Whether you live in Hollywood or simply came from out of town for a short visit, chances are you have noticed a vineyard near the Hollywood sign. This isn’t just a decor for a movie set, but real vines with real grapes. Here in Los Angeles, people are slightly jaded and it takes more than a few vines to impress those Angelinos. But let’s think for a minute… a vineyard in the very heart of Los Angeles!? Who owns it? Can I buy the wine? Can I visit the winery? These and many other questions about this mysterious vineyard will be answered here.
Just this past weekend, my French cousin and her husband came for a visit. As we’re all discussing things to do and places to see, the Hollywood sign is a landmark that always makes the list. So there we are, ready to take a 7 mile hike through Griffith Park that summits Mount Lee directly behind the iconic lettering. The mountainside drops off steeply on both sides of the ridge, delivering dramatic views of Los Angeles as far as the eye can see, from Downtown and West Hollywood to the ocean and the Santa Monica mountains. Directly to the left of the sign is the conspicuous hillside vineyard spreading across 6 acres of land.
“Hollywood Classic” – Nope! I’m not talking about a movie but about a fine wine made in the heart of Hollywood. Cameras, movie Producers and directors will have to step aside to make room for winemaker Kenneth York, owner of Hollywood Classic Wine. Money is no object when it comes to maintaining the vineyard and producing this delicious wine. The attention to detail such as rootstock selection, row orientation, pruning for radical low yields, individual berry selection, harvest timing, sustainable farming and more, makes this endeavor a big “Hollywood” success.
Professionally planted and irrigated on virgin land since 2001, this vineyard has nothing to envy to those in Napa Valley. Situated only 12.5 miles from the ocean on south facing slopes, the vineyard benefits from a strong marine influence, full sun and a cool evening fog. It is 1050 to 1300 feet high on a steep hillside, featuring shallow, lean, and rocky soil for excellent drainage.
The winery produces 100 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon every year. Though 6 acres of grapes should be able to supply more, their wine production is very limited and highly solicited. It is sold by mailing list only, at a mere price of $200 per bottle.
The winery does not have a tasting room and the vineyard isn’t open to the public at this time, but we’re in Hollywood and anything could happen. You can learn more about the one and only native winery in Hollywood by visiting their site (http://www.hollywoodclassicwine.com). Make sure to enter their mailing list and be on the front line of Hollywood Classic Wine’s updates.
Now you can enjoy a Hollywood classic MOVIE while sipping on a Hollywood Classic WINE. Now that’s what I call wine pairing …… Cut!
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