Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tourist guide part 2: Cupertino and Saratoga

Open daily/weekends: Cinnabar, Cooper Garrod, Mountain Winery, Picchetti, Ridge, Savannah-Chanelle
Open by appointment: Naumann, Mount Eden
Not Open: Fellom Ranch, Kathryn Kennedy, R&W Vineyards, Vidovich

If there's one winery on almost everyone's list to visit, it's Ridge. The views are as stunning as the wines, as the photo at the top of my blog demonstrates. The winery's tasting room is open every weekend from 11AM to 5PM (4PM in winter); midweek visits can be arranged by appointment. At the bottom of the hill you'll find Picchetti, which is open daily from 11-5PM.

Monte Bello Road is also home to several other wineries. Naumann Vineyards is open for SCMWA events and occasionally by appointment. Fellom Ranch is also a SCMWA member, but is being renovated and has not been open to the public for some time. Vidovich is not open to the public. Finally R&W Vineyards are a brand new, tiny winery producing just a few cases. They are about to open for the first time; I hope to be there and will report back.

Further south, Cinnabar have a tasting room in downtown Saratoga that's open daily from 11-5PM.
West of Saratoga on Highway 9 you'll find Savannah Chanelle open daily from 11-5.
There are three wineries located off Pierce Road. Cooper-Garrod is open daily from 12-5 and 11-5 at weekends. Mountain Winery is open at weekends from 12-5 (though hours may vary if there's an event on). Finally it's well worth making an appointment to visit Mount Eden.. Both Montallegro and Kathryn Kennedy are based in Saratoga, but neither are open for visitors.

It's easy to visit Cooper Garrod, Mountain Winery, Cinnabar and Savannah-Chanelle in any order. If you want to visit Ridge and Pichetti too that's possible, though you may be a little rushed with only 45 minutes at each stop. I recommend starting at Ridge, then Picchetti, then Cooper-Garrod.

If you manage to get an appointment at Mount Eden be warned that it's at least a two mile drive up a narrow dirt track to the winery. Expect to spend at least an hour or two there.

As always, try to arrange a designated driver as some of the roads are tricky at the best of times. When tasting it's a good idea to spit even if you aren't driving.