The Picchetti Winery’s approach to winemaking honors over 100 years of family tradition and viticulture history. This is carried on today through the ‘vineyard approach’ to winemaking. From the first sprout and bud development in the spring, to flowering, fruit development and ripening and senescence in the fall, our vineyards are quality managed and maintained to the highest standards.
From the lofty heights of Montebello Mountain the grapes make the journey down to the historic ranch where they are examined, pressed and crushed in the shadow of the original Picchetti homestead house. Under the gaze of the ever watchful and vigilant peacocks, sweet juice is magically turned to wine. The finest French, Hungarian and American oak barrels quietly nurture and coax subtle nuances over time. And when the time is right, Picchetti wine is bottled by hand.
The Santa Cruz Mountains appellation is the oldest wine-producing region in California. Today there are more than 80 wineries and vineyards in the appellation. Taking advantage of the cool climate that characterizes much of the Western slope; winemakers have turned to the Burgundian varietals, headlined by pinot noir and chardonnay. Just over the ridge, where the Pacific influence is supplanted by warm valley breezes, tempered only slightly by the South San Francisco Bay, the climate is more remindful of Bordeaux. As a result, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, syrah, and merlot dominate the viticulture here.
Unfortunately during the late 50’s early 60’s the ranch became unprofitable and the family was forced to cut back operations. Commercial wine production stopped in 1963 and in 1977 the remaining land was sold to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District.
Propriertor Leslie Pantling, took possession of the winery in 1998, operating under a lease from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space. New production equipment was brought in, as was a staff committed to the success of a small winery.
Today the Picchetti Winery produces approximately 9000 cases of hand crafted award winning wine a year, drawing from a multitude of vineyards that include 3 acres of over 110 year old Zinfandel vines, Leslie’s Estate Chardonnay and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard on Montebello Road as well as other commercial vineyards located throughout the state.
In 2007, the winery opened its second tasting room, along the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. The site selected was a historic building in its own right, having served as a general store for the Globbins pier complex, a bomb shelter for the small city of South Lake Tahoe during World War 2, and most recently as a wedding chapel. The Tahoe Tasting Room still hosts wedding receptions and private parties.
The future looks bright as we reflect back on, and stay faithful to over 100 years of Picchetti tradition and winemaking craftsmanship. We invite you to stop in today, and as they say in Italian; “Se l'alimento è il corpo di buona vita, il vino è la relativa anima.” Or “If food is the body of good living, wine is its soul.”