Driving up Montebello Road may no longer the be place to go park your car and go “neckin” as my mother puts it…but one tradition has held on for more than 100 years! This may be Cupertino, and it may be only 30min from the city…but take this little dirt road and you’re instantly transported to wine country baby!
Picchetti Winery has been in operation for over 100 years. Their story is an interesting one of love, depression, passion, and rebirth. While I was on holiday I had the opportunity to go to their Cupertino tasting room and sample some of that passion.
Now, I wont bore you with the tasting notes for all of the wines…mostly because I didn’t write anything down…oops…but I will tell you a little bit about our tasting experience. We walked in as a small posse, my mother leading the pack followed by my military brother, our cousin, my wife with a baby strapped to her, and myself bringing up the rear carrying my camera and a bag full of lenses. Instantly labeled tourists we began with the basic treatment. Fortunately for us the basic treatment is quite good as the gentleman behind the bar is FULL of knowledge not only about the wines he is serving but also about the history of the area as well as similar wines in the area.
After about our third portion we found ourselves to be the only ones left in the room. This is where my mother decides that it is time to show off her band of misfits and as the barkeep is pouring my next taste she explains to him that I am actually in the business of food and wine and out all the way from Hong Kong. After a little discussion to prove these were in fact true statements (I can’t actually describe the context of the conversation as it is something only Food & Beverage professionals know and we like to keep it that way) he began to really wow us with stories of what once was. He was particularly proud of a massive, what I assume to be old style wine barrel which dates back quite a ways and although it is not a super unusual piece this one was special as it had always been stored indoors and as such was in pristine condition.
He also decided that although the tasting is a paid event with a limited number of samples per payment…that we all just HAD to try their Cabernet Sauvignon…as I chose to skip it in favor of drinking as much Zinfandel during this trip as possible. I sure am glad he pushed this taste (not that it took much pushing) as it really reminded me how amazing the quality for Cabernet Sauvignon in California really is. After living in Hong Kong there are wines you crave (Zinfandel for me as you can’t find it) and those you forget about (California Cabs as most people simply prefer to drink Bordeaux here) both of which I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to sample. If you’re in the area I highly recommend Picchetti Winery’s tasting room in Cupertino for an afternoon indulgence. The wines are great, the views are spectacular, and if you’re lucky you just might run into one of the wild peacocks running around.