A short drive over Hecker Pass takes us to the rather warmer climes of Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy—and to where many wonderful wineries lie, including the splendid Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill. A family-run business for close to 90 years, it continues producing fine wine with brothers George, Gene and Gary Guglielmo at the helm.
Guglielmo makes many different wines, but I absolutely love their Sangiovese Private Reserve 2010, Santa Clara County. With aromatic notes of apricot, peach, nectarine and strawberry, and mouth-pleasing flavors of ripe strawberries and vanilla—and with its balanced acidity—it’s a delicious wine to savor on the tongue. At $18 a bottle, it’s a steal, as they say.
Guglielmo Winery is a delightful place to visit. The tasting room is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and special events are always popping up, especially at this time of year. Their 25th annual Holiday Faire will be held on Dec. 7 & 8, and again on Dec. 14 & 15. Enjoy award-winning wines, gourmet food, hot mulled wines and carolers while you browse through a huge selection of unique gifts. Guglielmo Winery, 1480 East Main Ave., Morgan Hill, 408-779-2145. Guglielmowinery.com.
A Mountain Holiday with the Summit Wineries
From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 & 8, enjoy holidays in the mountains with The Summit Wineries: Burrell School, MJA Winery, Regale Winery, Silver Mountain Vineyards, Villa del Monte—all are in close proximity along Summit Road, and only 20 minutes from Santa Cruz. Enjoy a variety of holiday festivities at each winery: handmade gifts by local artisans, live music, food, holiday decorations, wine tasting and wine specials for the holidays. The Summit Road area is also home to numerous Christmas tree farms where you can cut your own tree. Visit thesummitwineries.com for more info.
Pinotage Release Party at Loma Prieta Winery
Also from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 7 & 8, taste a series of vineyard-designate Pinotage from the largest producer of this rare variety in North America. Loma Prieta Winery is located in the hills above Los Gatos, at 2,600 ft.—and with a sweeping view of Monterey Bay. Loma Prieta is the only winery in North America to make a variety of Pinotage from different vineyards, including the extremely rare Estate, grown at the highest altitude known to produce this variety. The winery is offering a three-year vertical of Amorosa Vineyard Pinotage in a gold gift box with a unique reindeer ornament for $121.50. Visit lomaprietawinery.com for more info.