For most Bay Area residents, wine country is a bit closer than they might think. Before it was Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County (stretching from Palo Alto south to Gilroy) was fruit country, and more specifically wine country.
Vines were first planted at the Santa Clara Mission (in what is now downtown San Jose) in 1798. By 1855, the county had around 35,000 wine grape vines planted, but by 1858, there were 3,954,000 vines in the county, according to Thomas Pinney’s A History of Wine in America.
While highrises and office parks have squeezed out almost all of its agrarian past, Santa Clara county still hosts around 30 different wineries. Most are small operations, but these dedicated vintners are carrying on a tradition of growing and making wine in Santa Clara County that is just as long, or longer, than many of the more famous and better-known wine country destinations in Northern California.
On Sunday, October 23, the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Association will be putting on their annual event, known as Vine-to-Wine Santa Clara. Hosted at the picturesque and historically pivotal site of The Mountain Winery, this tasting will feature more than 20 small wineries pouring their wares, various bites of food, live music, and something called “barrel decor.” Your guess is as good as mine on that one.
In any case, if you’re interested in seeing what the small wineries of Santa Clara County are up to, and maybe discovering some hidden gems, this tasting is for you.
2022 Santa Clara Wineries Vine-to-Wine Tasting
Sunday, October 23rd, 2022
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd
Saratoga, CA 95070 (map)
General Admission tickets run $90 and should be purchased in advance online.