The Chaine d’Or

Paul Masson

Tiny Chaine d’Or Vineyards and winery is located at the head of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Woodside, CA.  The Chaine d’Or – Chain of Gold – was the name given to this region by California winemakers more than one hundred years ago. Such legendary vintners as Paul Masson and Martin Ray knew that the golden chain of hillsides between Woodside in the north and Los Gatos in the south was capable of producing world class wines. 

“Standing in the foothills of Cupertino or Mountain View one looks up to a high ridge to the west of the valley, over 2,000 feet in height.  It is Montebello, the center piece of the great Chaine d’Or, or golden chain of highland wine country, which today produces some of the greatest wines in America.

The head of the Chaine d’Or is a hilly country around Woodside in San Mateo County…Paul Masson and Martin Ray (circa 1940) believed that the lands of the Chaine d’Or had unsurpassed potential for the production of premium wines… There is more than one California w inemaker today who traces his idealism and hopes to the early tastes of Martin Ray wines.”

 “Like Modern Edens” 
by Charles L. Sullivan 1982

Martin Ray

“The history of the Chaine d’Or, from Woodside to Lexington, is replete with winegrowing successes.  Seventy-five years ago many thought it to be the very best area in North America for growing super-premium wine grapes.  The story of the triumphs of such as Rixford, Klein and Masson will have some as no surprise to any today who have tasted the current Santa Cruz Mountain vintages from Ridge, Mt. Eden or Martin Ray.  Wine drinkers must surely applaud every sign of expanded vineyard planting along the “golden chain” and in other parts of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  If history can tell us anythi ng, it is that the modern wine boom here will succeed and endure.”

“Late Harvest   Wine History of the Santa Cruz Mountains” 
by  Michael R. Holland 1983