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Short hikes at a historic winery in the rolling foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.

Tucked into the Cupertino foothills about 15 miles west of San Jose, the once-rich farmland called the Picchetti Ranch is now open as part of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve system. Its 307 acres include the 1880s homestead, the handsome brick winery, and pear and plum orchards (no longer cultivated but still bearing fruit).

At our press time, finishing touches were being put on the trail system, but you should be able to hike a short trail (about 1 mile) that winds up through the old orchard and around a small pond area, or take a longer loop from that trail up to a knob for a view down a small canyon. From time to time on this trail, you'll view an active rock quarry across the canyon; you may also hear echoes from the nearby target-shooting range.

The old winery buildings, slowly being restored, produced claret and other wines from the 1880s to the 1960s. They'll soon be the home of Sunrise Winery, which will be moving its operation into the 1896 brick facility under a lease with the Mid-peninsula Regional Open Space District. If permits are approved as planned, the winery expects to be open for tasting and sales this month. Hours will be Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 to 3. To check, call (408) 741-1310.

To get to the preserve, take Interstate Highway 280 to Foothill Boulevard and head south; continue (it becomes Stevens Canyon Road) for about 4 miles. At Montebello Road, turn right and go 1/2 mile to the park.
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Title Annotation:Midpeninsula Regional Open Space Preserve
Date:Sep 1, 1984
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