Hecker Pass Winery
In 1974, Mario Fortino established Hecker Pass Winery in the southern part of the Santa Clara Valley AVA. The winery makes Petite Sirah, Grenache, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Carignane, Port, Marsala, Sherry, Muscat, along with several blends.
Their Zinfandel and Petite Sirah are made in big, spicy styles, which do justice to these two varietals natural characteristics. Although they are both Vitis vinifera grapes, they can be considered natives of California. No other region in the world has the same track record with Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Hecker Pass ages their Cabernet Sauvignon in French oak barrels before bottling. This is a very tasty wine, and at an even better price. They also have a Carignane from the excellent 1997 vintage that is still available for purchase. Along with his ownership duties, Mario Fortino is also the winemaker. His son Carlo is the heir apparent, and is learning the business from the ground up.