A part of me misses working in Cupertino – the part that liked being so close to a winery that I could sneak away from work in the afternoon and be back before anyone realized I was gone. Not many people realize this, but just on the outskirts of Cupertino there some great wineries you can get to in about a quick 15 minute drive. A few of my favorites are Picchetti, Ridge and Cooper-Garrod. If you have an hour to kill and are in the area, I would definitely recommend stopping by one of these. They also all make great locations for taking out-of-towners on a quick half-day trip as well.
Ridge is a bit of a drive up a very windy road, but the view alone is worth chancing a little car sickness. The wine isn’t half bad either. I kid of course, as their wine has won some pretty prestigious awards and they make an estate cab that requires signing up at least a year ahead of time to buy it. They also make a variety of other wines and have a beautiful tasting room on site where you can try them. Then you can buy a bottle and go outside where there is a picnic area you can eat and drink at that overlooks the entire Silicon Valley.
On the way up the windy road to Ridge, just at the base of the hill, there is another winery called Picchetti. They run a much more rustic operation with a very large tasting room housed in an old barn. And if you are lucky, you will see some of the peacocks they have roaming around their grounds. Don’t let the country atmosphere mislead you though; they are a top-notch winery that makes some terrific wines. I am partial to the Sangiovese and really love their Port.
If you want to make this a three stop tour, I suggest you start with Ridge and work yourself down the hill, with a designated driver of course. The last stop would be Cooper-Garrod, located in Saratoga out in the sticks – at least as country as it gets when you are just 5 minutes away from the city. The winery is also a horse stable with stall rentals and riding trails. They have a small tasting room and pour a variety of wines. The Cabernet is usually the best of the bunch; although, it varies from year to year I notice. I guess that is with every winery, I just happen to notice it here more than others for some reason.
If I had to pick just one, it would be Picchetti. Best wine for the value. Easy to get to. And who doesn’t love peacocks?