The Ben Lomond Mountain AVA is a testament to perseverance. Located on the western edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the region has a long, but intermittent, history of viticulture. First planted in the 1860s, the area became prominent before the century’s end, led by William Coope’s Ben Lomond Wine Company. His premature death caused a long dormancy, but the area was resurrected in the 1970s, inspired by the world-class Pinot Noir made by McHenry Vineyard and Felton Empire. Today, this appellation doesn’t get the label recognition it deserves. Deer and bird damage are issues here and the region has been hard hit by Pierce’s disease, forcing the McHenry Vineyard to relocate, although the winery still farms 2 acres in the region. However, the quality of fruit sourced from its vineyards still commands respect. Beauregard Vineyards currently is leading the charge with 60 acres under vine and producing the only wines currently carrying the 'Ben Lomond Mountain' appellation designation. The four by 16-mile viticultural area reaches elevations up to 2,600 feet, and sits above the fog, soaking in summer sunshine. The elevation and ocean proximity ensure a cool climate, and grapes ripen over an extended growing season.
Besides legendary Zinfandel, Amador County has taken to Rhone, Italian and Iberian variety wines with laudable results. Now the Amador 4 Fires brings the foods of those regions to an open flame to explore a total experience
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is the Regional Correspondent for Ben Lomond Mountain.