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Ahlgren Vineyard

Ahlgren Vineyard Founded in 1976 and still located in the cellar beneath the rustic mountain home of Dexter and Valerie Ahlgren, AHLGREN VINEYARD is dedicated to limited production of fine premium wines: Semillon, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, and Syrah. The Ahlgrens employ traditional, hands-on methods and premium grapes from carefully selected vineyards. Just how does a reasonably sane professional suburban couple get into the business of winemaking? It is a question asked at virtually every wine tasting ever given by the Ahlgrens. Leaning back against a stack of barrels in the small cool cellar beneath their home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a visitor gazes into the glass, smells the lovely wine and cannot help but wonder. Laughing, Dexter's answer inevitably comes back, "It is all Val's fault." In the early 70's she became interested in fermentation, and right there under the kitchen table in the heart of Silicon Valley, things began to become transformed into ever more interesting beverages -- elderberries into elderberry wine, honey into sparkling mead, malt and hops into beer. Meanwhile, in the adjoining garage, other mysteries were exploding dangerously, and at times all entry was temporarily forbidden. When Val's wines became intriguingly tasty, Dexter became intrigued, and it turned out he was the gifted winemaker in the family. Possessing that precious mix of acute senses of taste and smell, and blessed with common sense, Dexter demonstrated an intuitive and intelligent awareness of how to handle grapes and wine. Soon the suburban garage had been emptied of its autos; converted into a winery-within-a-garage complete with insulation, cooling, and French barrels ready for the next grape harvest. Zinfandel, it was to be, and two tons arrived in the driveway there on Cascade Drive in Sunnyvale to be crushed, fermented, pressed and barrel aged under the wondering gaze of patient suburban neighbors. A true Silicon Valley Garage startup! Of course, things could not go on this way indefinitely, and the Ahlgrens began to contemplate the realities of the fact that, speaking of winemaking, things were definitely getting out of hand. There would have to be a move.

San Francisco to Ahlgren via Hwy 280, 92, 35 & 9: 1 hr 15 minutes; San Jose thru Saratoga to Ahlgren via Hwy 9: 45 minutes; Santa Cruz to Ahlgren via Hwy 9: 45 minutes; Carmel/Monterey to Ahlgren via Hwy 1, 17 thru Scotts Valley to Hwy 9: 90 minutes .

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Address Web Social
20320 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, CA, US, 95006 Email:
Phone: 800-338-6071 Web:
Fax: 831-338-9111
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La Contessa della Montagna, a dessert wine made from tree ripened, mountain grown pippin apples and fortified with distilled eau de vie made from the same fruit. A sweet dessert wine to be served very cold with dessert. 12% residual sugar. 18% alcohol. 375 ml.
  1999 AHLGREN Cabernet Sauvignon
The 1999 exhibits the earthy bouquet: minty, briery, smoky and aromatic typical of the vineyard. It is a rich, deep, complex and mouthfilling wine with great fruit, fine structure and balance. The finish is very long. An exceptional wine from an exceptional vintage.
Aromatic, dusty, berry fruit bouquet. Bright varietal fruit flavors. Fine fruit/tannin balance. Mount filling. Elegant and complex. 75% Cab. Franc, 24% Cab. Sauv. All from Bates' Ranch. Unfined and unfiltered. 115 cases produced.
  2000 AHLGREN Merlot
76% Merlot, 24% Cab Sauv. all Bates'. Ranch. Flowery, dusty Merlot fruit bouquet. Balanced fruit/tannin structure. Elegant, complex, flavorful and mouthfilling. Good finish.
  2000 AHLGREN SYRAH, Paso Robles
Deep, warm, rich smoky, & chocolate bouquet. Ripe and fruity flavors. Well balanced. Mouth filling, complex. Unfined & unfiltered.
  2000 AHLGREN Syrah, Ventana
picy, Black pepper, smoky bouquet, soft rich, well-balanced, complex and mouth-filling. Unfined and Unfiltered.
  2001 AHLGREN Merlot
Mouth-filling, rich with flavor, soft and balanced with a suggestion of mint. Long finish, unfined and unfiltered. Bottled on April 9, 2003.
  2001 AHLGREN Pinot Noir
Soft, elegant bouquet w/hints of flowers & spice. Round, fruity cherry flavors. Long complex finish. Unfined /unfiltered.
  2001 AHLGREN Semillon
Aromatic, bright Semillon bouquet w/hints of spice. Classic, clean, crisp flavors, fine balance. Long finish, barrel fermented. Dry.
  2002 AHLGREN Zinfandel
Big, soft, classic Zin with a great fruit bouquet showing hints of chocolate. Rich, intense, balanced, mouth filing and complex with a long finish. A big, gracious Zin. Almost a meal in itself. Unfined and unfiltered. 249 cases produced.
  AHLGREN Chardonnay
Butterscotch/pineapple bouquet. Well balanced and complex/ Rich , crisp and dry with a long creamy inish. Unfiltered.
A blend of '99 and '00 vintages. Bright, lively, intense, aromatic bouquet. Balanced flavors. Berry finish. Dry.


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