of vintage cars the first Saturday of each month.
9970 Cienega Road, Hollister
Monday-Friday, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.-4:00p.m.
831.636.9143
derosewine.com

GUERRA FAMILY CELLARS
The vineyards of Guerra Family Cellars were planted in 2006 after the family purchased the 600-acre Pepper Tree Ranch. Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Viognier varietals are grown along with olive trees for oil. The vineyard also offers a summer concert series in an outdoor offers a regular summer concert series called Hollister Concerts in an outdoor amphitheater backed by spectacular views. The 2015 series kicks off on July 11 with La Vation, a U2 tribute band. See Guerra website for full details.
500 John Smith Road, Hollister
Tasting Room open April to November, weekends 12am-5pm
831.902.9106
guerracellars.com

LEAL VINEYARDS
Founded by Frank Leal, Leal Vineyards uses old-world winemaking techniques and close monitoring of vines to produce award-winning wines.
300 Maranatha Drive, Hollister
Tastings open daily 10am-4pm, half days on holidays.
831.636.8925
lealvineyards.com

PIETRA SANTA WINERY
This winery dates back to the 1850s. Its name is Italian for “sacred stone,” a reference to its remarkable soil, which is laced with granite and limestone. Pietra Santa also produces organic and infused olive oils from its five varieties of trees, and offers picnic tables next to its vineyards.
10034 Cienega Rd, Hollister
Open: Thursday – Sunday 11am to 5pm.
831.636.1991
pietrasantawinery.com

SUMMERAYNE VINEYARD
Focused mainly on Zinfandels, Summerayne was founded in 1998 and remains family-owned.
1781 Limekiln Rd., Hollister
Open by appointment
831.902.5638"
Last edited by Drew Goin on April 10th, 2018, 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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