I was born and raised in San Francisco. To me, a breath of fresh air includes sea salt and seaweed; a warm day is in the high-sixties; and seafood is always fresh because, well, there’s just no excuse. But as life’s twists and turns would have it, I’ve found myself living in the South Bay. Now, fresh air only happens in the early hours of the pre-dawn; a warm day can be triple-digits; and any fresh seafood is that which I can find at a Safeway or Whole Foods. I don’t mesh with this tech culture, where the word “park” is preceded by the word “business.” Where’s the art? Where’s the unique forms of self-expression? Where are my people?
Every once in awhile I’ll find an answer to those questions. When I met the folks at Three Arches Winery in Sunnyvale, I found all three — art, meets unique, meets people with a passion beyond the silicon chip…
There are over 200 vineyards located within the Santa Cruz Mountains — but you’d never know it. With the area’s rocky terrain, steep slopes, and endless forest landscape, sprawling fields are less common than in other major wine regions. But its these mountainous characteristics that give Santa Cruz grapes their signature concentration, the wines a certain rusticity. Here, Pinot Noir leaves behind the coastal climate stereotypes, amending itself to something that can be altogether brawny, tannic, and age-able.
One of the fun things about living in the SF South Bay area is the abundance of hiking trails. As an active, outdoorsy type, getting lost in the woods is one of my favorite past times. I’ll never forget the first time I found a path along Steven’s Creek and decided to follow it because of its name “Zinfandel Trail.” At the time I just thought it was funny, but a couple miles up and around the mountain I came across a sign that piqued my interest “Winery ➡️.” So I followed it. Of course. At the end of my trail I found Picchetti Winery. So I popped in and did a tasting. Of course. And I absolutely fell in love with their signature white wine blend Pavone.
Living along the San Francisco Peninsula, I’m no stranger to Thomas Fogarty wines or the winery. But, as Tommy Fogarty, current managing proprietor of the estate will admit, a trip up the steep slopes of Woodside to this secluded winery is a dedicated trip — the sole prize atop that mountainside is Thomas Fogarty wines. And I feel that holds true for the wines themselves. So unique are his productions that, when seeking out a Thomas Fogarty wine, you’re seeking out a specific feeling and flavor.