Mount Eden Vineyards
- Santa Cruz Mountains, California, United States
IS MOUNT EDEN CALIFORNIA’S GREATEST VINEYARD? Every time I have a great aged Mount Eden wine – which is most of the time – I’m in awe of how well it develops. This is a unique property in the sense that all three of the major grapes grown there – Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – not only are distinctive and classy, but they age incredibly well. Suppose if one were to only collect wine from one vineyard, Mount Eden would be a tough choice to beat.”
–James Laube, Wine Spectator
This iconic winery continues to offer wines with personalities and styles that set them apart (especially the estate wines) from just about anything else readers will taste from California.”
–Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
Mount Eden refuses to conform to the stylistic demands of today’s market, which emphasize power, lush fruit flavors and immediate gratification over nuance, minerality and balance. The cabernets are more sinewy and lean than rich and concentrated. The pinot noir, which is made in very small quantities, is light-bodied and graceful rather than sweet and plush. And, rather than flavors of oak, butterscotch, tropical fruit and popcorn, the Chardonnay offers captivating texture and subtle flavors wound around a core of lively acidity. It takes time to unravel, sometimes many years, which puts Mount Eden in the company of great historic California chardonnay producers like Stony Hill and Hanzell.”
–Eric Asimov, NY Times
Few wineries in California create more profound, distinctive wines than Mount Eden. Indeed, if I were to present to a visiting European, say, the wines of just one California winery to demonstrate the originality of California wine, I’d choose Mount Eden Vineyards.”
–Matt Kramer, New California Wine
Mount Eden Vineyards is a small, historic wine estate located on a 2000 foot peak in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, about 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Founded by Martin Ray in 1945, it is recognized as one of the original boutique California Winery properties, focusing on small lots of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Mount Eden Vineyard has been continuously producing estate bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay longer than anyone else in California.
Planted in austere, infertile Franciscan shale on a cool, exposed mountaintop, the 40 acre vineyard is farmed sustainably without any irrigation. It is comprised of 7 acres of Pinot Noir, 20 acres of Chardonnay and 13 acres of Bordeaux varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. In 2007 they purchased the former Cinnabar vineyard on a neighboring mountain top. Planted in 1983, this mature vineyard brought another 12 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as a little Cabernet Sauvignon. They renamed the property Domaine Eden and it has become the primary source for their Domaine Eden wines.
Winemaker and Proprietor Jeffrey Patterson has been making wine at Mount Eden since 1981. With three decades under his belt, he continues with the same goal as when he started: to express this singular vineyard. Fermentation is done with native yeasts, oak influence is kept minimal, and fining and filtering are minimal when used at all.
Few wineries in California have the sort of history that is found at Mount Eden and few wineries in the world can match the level of quality being produced here. This is a unique terroir being overseen by conscientious stewards and these are wines that could not possibly have come from anywhere else in the world. It’s as pointless to compare these wines to Burgundy and Bordeaux as it is to compare them to the rest of California; these wines are Mount Eden, pure and simple.
See also: Domaine Eden