The Alchemists at Cinnabar Winery

Kaya Lindsay

October 1, 2019
Cinnabar Winery Logo

When a rich patch of soil is blessed with a splash of sunlight and just the right dose of rain, a small miracle occurs: vines break through the earth and grapes come bursting forth.

Cinnabar Winery blends the hard science of winemaking, with the delicate magic of nature’s growth to create truly delightful wines.

Founded in 1983 by Stanford Researcher Tom Mudd, Cinnabar Winery produces red wines, white wines and dessert wines. While working for his doctorate at Stanford, Tom began making wine in his backyard until he founded Cinnabar. Cinnabar became his life, and his family grew up on the 22 acres of land in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Today, his children, Jack and Karina run the family business and stay true to their fathers vision of Cinnabar: to have fun, with serious wine.

cinnabar pour

The name Cinnabar comes from the ancient belief that this strange mineral, Cinnabar, could assist alchemists in turning base metals into silver and gold. Cinnabar was highly coveted by medieval nobility. To Tom, the name Cinnabar represents the magic and the science of turning freshly fallen rainwater into lovingly handcrafted wine. The medallion that is stamped onto the label of each and every bottle of Cinnabar wine is of Toms own design, and brings in the four elements (fire, water, earth, air), the 12 zodiac signs, the planets and a large letter ‘C’ for Cinnabar.

When Tom passed away in 2007, the estate was sold, but the family moved the winery to downtown Saratoga, where they have a ​beautiful ​wine tasting bar with a outside patio. In the summer time they host live music on Sundays, and all year round they offer wine tastings for just $15 per person. If you decide to purchase 2 bottles of wine, or more, they will refund your tasting fee!

Cinnabar Winery Entrance

There is a whimsical property to the Cinnabar wine, from the way they refer to themselves as alchemists, to the red brick building they inhabit in Saratoga.

They pull the richest quality wine out of simple earth and rain water, and hand over to their customers an intoxicating concoction of the highest quality. Cinnabar is, above all, a family business. Tom’s children Jack and Karina, who grew up running through the Cinnabar vineyards, now manage the business. Their cellar master, Alejandro, has been with them since he was 19 years old, and their master winemaker, George Troquato, has been making Cinnabar wine for the last 30 years.

Cinnabar Winery Patio

This scientific, slightly magical, and always delicious winery is a ​must see​ for amateur and professional wine enthusiasts alike. Cinnabar Winery is tucked in to a small red brick building, with cinnabar colored trimmings, and is some of the finest wine in Saratoga.

With mastery, patience, and a pinch of ingenuity, we work to ensure that each bottle of Cinnabar wine is memorable for its elegant nature and enchanting taste.
Kaya Lindsay
Kaya Lindsay

Kaya Lindsay is a writer and photographer with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors.  In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing ever since. You will most likely find her in a parking lot or coffee shop, camera in hand, planning her next grand adventure. Connect with her on Instagram @OneChickTravels

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