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Vine Time at The Winery

The Beats Go On At Mountain Winery

I had a Falcon Crest flashback as my friend and I drove up the scenic windy road leading us to Saratoga’s Mountain Winery last weekend. All those vines. All the grapes. All that wine. Fortunately, the only thing dramatic that night was the view—well that, and the stellar B-52’s show we experienced in the venue’s remarkable outdoor theater. And, as concerts go, this could not have been a better setting.

Weaving together some of the finest elements—nature, wine, terrific food, music—Mountain Winery has a lovely thing going here. This place has been producing wines for more than 100 years after Paul Masson purchased the Saratoga property and began planting away. It was a booming success by the time signature Chardonays became the thing around 1936, when the winery was acquired by Martin Ray. These days, the winery offers the finest reserves and its “California Series” wines.

Beyond the wine, though, are the other striking if not memorable ingredients that make up the winery’s distinct offering—from its dynamic restaurant overlooking urban San Jose and its surrounding areas to its signature wine club, ideal wedding locale and host for other events, this is one hot ticket.

Which brings us back to the music. Saturday’s B-52’s show was rockin’, wild party. And success hasn’t spoiled alt-rock’s über band one bit. With more than 20 years of touring and basking in the limelight, the B-52’s sound remarkably fresh, clear and downright with-it—technically, musically and everywhere else that counts. In other words, its spunk is still there living and breathing and havin’ a ball in all the musical numbers that helped launch their celebrity: “Roam,” “Rock Lobster.”

Perched up on stage in front of the winery’s iconic steepled building, The B-52’s—Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson, Keith Strickland—grooved underneath a starry-sky and a dynamic lightshow. The band’s distinct musical style and dynamic vocals stood out in high-energy show that kept its audience on its feet the majority of the time the music played. A bit short and sweet—I’m certain the audience would have been jazzed to experience the band for another hour—the show was downright memorable nevertheless.

But memorable gigs are what Mountain Winery seems to be offering in a summer concert series fueled with powerhouse performers.  A quick scan of the upcoming shows and you’ll find a creative smorgasbord: Jewel, Macy Gray, Burt Bacharach, Lucinda Williams, Diana Krall, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and more.

This venue not only offers and ideal locale—it’s only about 30 minutes from Santa Cruz—it certainly boasts some amazing talent. Here’s a quick overview of some of the upcoming performers heading to Mountain Winery. Cheers.

For more information on Mountain Winery, and for concert tickets, visit www.mountainwinery.com, or call 408-741-2822.

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