Burrell School’s origins date back to 1854 when Lyman J. Burrell settled the rough wilderness that is now home to our winery and Estate vines. Carrying on the more than 130 year old tradition at the School, David and Anne Moulton began development of the Estate vineyard in 1973. At a 1,600 foot elevation, the site faces to the southwest. Soils are a complex mixture of loam and shale due to our close proximity to the San Andreas Fault.
Nearby Monterey Bay brings warm days and cool nights. This results in a unique microclimate, perfect for long, slow ripening of cool climate grapes.
Initial plantings were to Chardonnay and Merlot, with Pinot Noir added in 2002. Cultivation and spraying are done with heritage Cletrac tractors; pruning, seasonal operations and picking are all done by hand.
From growing to harvesting, the goal is toward the best wine grapes possible in order to produce distinctive, concentrated wines reflective of their mountain home.
Once harvest begins, the sure hand of winemaker David Moulton begins its influence. Grapes are harvested at optimal ripeness, crushed in small lots, and fermented with select yeast strains. Barrel selection is tailored to each varietal. Long, slow aging (12 to 18 months in French or American oak barrels) and unfined, unfiltered wines are the key to our winemaking techniques.
Bottling follows, with an additional six to twelve months of aging before any wines are released for your enjoyment.
Our estate vines yield the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot, along with Estate Cabernet Franc, Syrah and the exclusive Valedictorian blend from the nearby Pichon Vineyard. Select grapes from other small Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards are also used.
We invite you to visit us and taste as well as experience our rich heritage and award winning wines. The winery is open for your tasting pleasure on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The Tasting Room, located on the site of the original Teacher’s Carriage House, is an intimate area dedicated to showcasing our premium wines. The outside veranda overlooks the Estate vines with spectacular views of the canyons and ridges of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Our Wine Sippers Club offers previews of new wines, as well as invitations to barrel tasting’s and “Back to School” wine tasting dinners. In addition, small private and corporate functions can be hosted during the warm weather months.