gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 107

South Valley Wineries Rich in History Continued from page 76 California produces such excellent wine that 90 percent of all American wine is produced in California, ranking the Golden State just behind Italy, France and Spain as the top-producing wine grower in the world. To this day, the Santa Clara Valley remains the first premier winegrowing region in the state and is home to many world-class, award-winning wineries. Thanks to nearby Silicon Valley, our vine- yards employ state-of-the-art technology measuring soil, moisture, wind, and tem- perature conditions. Our wines are now labeled to specify varietals and vintage year. Our winemakers and owners are farmers at heart. They talk constantly about how the very quality of their wine starts in the vineyard. Although Mother Nature is a strong influence on the out- come of the grape quality, each wine- maker has his or her own technique and skill to bring the best tasting wine to consumers’ glasses. Winemaking is part science, part art form, and, some would say, part magic. Despite the quality wines being pro- duced here in the South Valley, visitors and even some residents still express surprise to learn that there are so many wineries between Morgan Hill and Gilroy. To their delight, they are finding out that each winery offers its own ambience, decor, and accommodations, a different feel for just about any mood or personal- ity, ranging from Old World elegance to rustic, contemporary, or even whimsi- cal. Some wineries offer sweeping views, bocce ball courts, picnic tables, and deli GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 items. Year-round events include live music concerts, cooking demonstrations, holiday fairs, and wine-stomping con- tests. But for all their differences, all are far from pretentious. They are still family owned and operated. Some winemakers even have day jobs, juggling two careers at once. It is common to find the owners and/or the winemakers on the premises, if not in the tasting rooms, happy to pour a sip and answer any questions. 107