You may have heard of Clos LaChance Winery but how about Castillos’s, Guglielmo, Leal, Martin Ranch, Kirgin, Fernwood or Sycamore Creek? Mostly likely not, but these are the names of wineries that make their home in the Morgan Hill area. There are many more than this, but these wineries were pouring at a fundraising event we attended this past weekend. The event was hosted by the Chiala Family and proceeds will benefit the creation of a new Urgent Care Center in Morgan Hill. It was a lively celebration of fine art, food and wine.
Morgan Hill is just south of the city of San Jose and almost everyone drives through Morgan Hill on Highway 101 on their way south to Gilroy and Monterey, or north to San Jose and San Francisco. For wine country lovers, this is a spot you might think about visiting.
At the event, we sampled at least two wines from each of the eight wineries and discovered that these wines are well made and quite tasty. It’s usually very hot in Morgan Hill but, on the hillsides to the east and west where most vineyards are located, the evening temperatures cool down rapidly and offer ideal growing conditions for a variety of wine grapes.
We thought the most interesting winery was Leal Vineyards. It is the only winery that we know of that, in addition to making wine, also produces three different types of Tequila. We didn’t try the Tequila but those that did though it was outstanding. Leal Vineyards is actually located about 25 miles south in Hollister. One of our top favorites of the entire tasting was their Cabernet Franc. Unfortunately, you have to join the wine club to get this wine.
Clos LaChance is the most well known winery in the Morgan Hill area. Clos LaChance has a big following in area with many wine club members and several events taking place at the winery. Their winery, tasting room, and gardens are lavish and a wonderful spot to enjoy the wine country. The Clos LaChance Chardonnay was another one of our favorites.
Guglielmo Family Winery has the longest history in Morgan Hill, established in 1925. Third generation George Guglielmo is the winemaker, having graduated from Fresno State University’s Viticulture and Enology program. The Guglielmo wines are all good, but we particularly enjoyed the 2006 Zinfandel made from their estate vineyards.
To find out more about these wineries and others, in the area,
go to their website: www.WineriesOfSantaClaraValley.com.