Paul Masson Mountain Winery
|Location||14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga, California|
|NRHP reference #||83001239|
|Added to NRHP||June 9, 1983|
The Mountain Winery, formerly the Paul Masson Mountain Winery, is a winery in Saratoga, California, United States, North America. It was founded by Paul Masson, a pioneer of the California wine industry. The winery became famous for its slogan, voiced by Orson Welles in television commercials: "We will sell no wine before its time."
Masson originally worked for Charles Lefranc, one of a number of French immigrants who had expanded the viticulture introduced into the Santa Clara Valley by the Catholic mission fathers. After Lefranc's death in 1887, Masson had a short-lived partnership with Lefranc's son Henry. Masson bought out Henry's share in the Almaden Vineyards and in 1892 Masson's first sparkling wine was introduced at Almaden, and he eventually became known as the "Champagne King of California".
Early 20th century
In 1901, Masson purchased the Saratoga property. He later centered his sparkling wine production here in Saratoga while other wines were developed at the Almaden operation.
In 1905, on a knoll above the winery, Masson built his house, dubbed "The Chateau", where he developed a reputation as an unrivaled host. His wife Louise Masson was a prohibitionist and did not attend the lavish dinner parties held at The Chateau. Masson was able to weather the strains Prohibition placed on the wine industry by selling grapes to the wholesale market and by receiving a special dispensation to sell sacramental wines.
After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the sandstone winery was rebuilt, making use of sandstone blocks from the Saratoga Wine Company's building on Big Basin Way, which had also been destroyed. At this same time, the ancient entrance portal from St. Patrick's Church in San Jose, yet another structure claimed by the quake, was added to the structure.
In 1952, wine making ceased. A series of concerts began six years later, in 1958. These concerts featured famous performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Aimee Mann, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Airto Moreira, and Flora Purim.
Around 2000, the owners hired winemaker Jeffrey Patterson to restart winemaking at the site. The vineyards were reestablished at the Mountain Winery in 2004.
In 2011, the concert series was produced in affiliation with Live Nation for the last time. Since 2012, each season of the concert series has been produced by AEG Live.
- National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Paul Masson Mountain Winery". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- NPS (date unknown) Paul Masson Mountain Winery. National Park Service. Retrieved on December 28, 2004 from http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/santaclara/mas.htm.
- "The History and Legacy of Our Estate". mountainwinery.com. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
- Berton, Justin (August 20, 2010). "Apparent suicide at Saratoga concert". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mountain Winery.|
- Official website
- "Paul Masson Mountain Winery". California's Historic Silicon Valley. National Park Service. Retrieved March 12, 2007.