Forested canyons of madrone, coast live oak and California bay provide shade on a warm day. On a clear day, the Sierra Azul range, crowned by Mount Umunhum, is visible to the south through a break in the trees. The Zinfandel Trail ducks into the forest, crossing seasonal creeks and connecting with Stevens Creek County Park, managed by Santa Clara County. This 308-acre preserve features 3.7 miles of trail, the historic Picchetti Winery and surrounding homestead.
This trail invites a leisurely walk to a small pond, making a pleasant setting for a picnic. From there, the trail winds to the summit of a knoll, which offers superb views.
This trail provides a 1.9-mile long, easy hike through shaded areas lush with ferns and a view of Stevens Creek Reservoir; the trail connects with Stevens Creek County Park.
Preserve Highlights & Features
Spring is a great time to visit the pond at Picchetti Ranch. Look for signs of frogs and newts or catch sight of a duck floating by.
Picchetti Winery, started in the 1880s, is one of the oldest surviving wineries in California. Operated by a private lessee, Picchetti offers a variety of award-winning wines. Visitors are welcome to enjoy public tastings in the historic building or on the adjoining picnic areas.
The Zinfandel Trail ducks into the forest, crossing seasonal creeks and providing views of Stevens Creek Reservoir, eventually connecting with Stevens Creek County Park.
Here are some of the plants and animals that other visitors have observed at this preserve and recorded in iNaturalist. Protected species may be excluded and some species may not yet have been observed. Help improve iNaturalist by adding your observations to the Midpen Biodiversity Index project
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Know Before You Go
Preserve regulations help provide a safe, enjoyable visit while protecting sensitive areas and wildlife.
Share the Trail
Use designated trails to avoid damage to natural resources and prevent injury.
Avoid blocking the trail. Step aside to allow others to pass .
Whether you’re walking or biking, always yield to equestrians.
Leave no trace. Pack out what you pack in. Most preserves do not have trash cans. Littering is prohibited.
Abuses of trail etiquette should be brought to the attention of a ranger or call the Midpen main office at 650-691-1200.
- No reported trail closures.
Main entrance: (82 spaces) Exit Foothill Expressway from Highway 280, travel 3.5 miles southwest (toward the mountains) on Foothill Boulevard/Stevens Canyon Road. Turn right on Montebello Road. The Preserve is 0.5 miles up Montebello Road on the left.
- Equestrians: Horses are allowed on designated trails (marked on map). Helmets are recommended for all equestrians. For more information visit the Equestrian Access page.
- Bicyclists: Bikes are NOT allowed in this Preserve. For information on preserves open to bikes visit the Bicycle Access page.
- Dogs: Dogs are not allowed in this Preserve. For information on dog-friendly preserves visit the Dog Access page. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Midpen accommodates service dogs in preserves wherever we allow public access.
- Fires are prohibited in preserves.
- Plants & Wildlife: Please leave undisturbed. If you encounter wildlife during a visit, do not approach, startle or feed it. Although wild animals are generally fearful of humans and will run away, some wildlife can be dangerous.
- Smoking is prohibited in preserves.
- Water Areas: Swimming, wading or engaging in any water-contact activity is prohibited.
- Weapons are prohibited in preserves.
- Drones and Model Aircraft: Drones, model airplanes and model rockets are NOT allowed.
A general access permit is required for any activity or event that:
- may be attended by twenty (20) or more people; OR
- would restrict the use of any part of Midpen lands by members of the public; OR
- requests or requires a fee be paid or a donation made for participation. This includes events where the fee is in the form of a mandatory purchase, such as a t-shirt.
Midpen trails and facilities are generally very safe. However, you are entering an environment where there are some naturally occurring hazards. Reasonable caution and common sense should be utilized when venturing into any outdoor environment.
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle! Lock your vehicle and store valuables out of sight or take them with you on the trail.
- Travel in groups of two or more. Two of more people can assist each other in the event of an accident or emergency.
- Dress for the environment. Temperature changes can be occur and you should dress in layers appropriate for the location, time of year and planned activities.
- Carry water with you. Drinking water is not available at most Midpen preserves so you should bring your own. Two quarts per person per two hour hike is recommended.
- Apply sunscreen and drink plenty of water prior to and during your outdoor activities.
- Be aware that cell service is very sporadic on the preserves.
Be Prepared and Aware
Plan ahead before you leave. Check regulations and weather, download a map, pack water and first aid.
Know your limits and take safety precautions.
Rattlesnakes are native to this area and are especially active in warm weather.
Poison oak grows on most preserves: Learn to identify and avoid it in all seasons.
Ticks are present in this area and may carry diseases.
Mountain lions are a natural part of this region’s environment and are occasionally seen.
In Case of Emergency
If you experience an emergency (fire, accident or other immediate threat to life or property), call 911. For nonemergencies, call 650-691-1200.
Activities & Events
A picturesque fragment of Santa Clara County history lives on at the Picchetti Ranch Area. The area, named after brothers Vincenzo and Secondo Picchetti, dates back to the 1800s when Vincenzo emigrated from Italy and shortly thereafter purchased a parcel of land on the ridge of what he referred to as "Monte Bello," Italian for beautiful mountain.
The brothers planted vineyards and orchards here that would become the main livelihood for four generations. Production of the wine began in 1877 and, in 1896, the family invested their money into the development of the main winery that remains today along with the other now historic buildings onsite. Originally bought by Vincenzo's son John, the peacocks that continue to wander the grounds are a reminder of another time when the ranch was filled with various animals and livestock. During prohibition, the family sold portions of their land and relied on income from the prunes, apricots, and pears that grew in the orchards, and on the horses that boarded on the ranch. Eventually the land and business ceased to be profitable for the family.
When Midpen acquired the 308 acres of land property in 1976, the winery and building were in a state of great disrepair. Support from other groups began the process of restoring the historic buildings, which are listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The former homestead, ranch, and operating winery, now leased to a private party, are at the edge of the 308-acre preserve.
Special thanks to the Santa Clara County Historical Society, the California Office of Historic Preservation, and the previous lessees Ron and Rolayne Stortz, this special place has a new lease on life.