Santa Clara Valley

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

California wine region and ava south of San Francisco. Its colloquial name, Silicon valley, explains its status in the computer high-tech industry. In spite of a long vinous history, factories, shopping malls, and homes began to supplant most of its vineyards in the 1950s. By the 1970s, the transformation was nearly complete and the final chapters were being written for once-important winery names such as Almadén and Paul Masson. Mirassou remains today but is now owned by E. & J. gallo, the wines sourced from throughout California and its vineyards are now in the Salinas valley in monterey. A few acres of Santa Clara vines persist to the west in the santa cruz mountains and at its southern end in the Hecker Pass district, but the area’s luxury homes for computer programmers make all these vineyards more of a toy than a viable agricultural investment. Twenty small wineries exist, largely for the benefit of tourists. San Ysidro District AVA east of Gilroy is a single grower, owned by a New York winery.