Picchetti Winery has rich historical roots dating back to the late 1800ís making Picchetti one of the oldest wineries in California. The winery complex is listed both on the National Registry of Historical Places and the Santa Clara County Heritage Resource Inventory.
In 1872 a young Vincenso Picchetti emigrated to Santa Clara Valley from his native Formarco, Italy and found employment as a foreman with a local vineyard owned by Santa Clara College now known as Santa Clara University. During the following ten years Vincenso sent for his brother Secondo and together they purchased their first 160 acres of land.
The young vineyards of Zinfandel, Carignane and Petite Sirah began producing and the fruit was sold to local wineries until 1896. It was in that that year that the Picchetti Brotherís decided to try their luck in the commercial wine business. The two story red brick winery building they built that year, which used to be filled with redwood storage tanks and oak casks for aging and storing wine, is today home to our barrel and tasting rooms. The Picchetti Brothers Winery registered as California Bonded Winery number 148 was considered by many to be a producer of outstanding and distinctive wines.
Vincenso passed away in 1904 and day to day management of the ranch was left to two of his four sons Antone and John. By that time the ranch had expanded to encompass 500 acres of land. Antone and John were forced to cope the looming prospect of prohibition. In order to meet operating expenses during this period they sold off acreage and converted some of the vineyard to fruit orchards. They also expanded the amount of livestock housed at the ranch.
John Picchetti was also a great lover of birds, he built several aviaries and bred several species of birds. One of these species (Pavo cristatus) or Peacock, still roam freely about the property today.
Unfortunately during the late 50ís early 60ís the ranch became unprofitable and the family was forced to cut back operations. Commercial wine production stopped in 1963 and in 1977 the remaining land was sold to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District.
A New Beginning
Proprietor Leslie Pantling, took possession of the winery in 1998, operating under a lease from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space. New production equipment was brought in as was a staff committed to the success of a small winery.
Today the Picchetti Winery produces approximately 9000 cases of hand crafted wine a year. Drawing from a multitude of vineyards that include 3 acres of over 110 year old Zinfandel vines, Leslieís Estate Chardonnay and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard on Montebello Road as well as other commercial vineyards located throughout the state.