Burrell School Vineyards on Summit Road
Unique features: Located at 1600 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the views from the stately red schoolhouse winery are unparalleled. In this peaceful sun-drenched paradise, you can relax with a picnic and a bottle of fine estate wine, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and redwood covered mountains that stretch all the way to the sea.
Wine portfolio: Experience wines that are truly at the head of their class. Sip and savor Teacher’s Pet Chardonnay, Principal’s Choice Pinot Noir, Extra Credit Cabernet franc, Spring Break Syrah and Dean’s List Cabernet Sauvignon. School was never this much fun.
Directions: Located halfway between San Jose and Santa Cruz on Summit Road, 3.5 miles east of the intersection of Highway 17 and Summit Road.
Hours: Fri-Sun 11-5.
24060 Summit Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033
Loma Prieta Winery on Loma Prieta Way
Unique features: You may recognize the Loma Prieta name from the earthquake of 1989, but the Santa Cruz Mountains also play host to America’s premier mountain vineyard area. Located at an altitude of about 2,600-feet, Loma Prieta Winery offers spectacular “top of the world” blue water views of Monterey Bay and was rated “#1 picnic spot” by San Jose Mercury News. Free telescope, bocce ball, giant outdoor chess/checkers and handcrafted wines produced in small lots and barrel aged in the finest oak.
Wine portfolio: Loma Prieta Winery is the largest producer of Pinotage in North America and the only winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains to grow it. (Pinotage is a rare cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault.) It’s home to the first “Pinotage-Only” Wine Club. Also enjoy superbly crafted Chardonnay, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet, Roussanne, Malbec, Port and Sparkling wines. Tasting fee is $10.
Directions: Take Hwy 17 to the Summit Rd. exit. Head east on Summit Rd. about 6 miles until you come to the first stop sign. (Summit Rd. changes names to Highland Way during this 6 miles.) At the stop sign, take the road to the left (Mt. Bache) for 1.5 miles, winerey will be on the left. (Mt. Bache becomes Loma Prieta Way.)
Hours: Sat-Sun 12-5 year round, Fri 12-5 in June, July, & August.
26985 Loma Prieta Way, Los Gatos, CA 95033
Wrights Station off Summit Road
Unique features: Set in an original 1947 farmhouse, the tasting room features an elegant, but relaxed family (and dog!) friendly style. The tasting bar is constructed from reclaimed barn wood, and custom wine bottle chandeliers hang from above. The view is spectacular, spanning the vineyard, redwoods, and mountain ridges beyond. There is bocce ball outside and plenty of room on the attached deck and patio to enjoy a picnic with your wine.
Wine portfolio: Estate grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with other varietals sourced from local Santa Cruz Mountain vineyards.
Directions: From Hwy 17m exit Summit Road and go east 3.5 miles. Just past Burrell School Winery, turn left onto Loma Prieta Avenue. Go 1/4-mile. Winery is on the left.
Hours: Fri-Sun 11-5.
24250 Loma Prieta Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95033