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Sarah's Vineyard

Napa Valley AVA

A labor of love in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Sarah’s Vineyard celebrates over 40 years of premium grape-growing and award-winning, Burgundian-style wines.

Founded by Marilyn “Sarah” Otteman in 1978 in a hidden corner of the southwestern Santa Clara Valley, Sarah’s Vineyard produces handcrafted wines using traditional techniques. Marilyn was one of the pioneers of this growing region and set out with one goal in mind: to craft wines that would rival Napa Valley’s best. Now years later, Sarah’s Vineyard is one of the Valley’s favorite wine tasting destinations with countless awards for its premium, small-production wines.

After Marilyn purchased her 10-acre property in 1977, she began the vineyard with an initial planting of seven acres of Chardonnay, and soon added Pinot Noir to create a boutique Burgundian estate. Known for her creative free-spirit with a love for the land (she had an actual teepee on the property) and an innate sense of style, Marilyn and her wines immediately caught the attention of the public and media. Her wines were served at the 1993 Masters of Food and Wine (then one of the most prestigious food and wine events in the country), in addition to being selected for Ronald Reagan’s 75th birthday dinner at the White House. Sarah’s Vineyard had quickly developed a loyal following and a reputation for top-flight wines.

When Marilyn retired in 2001, she sold the vineyards and winery to winemaker Tim Slater, a former micro-machining engineer from Silicon Valley with many patents to his name. By channeling his inner “mad scientist,” artistic side, and a traditionalist’s love of the land, Tim has replanted and modernized the Sarah’s Vineyard estate and the wines have flourished. He takes a very hands-on approach, constantly experimenting in the vineyard and cellar, to continue Marilyn’s legacy of producing some of California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Today, Sarah’s Vineyard has 24 acres under vine in the cool climate Mt. Madonna district of the southern Santa Cruz Mountains range. Here, in historic Hecker Pass, chilling winds and fog off the nearby Monterey Bay keep daytime temperatures lower and help extend the growing season. While the winery is still best known for its cool-climate loving Burgundian wines, Tim is also cultivating his interest in the traditional Rhône varietals, with new plantings of Grenache, Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Piquepoul Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Mourvèdre, and Counoise.

Located just west of Gilroy, Sarah’s Vineyard offers a fantastic tasting room experience. With incredible views, bocce ball courts, picnic areas, and a summer music series - not to mention the award-winning wines - it’s no wonder this boutique winery is still a favorite, 40-plus years later.

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