Mount Eden holds a unique place in California wine lore: one of the country’s most esteemed wineries, yet located in one of the state’s most criminally overlooked wine regions. Developed in 1945 by the legendary vintner Martin Ray on a rugged mountaintop in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today, the site consists of 40 acres of low-yielding Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines.
Domaine Eden is a mountaintop wine estate purchased by Mount Eden Vineyards in 2007. Modeled after Mount Eden, it was founded and built by the late Tom Mudd in 1983, who initially planted the Mount Eden clonal selections of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which evolved to include Pinot Noir from various Dijon and California selections.
“This paradisiacal site, so isolated from all the bustle below, resists any winemaker’s attempt to impose rather than invoke character, and its history bespeaks a long legacy of distinctive vintages … While the wines may have changed stylistically, they always have been inspired more by personal, artistic ambitions than overtly commercial ones. That makes Mount Eden the quintessential California boutique winery, meaning not simply a small facility, but one in which wine is an avocation not a trade. Patterson and his wife Ellie have made their home on this ridge for [over] 25 years. […] For them, as for Paul Masson and Martin Ray, wine at Mount Eden is a labor of love and a way of life.” – Paul Lukacs, “The Great Wines of America” (2006)
“Mount Eden Vineyards […] is an almost forgotten treasure. One of the most historical wine places in California, it […] became one of the best-known vineyards in the United States for outstanding varietal wines from grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, at a time when most American wines were field blends. Today, without reaching for the spotlight, Patterson still crafts wonderful wines in a classic style and prices them far lower than what comparable wines from other regions bring. I have drunk forty-year-old Pinot Noirs from this property that were positively extraordinary, and the Cabernets are even better.” – Rajat Parr, “Secrets of the Sommelier” (2010)
“There is no doubt in my mind the Santa Cruz Mountains is the greatest and most overlooked terroir in the United States. Period. Actually, it is probably more accurate to distinguish between the eastern and western part of a mountain range divided by the San Andreas Fault. While quite different in terms of the characteristics, both parts of the mountains are capable of world-class wines. From the famed Bordeaux influenced reds produced at Ridge and other nearby estates to the extraordinary, age worthy Chardonnays and Pinots of Mount Eden … No other region offers the same mix of history, innovation and what appears to be virtually unlimited potential. To be sure, these hillside sites are capricious and hard to work with. But they are also capable of producing riveting, emotional, world-class wines.” – Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, August 2012