Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Winery
Summary: Shadow Mountain Vineyards is located in the countryside of San Diego County. Enjoy visiting with Alex and Pam McGeary, owners of the winery, as you taste wine. Some of the grapes on the property were planted in 1945. Alex is also a winery and vineyard consultant.
Alex and Pam McGeary are the proud owners of Shadow Mountain Vineyards. The property has had a vineyard since 1945. That vineyard was planted by Gus. Today the vineyard is called “Old Gus" Vineyards. Visitors will discover that the winery is located in the country away from the maddening crowds.
The McGearys discovered the property in 1990 as they were driving down a country road. They had been searching for vineyard property earlier. On this day they saw a sign for a vineyard for sale. Alex’s foot hit the brakes and he turned onto a dirt road. After traveling on the rustic road they came to vineyards and saw an elderly man on the front porch. Gus had planted vineyards between 1945 and 1954. The second generation worked in the vineyards but the third generation had no interest in vineyards. The vineyard was for sale.
Today the vineyards consist of 28 acres at an elevation of 3,400 feet. The soil consists of coarse rocky earth. The vineyards include Barbera, Grenache, Zinfandel, Petit Sirah and Chenin Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Mission, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
In addition to wearing the hats of a winemaker and viticulturist, Alex also is a consultant for other wineries and vineyards. His enthusiasm is pronounced as he leads us on a tour of the property. We viewed the vineyards, winery and two guest cottages.
The winery appears rather stark. Alex explained that a fire had destroyed the winery a few years back and he is still in the process of rebuilding the facility. Despite this misfortune, Alex is able to continue producing wine.
Just steps away from the tasting room, Alex and Pam built two cottages. Each cottage is one room with heat, fans and electricity. A European shower is located between the two cottages. These can be rented for complete relaxation or visitors can feel free to pitch in and help at different tasks at the winery.
Returning to the tasting room from the tour, we tasted several wines.
Viognier 2007 offered a floral aroma with a taste of tropical fruit nuances. The finish was fruity. Dry Muscat Canelli 2008 was a light yellow. The aroma and taste had orange blossom notes. The finish was dry with orange nuances. A suggested pairing is spicy food. Pamela’s Pick produced from Muscat Canelli was a light yellow. The aroma and taste offered notes of orange. The finish was sweet with orange nuances.
Claret 2009 was a light ruby color with black fruit nuances. Variation 3, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, offered black fruit notes on the aroma and taste. There were medium tannins on the fruity finish. Merlot 2006 had dark fruit nuances with bold tannins. Syrah 2006 was a dark ruby color. There was dark fruit on the aroma. The taste had dark fruit notes with plum nuances. The finish had medium tannins and fruit notes.
Most of Shadow Mountain Vineyards wines are sold in the winery tasting room, through the Wine Club or online.
Take a day trip to visit Mountain Shadow Vineyards. Prepare a picnic lunch and enjoy the day at the winery and vineyards. Think about renting one of the cottages and spending the evening.
Shadow Mountain Vineyards & Winery
34680 Highway 79
Warner Springs, California 92086
GPS: N33º 20.586’ W116º 44.014’
Visit these California organizations and wineries that partner with Wine Trail Traveler.