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Gilroy is part of the biggest up and coming wine region in California, the Santa Clara Valley. The region is home to a number of family-owned wineries and tasting rooms, but it lacks the crowds of pretentious visitors that now flood the legendary Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Your clients are sure to love Gilroy's small town appeal almost as much as they love the sprawling vineyards sweeping across the hilly landscape or the variety of different vintages available throughout.
Aver Family Vineyards and Winery
The Aver Family Vineyards and Winery sits outside the Gilroy city limits in the vine-covered hills of the southern Santa Clara Valley, inviting visitors to come and join the family. This vineyard tends to their vines as if they were children, nurturing their Syrah, Cabernet and Grenache crops. Their on-site wine-maker assures only the best quality grapes are included in their unique blends. The winery is open on the first and third weekend of every month by appointment, so your clients will be made to feel nothing short of at home as they enjoy tastings paired with local artisan cheeses.
Hecker Pass Winery
Closer to Gilroy, Hecker Pass Winery has a stalwart focus on creating wines with true Italian character. Their tasting room is open daily and features fourteen premium wines from grapes grown on their vineyards and shipped in from the finest vineyards across the world including, Zinfandel, Chianti, Petite Sirah, Muscat, Port, Cream Sherry and Marsala varieties.
Hecker Pass is the largest and most all-inclusive winery in Gilroy when it comes to their varieties of rich reds, subtle and fruity whites and inventive blends. For clients looking to have a wedding or special event in the area, they can make use of the Hecker Pass La Vigna event centre on the grounds. The all-inclusive banquet hall is available year-round, allowing for friends and family to gather in a breathtaking setting with views of the vineyards and surrounding rolling hills.
The Rapazzini Winery along Highway 101 is famed throughout the Santa Clara Valley for not only having an eye for great wine, but hosting the nicest tasting room around.
Owners Alex and Charlie Larson take great pride in offering full to medium bodied wines with a nice backbone to pair with food, all at a price that anyone can afford. Through culinary school and previous restaurant experience, the brothers have created the most affordable and delicious small lots of California wine that are perfect with a delicious meal.
With tastings every day, this is the perfect stop for the wine aficionado on a budget. Their crisp clean whites are the stars of the show, but their aged reds have an allure all their own. Rapazzini Winery also stocks fruit wines that tantalize the palate with their blends of berries, peaches, apricots and raspberries. As Gilroy is known as the garlic capital of the world, their Chateau De Garlic - a white wine with hints of garlic - is an eternal curiosity to Rapazzini patrons and a showpiece at the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy.
The family-owned vineyards and long tradition of winemaking at Solis Winery reaches back to the early 1900s. This family has been carefully crafting wine using traditional methods for a long time, but they have been careful to marry modern technology into the mix in order to meticulously produce their award-winning California vintages.
Their winery is tucked into the picturesque Hecker Pass region on the edge of the Santa Clara Valley. Clients can take guided tours of the winery and vineyards that showcase views of the surrounding coastal mountains. Their tasting room is open daily and features a selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Syrah, Sangiovese, Fiano and Zinfandel wines that have been awarded regional and international accolades.
Thomas Kruse Winery
Founded in 1971, the continued goal of this small winery in Gilroy continues to be a dedication to high quality classic estate wine. Their commitment to sustainable farming practices and a limited production assure that each bottle gets the time and attention to detail that it deserves. They host an army of small lot wines including Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and occasionally sparkling wine. They host wine tasting, but not in a traditional tasting house. They like guests to bring a picnic and sample the variety of their reds and whites in the bright California sunshine bathing their family wine growing estate overlooking downtown Gilroy.
Clients should be sure to make an appointment, especially if they are travelling some distance. The Thomas Kruse family wants to be able to give their guests an extraordinary time, but their winery can get pretty packed during the summer months.
For clients that can't get enough of the great wineries in Gilroy, California or the Santa Clara Valley, these wineries and many more are marked on the Gilroy Wine Trail that spans Gilroy and runs throughout Morgan Hill.