Paradise Valley Vineyard

About

Join Claude and Evelyn Solanas, owners of Paradise Valley Vineyards Winery, as they pour for you their Estate Grown wines at the Hiram Morgan Hill House Wine Tasting every first and third weekend of the month.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
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  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
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History

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Claude and Evelyn Solanas always had an appreciation for food and the combination of food and wine. Moving out to Northern California in 1972 with their young family, they settled in the San Jose Bay Area. Escaping the “crowds” early, they nestled into the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in a small area called Paradise Valley. Aptly named, it is a gorgeous respite from the “crowds” and thankfully very suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Practices & Techniques

Vineyard Management:

A vertical shoot positioning trellis system is utilized with 8- 9 spur positions per vine. The vineyard utilizes drip irrigation and is farmed in a sustainable manner to produce the highest quality grape in an environmentally conscious manner. Natural grasses are used as a cover crop but removed in the spring to ensure no competition with the vines for soil moisture thus maximizing the benefit of winter and spring rains. The vines are pruned as late in February as possible to minimize the chance for contracting eutypa and delaying bud break to avoid spring frost damage. Each vine is spur pruned to allow two buds per spur thus insuring that the vineyard is not over-cropped.

From this basis the canes form a leafy canopy with approximately two to four clusters per cane. Immediately after flowering and fruit set, we perform additional thinning to reduce the clusters to two or three per cane. We also remove leaves, on the east side only, in the fruit zone to expose fruit clusters early thus avoiding sunburn by allowing the gentle spring sun to acclimatize the grape. This task also allows airflow through the vine reducing the threat of fungus and heat stress during the growing season.

Normal crop levels are between 2 tons per acre. At this crop level and with our exceptional terroir growing very high quality grape in our vineyard is relatively easy.

Approach to Winemaking:

Paradise Valley Vineyards utilizes only grape grown in our vineyard with no other grape used for production or topping. We are blessed with great terroir so we keep the winemaking basic and traditional.

The grapes are picked early in the day to complete harvest while the fruit is cool. This allows the wine making team to de-stem and crush the fruit that same day. After de-stemming and crushing, the must is pumped to open-topped fermenters in which the mash cap is punched down as many as five times daily to maintain contact with the skin for maximum color extraction and allow the fermentation gases to escape.

When all the grape sugar is converted to alcohol, the primary fermentation is complete. The wine is then drained and the pomace is gently pressed. The wine is then transferred to tanks and allowed to settle for several days prior to transferring to oak barrels. The wine is aged for 24 months in a combination of new and previously used French and American oak barrels and racked a number of times. During aging, toping of our wines is done with wine of the same vintage and no others insuring that the final product is 100% of this vintage/varietal of our grapes. Prior to bottling, the wine is transferred to tanks for settling and then bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine is then aged in the bottle for at least another year before it is released.

We believe it is the quality of the fruit grown at Paradise Valley Vineyards that allows this simple non-interventionist approach to consistently deliver a very high quality wine.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Santa Clara Valley appellation is the oldest premium wine-producing region in California and was called “the valley of the heart’s delight” by Native Americans. French and Italian immigrants settling here during the gold rush days were quick to realize that the rich soil and Mediterranean climate were perfect for their European grape varietals.

Paradise Valley Vineyards is located West of Morgan Hill in a small valley at an elevation of 500 feet where the cool Pacific influence is supplanted by warm summer days and thus perfectly suited for the nurtured growth of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

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Hours

Open Every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month.

Address

17860 Monterey Rd
Morgan Hill, California 95037
United States

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