On a winding country road, passing by the beautiful grand estates of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, you come to the turnoff to one of the oldest ranches in the area. Tucked in among the mature oak trees, and sharing the property with over 150 horses, the historic, rustic winery of Cooper-Garrod emerges.
In 1893 David and Sophia Garrod immigrated from England with their 12-year-old son, R.V., and purchased this land for Garrod Farms, where they grew apricots and prunes. In 1972 aging orchards were replaced with grapes. Today, the fourth-generation family-run venture handles most of the grape growing and winemaking operations. All the wines made are from their estate grapes and include Chardonnay, Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, a Claret (70% Cabernet, 30% Cabernet Franc) and their special 100% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet wines spend up to 22 months in French oak to enhance their smooth robust quality.
The winery facility has a covered outside barrel area, which was the original cutting shed, where fruit was cut and put out on drying trays. The tasting room is the original 1922 “Fruit House,” where the dried apricots and prunes were stored, as well as being the space for country square dances and community gatherings. Inside the Fruit House there are old family photographs, historic pictures of the area, some gourmet items, glassware and logo clothes. One wall has an aviation display dedicated to patriarch George Cooper, who was a test pilot for the military and NASA, and is often on the premises.
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The attractive wine bar at the end of the room is a simple wooden plank laid over wine barrels. The rustic place oozes with historic atmosphere, and is a lovely place to spend some time. On the first Saturday of each month at 11am a free in-depth winemaker-led vineyard and winery tour takes place. Call for reservations.