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THE VINE Celebrating Our History and Our New Arrivals By Kyle Fanthorpe Kyle Fanthorpe is a UC Santa Cruz alum and Gilroy native. Over the past several years he has worked in the wine industry throughout the Bay Area. He is also the former General Manager of Bella Viva Wine Bar, in downtown Gilroy. Kyle now lives and works in San Francisco but frequently visits Santa Clara Valley to see family and wine taste. C alifornia winemaking owes much of its history to people right here in Santa Clara Valley (SCV). Our valley’s winemaking tradition started as far back as the 1850s, before Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles established names for themselves. By 1883 the SCV region was the most prolific concentration of vineyards in all of California, possessing nearly 15,000 acres. The region encountered a major setback when the spread of phylloxera, an aphid- like pest, devastated much of California’s vineyards as well as those across Europe in the early twentieth century. From 1920 to 1933 the twenty-first amendment would also hamper winemaking by outlawing most vinification and forcing many vineyards to uproot thousands of acres. Many of these vineyards were replaced with fruit orchards which became the valley’s better known regional production. This went on until the eventual repeal of prohibition. Winemaking in SCV gradually resurged through the 50s until another burgeoning industry grew out of the region. The rise of Silicon Valley with its massive urban development and bus- tling industrial parks in the 60s, 70s, and 80s would uproot countless vineyards and orchards alike. Santa Clara Valley rapidly lost much of its agricultural roots. Finally, in 1976 when Napa’s robust wines emerged on the international scene, upstaging those of France at the, now famous, Judgement of Paris, many winemakers left SCV to seek their fortunes there. 94 Fortunately, the persistent efforts of local vineyards, entrepreneurial enthusiasts, and wine drinkers alike kept Santa Clara Valley wine culture alive. Even so it’s only as recently as 1989 SCV was awarded official American Viticultural Area (AVA) status by the Wine Institute. Gilroy and Morgan Hill, known more for their Garlic Festival and Mushroom Mardi Gras, respectively, have thrust themselves into the center of this rebounding tradition. These cit- ies possess most of the active vineyards in the county, including recognizable names such as Martin Ranch, Jason-Stephens, and Guglielmo in addition to many others. Clos LaCh