I was wondering today what ever happened to the MaryCarterVnyd down in the HeckerPass area of Gilroy. Here's the story:
Back in '70 & '71, DavidBruce made a set of LateHrvst reds from MaryCarter's old vnyd down there: Grenache/Carignane/Zinfandel/PetiteSirah. The wines were labeled LateHarvest, LateHarvest Dry, LateHarvest Sweet, and Essence. The alcohols ranged from 14.5%-16.5%, maybe higher. They were huge wines, very extracted & tannic, huge body, not all that hot/raisened/pruney, lots of Fr.oak, black as the ace of spades. The late SanDiego wine critic, JohnBrennan, predicted they would go out to the yr 2020. Like many wine critics, he was blowing smoke. The wines, when I last tasted them around 1990, were pretty much shot. There was an article by HarryOldman in PhilipSeldon's Vintage magazine describing them at 10 yrs of age in the early '80's. They were already getting a bit shaky then.
I was curious if anybody still got those grapes so started poking around in CyberSpace. Google gave the answer.
MaryCarter, no spring chicken in 1970, expired in 1988. The vnyd was subsequently plowed under. End of story. Sorta.
Google turned up the following article by RandallGrahm: MaryCarterVnyd
on the history of his CigareVolante, which mentioned MaryCarter's long-gone vnyd and his discovery of those DavidBruce Grenaches. Poking around the Gilroy area, it led him to GeorgeBesson's old head-pruned/own-rooted Grenache vnyd which went into his Clos du Gilroy and Cigare. GeorgeSr still lives there on the property, which is run by his son, GeorgeJr. GJr gave up the head-pruning and put this old-vine Grenache (planted in the '40's) up on a wire, but the original vines are their. The also go to the Birichino boys as well. Anyway, Randall's story about Cigare is a good read.
So, bottom line, MaryCarter's old-vine vnyd is long gone. Sigh. But it sounds as if the HeckerPass is an area that time has left behind. It's an area that I should explore sometime.
Interesting bit of history. FWIW, should anybody be interested. Probably not, though.