Tour The Saratoga Wine Trail
If you’re wine tasting in Saratoga, you’ve got options. You can stroll to tasting rooms in the charming village, or drive through the winding roads above town to established estate wineries with a view. The hills above Saratoga are home to some of the most historic winemakers, elite brands and pedigreed Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays around. But the people are welcoming, the atmosphere casual and the experience unique to Silicon Valley.
It’s all part of the officially designated Saratoga Wine Trail, which covers seven wineries and 23.9 miles.
Start in the village, where Big Basin Vineyards pours award-winning wines, including Rhone-style reds from winemaker Bradley Brown. Next door at Cinnabar Winery tasting room, Pinots are plentiful and the atmosphere is lively in the afterhours Mudd Room Wine Bar. There’s music on weekends and children and pets (on the patio) are welcome.
If you decide to stay and stroll, other village tasting rooms (off the official Saratoga wine trail) include Ser Winery and Silvertip Vineyards, Uncorked! Wine and Ruthe Roberts Wine Collective.
Head out of town on Highway 9, and it’s only a few miles up to Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards’ Redwood Tasting where the focus is on Pinot Noir—both estate grown and from California’s most esteemed AVAs—as well as Cabernet Franc and red blends. All wines produced are on the premises of this 100-year-old winery in a barn that doubles as a tasting room. Bring a picnic and enjoy the patio, live music and occasional impromptu barbecue.
Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, a historic family-run vineyard, is known for its estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, poured by winemaker Bill Cooper and his sister, Barbara, in the rustic Fruit House tasting room. The tasting room recalls the apricots and prunes that preceded the vineyards on the property bought by their grandparents in the 1890s, and planted with vineyards by their father, George, in the 1970s. Bring the family, your dog and a picnic for the patio—there’s music on most weekends.
Family-owned House Family Vineyards, located off Pierce Road, is a worthy stop for Cabernet lovers. The tasting room and patio offer spectacular views of the Valley.
If you still have the stamina and are prepared for a winding drive in the hills, two of the Valley’s crown jewels await: The Mountain Winery, with its Paul Masson heritage and legendary music series, and Ridge Vineyards, whose world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels continue to attract a cult following. Both boast expansive hilltop views of the Valley to make you feel on top of the world.
More information at SaratogaWineTrail.com.