Tag Archives: morgan hill

Guglielmo Winery

IMG_1435Directly across the street from Live Oak High School (::sigh:: memories) is Guglielmo Winery.  It is located in Morgan Hill, on Main Street to the East of the 101.  If you are tasting in the South Bay, it is a required stop.  This is a great winery with a new remodeled tasting room.  They have reds, whites, and champagne; all in all, something for every palate.  With the wide variety of wines produced, it is an easy winery to revisit for tasting many times. 

There are three labels produced at the winery: Private Reserve, Villa Emile, and Emile’s Table Wine.  The Private Reserve wines are hand crafted with limited release.  The current Guglielmo Private Reserve series includes, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The Villa Emile wines are made from grapes grown in the best regions of California wine-making.  The current Villa Emile wines are Chardonnay, White Zinfandel, White Reisling, ETW-redCabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  Emile’s Tables Wines hark back to the founding of the winery in 1925, when the winemakers frequently used a blend of wines.  There is a Red and a White Emile’s Table Wine currently.  Of all the wines that they have, the ones I like best are: Emile’s Premium Red, Villa Emile Merlot, and the Private Reserve Rosatello.

Emilie’s Premium Red – This wine is a Italian-style blend of Zinfandel, Ruby Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Barbera, and Carignane.  This is not a “fancy” wine for you wine snobs out there.  I like this wine because it is a value priced table red that goes with just about anything, including nothing.  It is smooth, easy to drink, and still has an incredible amount of flavor.  I agree with the winery when they say that this is a “zesty table wine with aromas of cherries”.

2006 Villa Emile Merlot – This is my favorite wine of the Guglielmo selection of wines.  It is a VE-merlotbold Merlot with flavors of black cherry and cedar.  It has a strong and lingering finish while still being smooth and gentle on the tannins.  I love to use this wine to make french onion soup; about a cup of wine goes into the soup and the rest is drunk while cooking and eating.

2007 Private Reserve Rosatello – This is an estate bottled wine made from 100% Grignolino Rose grapes that was first released two years ago in celebration of the winery’s 80th anniversary.  I generally do not like to drink a rose wines because they usually taste too fruity and sweet, like a white zinfandel was mislabeled actually.  This wine is much drier while still retaining the strong flavor pear.  There are only a few wineries that make a Grignolino Rose wine in California, so I think that this is a must try even if you cannot make it to the tasting room.  You can order a bottle of it at the Guglielmo Online Store.

As you can see, there are a number of wines to try at Guglielmo Winery when you decide to stop by and visit.  They have a well deserved reputation for making consistently good wines.  They also have an elegant area for weddings or other parties.  So drop in, have a glass, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

(Guglielmo barrel image credited to Fire-Eyes Photography)

Sycamore Creek Vineyards

If you decide to go wine tasting in the South Bay, a must stop winery is Sycamore Creek.  This is a very young winery, only about 3 years under the current owners, but they have a very mature taste for all of their new-ness.  To get to the winery, take Watsonville Road until you get to the turn for Uvas Road.  The winery is right after you get onto Uvas Road; they usually have a sign on Watsonville Road pointing you in the right direction. 

When you enter the tasting room, you are going into the barrel room/warehouse.  The tasting counter is made of old wine barrels (which I really liked) and allows for small groups and couples to share one barrel for their glasses; I can see where this would be limiting for a overly large group that is tasting together.  I personally liked the intimate setting that the wine barrels encouraged even though the tasting roomnoyearuvas_200 was in a large warehouse.   Being the youngest people there (by FAR) I was surprised when we received just as much attention as the other, older couples.  The winemaker spent about 45 minutes pouring our tastings and discussing the wines, the winery, and the wine making business with us.

We tasted many wines there, as is the norm for my tasting expeditions, and two really stand out in my mind: Uvas and Malbec.

The Uvas is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon: 67% and Chardonnay: 33%.  When I first read the description of this wine, I though “Ummmm, ookkkaaaaay???”  Normally, I only get a Chardonnay and Cab blend like this when I am switching what I am drinking without rinsing my glass.  I have to admit that despite my reservations, I was pleasantly surprised by this wine.  Light and yet it still had the flavor I require in my wines.  I would recommend this wine to amateur wine drinkers as a good stepping stone into the full bodied red wines.

The other wine that I remember as being exceptional is the Malbec.  I am very pleased with how many Malbec’s I have been able to taste recently, and this one is the best.  That day Jack and I had tasted twoother Malbec wines and this one was the best.  This one was also the only one that was a pure Malbec, the other 06malbecblanc_label_200two had small amounts of other varietals in them.  If you like Italian wines, I would recommend driving to Morgan Hill just for this one.

The final comment about this winery is the wine club.  Talking to the winemaker, we learned about some of the events that this winery offers for its club members.  The one that impressed me was the chili day.  In the winter months, when no one is really doing anything, the winemaker makes a giant pot of chili and invites the club members to the winery to hang out and have chili.  I thought that this sounded like a lot of fun.  Many wineries have very pretentious events, like caviar and cheese pairings, which are cool but not my style.  I do not enjoy going to events where other club members look at me and wonder if I work there because I am in my 20’s.  I think Sycamore Creek is much more age open and welcoming of every type of wine drinker.