Hidden high in the Santa Cruz Mountains lies a unique winery and vineyard operated by founder/winemaker Jerold O’Brien. Established in 1979, Silver Mountain Vineyards is located at an elevation of 2,100 feet and enjoys a spectacular view of the Monterey Bay and surrounding redwood forest.
Warm summer days and cool nights balance to produce a longer hang-time for our fruit, maximizing their flavor. The estate certified organic vineyard grows Mount Eden clone Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot. We also purchase additional Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot grapes from sustainably farmed hillside vineyards.
Our wine has been handcrafted with gentle care, in accordance with Silver Mountain’s winemaking practice, which has always called for careful, gentle handling of the fruit, both in the vineyard and winery. The grapes are handpicked, not crushed but destemmed, and we start the winemaking process with whole berry fermentation. ‘Punch-downs’ are done using a unique air-induced process that is gentler on the fruit. Transferring the wine to and from the tanks and into bottles is all gravity fed. This is the process we started with 40 years ago and still continue to do today and for many years to come.
One of the largest solar arrays in the Santa Cruz Mountains is at Silver Mountain. Built in 2007, the multi-purpose ‘Triple Green Canopy’ reduces energy requirements, saves resources, collects rain water, makes Silver Mountain entirely energy self-sufficient, and generate extra energy to the power grid. Its construction is in keeping with the organic and sustainable philosophy that Jerold O’Brien has practiced with his vineyard and winery since the inception of Silver Mountain.
The land that is now Silver Mountain Vineyards, was in fact a vineyard from the late 1870’s until approximately 1920. Then, as it was with most of the thousands of acres of grapes in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the vines were torn out and replanted with fruit trees. In 1972 Jerold O’Brien found this bare, abandoned orchard, and in 1979 Silver Mountain was bonded, and we made our very first wine – 350 cases of Zinfandel.
In the 1980s, this area of the Santa Cruz Mountains experienced three Federal disasters, landslides and floods, fire and earthquake. The structures of Silver Mountain did not survive. But the spirit did. 1990 began a three phase and 17 year reconstruction. Here we produce world class wines. Our vineyard survived and is still Certified Organic from 1980. Silver Mountain is a leader in Organic and Sustainable practices.
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