Published in the July 6 – 19, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Cindy Adams

Cindy Adams

Cindy Adams

The calendar says that summer is here — and the thermometer says summer is really here. With school getting out in early June, locals and tourists alike enjoy lazing around the swimming pool, cooking outdoors and having picnics by Anderson Reservoir, Coyote Lake and other local parks.

Anyone can pack a beer or a six-pack of sodas for an outing, but during this season of the year our recreation beverage preferences here in the South Valley region change a bit to light, white wines.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The most obvious is that whites are generally served quite cold and people enjoy them as a welcome refreshment on a hot day.

Also, we like to eat fresher foods and less heavy meals in the summer. We tend to trade in pot roast and lasagna for chicken Caesar salad and grilled fish. It’s the summer whites and rosés that pair best with these lighter foods.

When we think of summer wines, our minds immediately go to Chardonnay and, perhaps, Sauvignon Blanc. But throughout the Santa Clara Valley, some other wonderful wines are being produced by local vintners that will surely brighten up your summer sipping adventures with friends and family.

At Guglielmo Winery, three of our newest releases come immediately to mind.

On the shelves now are our 2015 Private Reserve Pinot Grigio, 2015 Private Reserve Unoaked Pinot Blanc and the 2015 Private Reserve Estate Grignolino Rosé. The first two are light whites that have been aged in stainless steel so provide crisp, citrus and floral notes. The Grignolino Rosé is a very unique dry rosé with hints of strawberry and apricot.

These wines all would be a lovely compliment to a summer meal, or just sipping on the patio on a warm afternoon.

Many wineries are now finding that growing Rhone varietals (grapes originally from the Rhone region of France) is very easy in the Santa Clara Valley.

Lion Ranch in San Martin is a newer winery with some delightful Rhone whites, such as their 2014 Viognier, 2014 Grenache Blanc, and a delicious blend which they call Lion’s Share. This last one marries their Viognier and Grenache Blanc with Marsanne and Roussanne to produce a soft and creamy wine with notes of honeysuckle and citrus.

On Hecker Pass Road in Gilroy, Sarah’s Vineyard is also a producer of wonderful Rhone varietals. Stop in and try their Cote de Madone Blanc and Jours de Joie (“Days of Joy”), both delicious blends of the Rhone grapes, to add interesting notes to your summer meals.

Summer is generally a time to relax and take time to enjoy new things.

Use this warm season to expand your wine experiences with the wonderful chilled summer whites available in Santa Clara Valley.


Cindy Adams, CS, CSW, is the director of retail operations at Guglielmo Winery.