We have been fans of Pietra Santa for over 25 years. The wines have always been delicious and have represented excellent values. The history goes back to the 1850s, when Bordeaux transplant, Theophile Vache, came to the area and planted his native grapes: Merlot, Cabernet and Cabernet Franc. He owned the property for 30 years before selling it. And the winery continued until Prohibition shut it down.
In 1989, the property was purchased by Joseph Gimelli, who returned it to its former glory. This time, however, it was planted with Italian varietals. Gimelli named the winery Pietra Santa, which translates to "Sacred Stone."
He sold the winery to the Blackburn Family in 2005, and they have made several improvements to the land. The property sits on the famous San Andreas Fault. While it may be a bit harrowing for the inhabitants in regards to seismic activity, grapevines love it.
Limestone and granite provide nutrients and drainage to the vines. Although Pietra Santa is 30 miles northeast of Monterey, there is a cool breeze that finds its way there and provides the perfect temperature for our Merlot.
This wine has it all: lovely deep color, ripe plum, berry and spice nose, and richly textured flavors on the palate. This is a Merlot for Cabernet drinkers, fairly weighty on the palate, but with soft tannins to round out all the flavors.
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