Cienega Valley Wine

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Rising from the figurative ashes of former wine industry giant Almaden, two new companies have resurrected the winemaking business in the Cienega AVA on the western edge of San Benito County. Almaden was sold to rival winemaker Heublein in 1987 and much of its Cienega assets were dismantled. The ruins of one company became the foundation for two more, as DeRose Vineyards and the Pietra Santa Winery again produce wine in the Valley. Old Almaden plots have been revived -- including the 120-year-old Negrette vineyard -- and new plantings of Italian varietals were introduced. The valley is bisected by the San Andreas Fault, and grapes benefit from the moderate climate in the 1,100-feet plus elevations. Soils on the east side of the fault line are fragmented granite and crumbled sandstone, while on the west side they are mostly granite and limestone. The whole range of soils are suitable for viticulture, and it will be interesting to see how varietal distribution follows the soil variations in the development Read more »

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Popular wines made in Cienega Valley under $20

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Varietals Produced in Cienega Valley View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Sangiovese

    Prounounced “San-joh-vay-say,” this Italian wine varietal is Tuscany’s #1 red wine grape. It’s the pistol of Central ...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

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Cienega Valley on Snooth

  • No sooner than the Fedex driver dropped off our fall Bedrock allocation their ... Vineyard Old Vine Riesling Cienega Valley (x2) &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Derose Vineyards Continental Cabernet Cienega Valley 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Mr Dolce

  • Derose Zinfandel 2006


    Sampled this at the Morgan Hill Wine Stroll on 4/26/14. DeRose had a red blend that was also very good but THIS was delicious. Very rich and full-bodied but not overpowering. Read More

    Wine review by Eco13

  • Pietra Santa Pinot Noir Cienega Valley 2009


    Perfect combination and full flavored Read More

    Wine review by alanb1108

  • Pietra Santa Sangiovese Cienega Valley 2008


    earthy with notes of spice and blackberries, cherries. smooth and easy to drink on its own Read More

    Wine review by Sara Weinbrom

  • Pietra Santa Sangiovese Cienega Valley 2008


    This smells intense. At first it is low and dusty, and very stony on the nose, then come light notes of jammy red fruit accented by Maduro tobacco, briarwood and sage with a background note of cumin. Very broad in the mouth with a nice transparent feel, though air does add weight here. The fruit is bright cherry fruit, a little bitter around the... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Pietra Santa Sangiovese Cienega Valley 2008


    Dark fruit and earthy mushroom on the nose with deep, heavy raspberry notes. Funky palate, dry and fairly smooth. Read More

    Wine review by KristinW

  • Pietra Santa Sangiovese Cienega Valley NV


    The 2007, Chocolate, vanill and caramel on the nose. Black fruits and green pepper corn. Finishes strong with very light tannins. Had with multiple cheeses and it was delicious. Read More

    Wine review by Kirsy

  • Pietra Santa Winery 2006


    Sweet and tangy. Almost citrusy. Read More

    Wine review by Bsberlin22

  • Wild Horse Negrette Cienega Valley 1992


    This is one of our favorites. We come back to this again and again. Whenever we are unselfish and take a bottle to a dinner party - we get high fives all the way around. Every once in a while, Wild Horse will call with a special and we will order as many as possible. You can drink right away or cellar for a while. Read More

    Wine review by tfarrell

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