Our History

The land that is now Silver Mountain Vineyards, was in fact a vineyard from the late 1870’s until approximately 1920. Here, as with most of the thousands of acres of grapes in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the vines were torn out and replanted with fruit trees.

It began with a philosophy, live my life in harmony with mother nature.

In 1972 Jerold O’Brien found this bare, abandoned, eighteen acre orchard sitting atop a 2,100 foot ridge overlooking Monterey Bay. He went through the process of drilling water wells, grading the road, building a barn which was later converted to the first winery. He built a small home for his family. Then clearing the orchard and finally planting the vineyard. In 1979 Silver Mountain was bonded and made our first wine, three hundred and fifty cases of Zinfandel.

In the 1980’s, this area of the Santa Cruz Mountains experienced three Federal disasters, landslides and floods, fire and earthquake. The biggest disaster being the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that completely destroyed the original winery and cellar. The structures here did not survive but the spirit did.

Rebuilding Greener After the Earthquake

The process of reconstruction began and vastly improved facilities were finished in the fall of 1995. Looking back, Jerold sees the earthquake devastation as a way to rebuild and start over, but that was not apparent to him right away. After six months he realized he wanted to start over and took that opportunity to build the new facility in the most earth-friendly way he could.

Over the years since then we have increased the different varieties we produce to include Chardonnay, Pinot Noirs, Bordeaux Blends, Syrah and a few more.

A Long History of Sustainable Winemaking

The official winemaker duties were handed off to Tony Craig on the year of our 40th harvest in 2018. You can find Jerold here managing the business and educating customers during our weekend tasting hours. Our sustainability efforts increase everyday but we are happy with the progress we have made and we will continue to find new ways to practice sustainability and educate our visitors on why saving this planet is so important to us here at Silver Mountain Vineyards.

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