Gilroy Today 2007 05 May/April - Page 6

T H E W I N E R I E S O F G I L R O Y Rapazzini Winery 4650 Monterey Road 842-5649 Wine Club: Yes Tasting Room: Yes Hours: 9am-6pm Daily Founded: 1962 Alex and Charlie Larson purchased the winery in 1999 “Rapazzini Winery is more than a winery, it is also the Garlic Shoppe next door and at the Outlets. Because we purchase grapes, we are able to choose grapes that produce several varietals and desert wines that suit the needs of their customers.” Alex Larson, Owner Most Celebrated Wine Generally the reds are well known but recently Apribella, a California white with infused apricot and peach flavors has been very popular. But of course there is always the infamous Garlic Wine! Future Plans The Winery has purchased the land and building across the highway. The mansion is the new event center for now. Eventually it will also house the winery when it is replaced by a new 101-25 interchange. Soon the web page will post information on a series of upcoming wine dinners at the new event center. Sarah’s Vineyard 4005 Hecker Pass Road 842-4278 Wine club: Yes Tasting Room: Yes (new) Hours: Friday Noon-5pm Sat-Sun 11am-5pm Founded: 1978 “We are working hard to produce the very best wine. In the recent Chronicle tasting Sarah’s entered eight wines and won eight medals, four of them gold.” Jerry Starr Director of Sales & Marketing Most Celebrated Wine Probably the 2004 Reserve Pinot Noir. The four wines that received the Gold Medals were 2005 Roussanne, Besson 2005 Chardonnay, Reserve 2005 Chardonnay, Steel Blue 2005 FiftyFifty Blend. Future Plans Expanded tasting room hours to seven days a week, new releases including some Rhone style wines and several new events. Solis Winery 3920 Hecker Pass Hwy 847-6306 Wine club: Yes Tasting Room: Yes Hours: Daily 11:00-5:00 Founded: 1980 First wine 1989; sold to Michael and Vic Vanni 2007 “First of all we make some great wines that are Napa quality. Secondly, we maintain a friendly atmosphere that makes everyone feel welcomed.” Michael Vanni, Owner Most Celebrated Wine The premium reds such as the Reserve Cabernet and Merlot, the Santa Clara Syrah and the Sangiovese which all have won numerous awards are the ones. Future Plans Very soon the winery will receive new winemaking equipment, which will allow them to process the grapes quicker and more efficiently with the end result of a better wine. Thomas Kruse Winery 3200 Dryden Ave 842-7016 Wine club: No Tasting Room: Yes Hours: Tues-Sun 12:00-5:00 Founded: 1971; moved to present location in 1997 and opened the tasting room in 2004 Tom Kruse, owner and winemaker, describes his winery as “having vertical integration from grape growing to wine making. At the winery people can experience the whole winemaking process. They get to see some of our 20 acres of trellised grapes and taste the end product. We host educational programs and go out to speak on the winemaking process. We invite people to bring a lunch and enjoy the whole experience.” Most Celebrated Wine 2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Future Plans A very good chardonnay is coming out soon as well as some very good champaign fermented in the bottle. Gilroy Today would be remiss and overly provincial if it did not acknowledge some of the other wineries nearby but outside Gilroy. Sycamore Creek Vineyards with winemaker, Ted Mereiros, is producing some great wines in a beautiful location (12775 Uvas Road) near the Gilroy border. Clos LaChance in San Martin off Watsonville Road (One Hummingbird Lane) produces some fabulous wines at one of the most picturesque locations in all of California. Further up in Morgan Hill some long time favorites are Emilio Guglielmo and Pedrizzetti Wineries. Going southeast outside of Hollister there are numerous good wineries like Calera, Leal, Pietra Santa, Cienega Valley and De Rose. MAY/JUNE 2007 GILROY TODAY