Published in the April 11 – 24, 2018 Issue of Morgan Hill Life

Musicians play at Aver Family Vineyards last summer. Many local wineries plan weekly music events through spring, summer and fall.

Musicians are celebrating the opening of “music season” at many of the wineries throughout San Martin, Gilroy and Morgan Hill. If wine, music, and sunshine are high on your list of things to do, consider checking many of the wineries in the South Valley wine region.

Personally, I enjoy performing at the local wineries. Playing outdoors or inside the tasting rooms to an appreciative audience of responsible wine-toting adults is certainly rewarding.

Clos LaChance is a leader in live music with a wide variety of bands performing every weekend either on their spacious deck or out on their lawn area with some of the best surrounding scenery imaginable.

Guglielmo Winery has its summer series Vines & Vibes mid-week with the Bay Area’s top bands performing over a three-month period.

Satori Cellars is a wonderful spot to kick back and sip tasty varietals while taking in the beautiful surroundings and live music on weekends.

Lion Ranch in San Martin sporadically features live music on their grounds but not as often and consistently as other wineries. However, when they have music it is a terrific outdoor spot right in their front yard.

Sunlit Oaks in Gilroy offers an outstanding view and picnic tables to sit and eat your own picnic while sipping their various wines. They have music from time to time and it is a to sit and hear live music while the cows dance in the adjacent fields.

Hecker Pass Winery puts on an annual music series called Wine Down Wednesdays with a wide mix of music on an excellent stage with mountainous views surrounding their spacious seating area. I am looking forward to another successful series in their backyard.

Seeker Vineyard has their special I Love Music Series which began in March and spreads out all the way to November with live music scheduled once a month.

During the summer Sarah’s Vineyard in Gilroy offers occasional live music on their gorgeous lawn area adjacent to their tasting room. They will feature an upcoming fundraiser with Leadership Gilroy April 14. The nonprofit group’s 4th Annual Spring Fling Event takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The evening includes a selection of wines, gourmet dinner from Kneaded Bakery, and live music from Miko’s Montaj. There will also be an auction and raffle prizes. Spring Fling is open to everyone and all proceeds benefit Leadership Gilroy’s annual community leadership training program and provides scholarships to participants. Tickets are available at

There is one winery I must note that is not in the South Valley but above the hills of Saratoga. Savannah-Chanelle is a place to check out just about four miles past downtown Saratoga up the oh-so-winding Highway 9. The turnoff on the left is easy to miss so pay attention. Once you get up their driveway leading to the well-kept grounds you will be glad you made the drive. They are big proponents of live music and feature acoustic and electric bands every Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and sometimes Sunday evening as well. It is about a 40-minute drive from Gilroy but a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.


These are just some of the musical wineries that are worth checking out. I know I may have left off some, so let me know and I will include them in future columns with more wine and music hotspots in the South Valley.

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On another note, straight from his sold-out New York City performance, one of Spain’s leading flamenco guitarists, José Antonio Rodríguez, will make a special April 14 appearance at 7 p.m. at Gavilan College, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. Tickets are available at the Gavilan College Bookstore, BookSmart in Morgan Hill, Porcella’s Music in Gilroy, at, and at the door. The cost is $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors: Details: (408) 848-4794.

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Five years of consistent Open Mic every Wednesday at The GVA was celebrated April 4 with pizza and praise. The event has grown considerably, and it is the best thing to do on any Wednesday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. whether you are a musician, a music lover or there to enjoy great food and beverages. The caliber of musicians has increased and many of the original folks that came in the beginning (like me) are still coming weekly to try new tunes, play old ones or just entertain the crowd under nice lighting and good sound conditions. Hats off to Chris O’Connor for fueling the fire every week and creating a vast network of musical “friends” and to Renee Carrillo and the staff for giving musicians a wonderful place to be heard.

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Mark Fenichel

Mark Fenichel

Mark Fenichel is the Advertising/Marketing Director for Morgan Hill Life with more than 40 years of marketing experience. If you're interested in learning more about building your business brand, contact Mark at (408) 410-4782 or email him at
Mark Fenichel