Monte Rosso Vineyard
Guardian: The Gallo Family
Perched nearly 2000 feet above Bedrock Vineyard on the bright red, volcanic, soils of Mt. Veeder lies Monte Rosso Vineyard. Described as one of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, on a clear day one faces west and looks all the way to the blue of San Pablo Bay and the pointed edifices of San Francisco in the distance.
Not only is Monte Rosso gorgeous, it is a wonder of viticulture in the 19th century. There is perhaps no vineyard that would have been harder to put in, and when thinks of the size of the property, this simply doubles in wonderment. The 350+ acres of Monte Rosso lies on the last high flank of the Mayacamas Range. It is named Monte Rosso for its bright-red, iron-rich, soils, which impart a remarkable perfume to all grapes from the vineyard. In fact, the terroir here is so strong that I have often mistaken a Monte Rosso Cabernet for Zinfandel— the wines smell and taste like Monte Rosso, far less like the given varietal. What it took to put in the vines back in the 1890’s must have been jaw-dropping. In an era of nearly zero automation, no pile-drivers, no back-hoes, limited means to break-up and terrace the rock, putting in the 350 acre vineyard must have been one of the greatest feats of wine-growing history.