Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Like everyone whose ever bought a house, we had driven by Casa de las Rocas Grandes a half dozen times or so while it was in escrow. We knew the view was good, but it seemed like a curtain of foggy drizzle obscured it from our excited eyes.
Our road curves around from behind the mountain to where the house is stapled to the side of the hill. Actually, the foundation is rebarred into solid granite with epoxy, but you sort of get the allusion. Unlike tonight, which is about a cold, well digger's butt in the Klondike kind of evening (the wind is biting), it was a warmish devil-wind sort of night and as we rounded the curve we saw it. The car was stunned, too. It simply stopped in the middle of the road.
Tonight is stormy, if it don't rain, I'll put in with you, but so far, not a droplet. You are looking northeast from the Casa and there are at least a dozen cities out there. Azusa and Glendora to the left, Upland, Ontario International, & Chino. Riverside closer in, and Jack Benny's Cucamonga, where Zinfandel was once king, distant right.
Temecula, the redheaded stepchild (am I allowed to say that?) that much of the wine world snickers at, is making some absolutely stunning Zins from some of the leftover old vines in the Cucamonga Valley.
When we was vagrant yoots we'd sometimes ditch school and drive to Mt Baldy. It took hours and the last of it was mile upon mile of stoney soil sprouting silent, barren grapevines, waiting for the warmth of spring. That's mostly little pink houses these days. And a Bass Pro store.
The peak nearby is likely Mt Baldy and Route 66 should be just a few miles away. The winery was located near what is now West 7th Street.
Cucamonga Winery wines included Barbera made with 100% Barbera, which was considered among the best Barbera’s in California at the time. Also made were Zinfandel, Burgundy, Chianti (pretty sure it was straw bottle), Grignolino, Claret, Barberone, Sauterne, Chablis, and Rhine Wine, Dry Muscat and Vermouth.
Photo Credit: TWC 03-26-11 ©
Winery Photo appears courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona