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Sarah's Vineyard

Gilroy, California

The philosophy and dream of Sarah's Vineyard brings together the world of fine wine, fine food, and fine arts. 

Founded in 1978 in a hidden corner of Southwestern Santa Clara Valley, Sarah's Vineyard produced handmade wines using traditional techniques. The Santa Cruz Mountain foothills near a windy mountain pass afford Sarah's Vineyard a coastal microclimates of foggy mornings, sunny afternoons tempered by strong ocean breezes and chilly nights that are ideal conditions for premium Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Rhone varieties. 

Sarah's Vineyard harvests various blocks in each vineyard based upon careful monitoring of grape sugar and acidity with a focus on the pH of the grapes. To ensure the highest quality of fruit at the crush pad, all harvesting is done by hand from 6am till noon. Gentle destemming and sorting provides an output of perfect whole berries. Whole berry fermentation, with no crushing of berries or pumping of must, contributes to the high quality of our wines. Free run juice is aged separately from lightly pressed (1.6 bar) wine prior to blending and bottling. We only use French Oak 228 liter barrels which are topped twice monthly in our humidity controlled barrel room. Bottling is done on premises using our own small fully automated bottling line, which includes nitrogen sparging and vacuum corking to limit oxygen pickup. Typically our wines receive six months to one year of bottle aging before release. 

Sarahs Vineyard

Our Winemakers
Tim Slater & Jonathan Houston

Tim has been a DJ, a musician, and a successful “micro-machining” engineer with many patents to his name. He brought a scientific approach to replanting and modernizing S.V., finely balanced by an artist’s sensibility and a traditionalist’s love of the land. Tim is both grower and winemaker, constantly experimenting in the vineyard and in the cellar. Tim’s philosophy is a fairly simple one: bottle by bottle, vintage by vintage; capture the “music of the vineyard” – to grow and produce some of California’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Raised on a cattle farm in Maryland, Jonathan has grown up with an appreciation of farming and the land. Jonathan discovered his love for wine during a trip to Napa with his wife in 2014, and hit the books soon after that, eventually earning a WSET 3 certification in wine and a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) certification. In 2020, he left his 12=year career in the U.S. Army as a cryptologic linguistic and drill sergeant to pursue winemaking professionally. Tim Slate, proprietor of Sarah's Vineyard, was generous enough to take him on and teach him the business. While Jonathan was working the cellar and learning hands-on, he also continued his education by earning a certificate in winemaking from UC Davis. Jonathan was promoted to winemaker at Sarah's before the 2023 vintage. He hopes to continue the tradition of exceptional winemaking at Sarah's while striving to increase recognition and prestige of the brand.

Tim Slater

"Discover the Music"

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