Sometimes, it's nice to visit a tasting room and park it for the afternoon. Enjoy a tasting, sip a glass, and savor the conversation and view with a friend.
Other times, it's fun to tuck into a region and visit a couple tasting rooms in a day.
I took a peak at two South Santa Clara County wineries and tasting rooms. I found wines that were just my style, and others that would suit friends I know. And all along the way, the wineries poured and shared their wines in a spirit of hospitality. Enjoy the tour!
Driving to Stefania Wines will change your image of Gilroy. No outlet malls here. No fast food. Instead, ancient oak trees frame the winding roads. Stefania and Paul Romero are the husband and wife team behind the wines. From managing vineyards and producing commercial wine over a decade ago, the couple has now taken the leap to producing their own line of wines.
Tag teaming makes it work. The hallmark of knowing one's strengths and the strengths of others allows Stefania and Paul to focus on what they do best. Most of the winemaking and guest services are handled by Stefania, while Paul focuses on sulfur tests, forklifts, and oak influence on the wines, to name a few.
The wines are made with fruit sourced in the local Santa Clara Valley and the surrounding region. While Stefania's favorite varietal is Syrah, she produces a variety of wines.
The casual setting offers patio seating, so bring along something to much on if you'd like. While you're there, be sure to ask about the home-crafted tasting counter. The Wheat Back coins were passed on to Stefania by her brother and carry sentimental value.
Heller Winery, San Martin
Owners and winemakers, Bill and Janet Heller, recently opened the doors of their south county tasting room in March of 2018. But they've had a pulse in the crafting of wine for twenty years.
After planting their vineyards in 2010, Bill and Janet had the patience and vision to wait until the grapes were ready to be produced into their own wines. Understanding that good wine can only come from good fruit, Bill said they are “very careful with their grapes and their vineyards.”
Bill and Janet pour their wines at their San Martin tasting room, and also poured at the Santa Clara Wines Passport Kick-Off night.
Here's to your discovery of local wines!
For more wineries in the area, visit my Santa Clara Wineries page.
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