Wineries of the Santa Clara Valley gathered for an evening of pouring the wines of their region...San Martin, Saratoga, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill!
The Wines of the Santa Clara Valley Passport Kickoff party was an amazing chance to tour the valley all within a few feet. Winemakers gathered and poured three of their wines. Guests tasted as few or as many wines at they liked.
I tasted around 25 wines. No, I didn't drink all of the pours. Yes, my handy 8 ounce paper spit-cup came with me and was well used. There were over twice as many more wines to try. The experience was a full introduction the Santa Clara Valley wine region. The Merlots were less mineral-like than coastal Merlots. The Zins were less spicy and offered more warm fruit than California Foothills' Zin. The Cabs shined!
The golden mantra of travel is “ask the locals.”
One of the highlights of any wine event is meeting people. A group of local tasters shared their thoughts on the wines. They were so passionate about the area, they could have gathered and been a marketing team for the region!
Here's what they had to say about the Santa Clara Valley Wine Country.
The winemakers were eager to chat about their wines. Here are a few highlights.
Miramar Vineyards, San Martin: owner, Ed Castro
GSM (Grenache, Syrah, & Mouvedre) is a red blend of wine.
It's a light bodied wine but still full flavored—which makes for a perfect red wine on a hot summer's night. Dry, good tannins, and flavors of pomegranate, this would pair well with food, or small bites.
90% of their grapes are from the Santa Clara area, offering seven different varietals.
Within a couple of years, Miramar plans to craft their wines using all Estate fruit.
Gary Robinson, from Left Bend Winery, is winemaker for Miramar wines.
(see my feature on his wines and tasting room on Los Gatos.)
The 2013 Syrah boasted a deep, rich red color and was not as inky purple as Syrahs can be. A bit more body and mouth feel, the dry, boysenberry flavors made for an enticing wine.
Dorcich Family Vineyards, Gilroy
They have of vineyards. 5 acres on Montebello Rd. up the Santa Clara Valley,
the Estate Vineyards on Day Road in Gilroy, and in San Martin.
They offer, Sauv, Chard, Mouvedre, Merlot, Malbec, Estate Cab, 100% Petite Sirah, and Petite Verdot.
Their “Dad's Blend” wine is a compilation of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
TASS Vineyards and Winery, Gilroy: owners/winemakers Ron & Lynn Mosley
TASS: Tradition. Art. Science. Style.
Ron has managed over 80 small vineyards in the Santa Clara Valley. As a vineyard manager, he's cleared acreage, planted vineyards, produced wine, and crafted wines for personal clients.
His approach to wine is three fold. First is growing. Next, winemaking by small lot production. Lastly, the wines reach tasters via marketing and direct sales.
Ron creates wines from Santa Clara Valley grapes. Since he also produces wines from a variety of vineyards for numerous owners, he also offers wines from other California regions.
Lynn's sharp eye for good color in wines, along with her attuned sense of smell, has influenced Ron's winemaking. Ron shared how women can often pick up essence, acids, and aromas in wines.
Ron commented that “winemaking is 90% ingredients.”
He's given the right ingredients, now, as he says “don't mess it up.”
I ordered a glass of Sparkling Rose', a salmon steak, and a Wedge Salad
with classic blue cheese, tomato, and bacon.
The Creme Brulee' and coffee were a perfect ending to the meal.
This made up for the many In and Out Burger trips I've made between wineries.
September is Passport Month, so there is still time to taste at the Wineries of the Santa Clara Valley.
And even better, most wineries are open year round. (Link to WSCV)
Cheers to your Silicon Valley Wine Jaunt!
Take along some Nose & Palate Tips on your next tasting room visit.
Join me at California Wine