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Wine Of The Week – 2015 Test Pilot White Wine Blend

Wine Of The Week – 2015 Test Pilot White Wine Blend

The Wine

Located in Saratoga, California, only 25 minutes from San Jose, Cooper-Garrod is a family owned and operated estate winery.

The property has been a farm since 1892, when the English-born Garrod family settled here. For decades, they made their living with prunes and apricots before introducing an equestrian center in the 1960s, and replacing their orchards with grapevines in the 1970s.

George Cooper, the family member responsible for planting those grapevines, had been a test pilot at NASA; it was Martin Ray, a founding father of Santa Cruz Mountains wine, who convinced him to become a vintner.

Today, the winery’s Test Pilot line of wines — each named for a different type of aircraft — pays homage to George. Photographs of vintage aircrafts adorn the labels and the winery’s tasting room. 

This Test Pilot White Wine, produced by George Cooper’s son, Bill Cooper, is a delicious, easy-sipping blend of Chardonnay and Viognier sourced from his estate vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

In addition to the Test Pilot White Wine Blend, Bill also produces a Test Pilot Red Blend (2014 F6F Hellcat) which is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 

The Winemaker

Fourth Generation winemaker, Bill Cooper oversees winemaking at the family-owned and operated Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards.

He currently has 28-acres of organic vineyards planted with Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah vines and produces a wide range of single-varietal wines as well as Bordeaux and Rhône blends.  He is committed to being a steward of the land and believes sustainability is an integral part of his winery’s vision for the future.

Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards is open Monday – Friday from 12pm – 5pm and Saturday & Sunday from 11am – 5pm. Picnics are welcome (free of charge) and local bands are often playing music on weekend afternoons. Horseback riding lessons are offered every day at Garrod Farms and on the final Sunday of every month, they offer a special guided ride through vineyards.