San Jose: Visiting Ridge Monte Bello Winery

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 Nestled high up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ridge Monte Bello is a world class winery right on San Jose’s doorstep! Watch out for the launch of BA’s direct flight to the city next month.

Nestled high up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ridge Monte Bello is a world class winery right on San Jose’s doorstep! Watch out for the launch of BA’s direct flight to the city next month.

I love Silicon Valley success stories, and Ridge Monte Bello is as good as they get.

In the 1950s, four Stanford Research Park scientists decided to invest in a defunct vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains high above Silicon Valley. The purpose was a weekend retreat they would share. But the vines beckoned, with sun-kissed grapes ripened from an abundance of Northern California sun too hard to resist.

They soon experimented with winemaking and had so much success they incorporated Ridge as a winery in 1962 and officially hired Paul Draper as a wine maker in 1969. Little did they know that Draper’s 1971 Cabernet would be highly commended by French judges in the famous 1976 blind tasting dubbed “The Judgement of Paris” which catapulted California onto the world wine scene.

But if that was not enough, Ridge cemented its status as a premium California wine with the 30-year Paris Tasting reenactment of the same vintages, when Ridge scored nearly 20 points above its nearest competitor (Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars).

What a gift to Silicon Valley – a world-class winery a little over 30 minutes from the Norman Y Mineta San Jose airport (which, BTW is soon to launch a DIRECT flight on BA from Heathrow).

Book a private tasting (sans kids) or purchase a bottle and bring the family to enjoy a picnic on the grounds high above Silicon Valley. The views, and the wine, are spectacular.



The Modern Mother and Dad enjoying the phenomenal 2012 Monte Bello Estate Cabernet.


An estate tasting includes a flight of 5 estate wines, a goats cheese gouda and house-made tapenade.


Ridge Mone Bello is nestled high above Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.


What a view! Squint and you can see Stanford Research Park.


The picnic areas are first served and open for families to enjoy.


The grounds at Ridge Monet Bello are warm and inviting.


Ridge Vineyards 17100 Montebello Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014 +1 (408) 867-3233

Eff It, I'm On Holiday
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  1. 18/05/2016 / 07:22

    This looks lovely. I have a friend moving to the area so I’ll have to pass this along so she can check it out. We used to live not to far from here (before moving abroad) and I loved finding these small vineyards we could just hang out at and enjoy. Thanks for sharing. #citytripping

  2. 17/05/2016 / 18:12

    Oh this looks fabulous – I am frantically trying to shoehorn a vineyard trip into our California holiday next month despite a very packed itinerary. #citytripping
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…City Tripping #27My Profile

  3. 17/05/2016 / 13:38

    A great backstory! We need to rearrange our cancelled California trip pronto and go visit the vineyards! Fantastic scenery too! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  4. 19/04/2016 / 11:01

    Wow, looks like a fantastic place to taste wine. I love wine and wineries, went to Hunter Valley in NSW Australia and last year celebrated my 40th birthday at a great winery in Moravia (Czech Republic). Lovely photos!

  5. 18/04/2016 / 12:57

    It sounds like an amazing vineyard with a great history. I haven’t been to vineyard since I was ten and was taken around them on family holidays to France; I think I’d enjoy them more now!

  6. 18/04/2016 / 11:07

    Oh Susanna, I love all your California posts, I am determined to take my children soon. x

  7. 17/04/2016 / 22:49

    I love visiting wineries. Didn’t know anything about Monte Bello Winery, so it’s great that you shared this post with us. Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  8. 16/04/2016 / 20:52

    This is where we were supposed to move to before we came to Munich!! It looks amazing (trying not to explode with rage over here!) 😀

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