Thursday, February 4, 2016

Saratoga Wine Trail


While visiting Mountain View in Silicon Valley and having a free afternoon I wandered if there were any vineyards around.

I was not surprised to find tens of vineyards within 30 minute drive in the mountains to the west of Silicon Valley.

Put apart the wonderful scenic drive I had time to visit 2 vineyards. And guess what ? I found the wines to be really outstanding , especially from Picchetti !! Absolutely worth a trip !

1. Cooper-Garrod Estate (http://cgv.com/)

Cooper Garrod had a very warm welcome and gave the feeling of a family run vineyard. The patriarch of the family, also named George, when he retired from being a NASA test pilot planted 0.5 acres of Cab Sauv in 1972. And that retirement hobby turned into today's winery which is also paired with a horse riding ranch.

I tasted their entire line up. And I personally really liked their blends.
They have Pinot Noir, Cabernet France, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. And they create blends adding also at Viognier and Merlot to them.

I personally liked the Syrah/Viognier blend, their Bordeaux blend and their Cab Sauv blend.

In general all their wines are relatively light, even for a Cab Sauv or Cab Franc, with light fruits.

2. Picchetti Winery (http://www.picchetti.com/)

Picchetti looks from the outside as a family farm. However as soon as you walk in the wine tasting room it really gives you the feeling of a business where you go to the register to pay for your tasting 1st before anything else happens.

Without being too put back by the big black registers, the team there was also very friendly. However their wines are spot on for my taste. They are not cheap with their flag star wines around $60, their best selections around $45 a bottle and their entry level around $30.
They source their grapes from different locations in addition of what is grown locally which allows them to have a nice selection.

And I had quite some interesting ones. The wine maker here really enjoys heavy bold strong wines. They go regularly in the 15% alcohol easily.

I cared a lot for their Pinot Noir with grapes from Carneros which made me think more of a Cab Sauv then a traditional Pinot Noir.
 
The white Viognier was interesting.

Their Cabernet Franc's nose was spot on as I liked them however the body was just the "bell peppers" usually people call spices.

And last but not least I really found their old vine Zinfandel OUTSTANDING. Lucky me, they also make a port out of a Zin/ Syrah blend also in 750ml bottles.

It is worth a trip just for the Zin if nothing else. I was told it is their most popular wine after all...

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