Photo courtesy Elaine Stoddard from Guglielmo Winery

Locals know how wonder our wineries are — and now the rest of the world knows as well. Santa Clara wineries were recognized for their collection of quality wines in recent international and state competitions, participating in the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, The Central Coast Wine Competition and the Sunset International Wine Competition.

The highlights include Solis Winery, awarded Best of Show/Best White Wine for their 2018 Fiano at the Central Coast Wine Competition  and Church Creek Cellars received at Double Gold and a 92-point rating for their 2014 Merlot at the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition. La Vie Dansante took Best of Class Double Gold at the Sunset International Wine Competition with their 2015 Nocturne.

“With the bar set high for 2019 after a winning 2018 competition year, all of our 34 wineries, big or small, continue to prove to other wine regions statewide and internationally that the Santa Clara Valley is one to watch.” said Stacy Giannini, director of marketing for the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley. “Collectively, the wineries racked up seven Double Gold Medal, 13 Gold Medals, 42 Silver Medals and 17 Bronze Medals as well as two Best in Class and one Best in Show. Many of these award-winning wines will be shared during our Fall Passport VIP Kick Off party Sept. 6.”

Congratulations to all our wineries that are producing some fabulous wines. Looking forward to Sept. 6 and visiting many this summer and fall.

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Pilar Vazquez-Vialva

Welcome Pilar Vazquez-Vialva to your new job as the new Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for the Morgan Hill Unified School District. She fills the spot after Dr. Ramon Zavala retired recently.

Vazquez-Vialva recently worked at the Metropolitan Education District in San Jose, where she was the director of Educational Services. With over 15-years in education, including elementary school educator and high school principal roles, her passion lies in coaching and supporting leaders in developing their understanding and awareness about the many constructs and layers impeding systems of equity from developing.

“I am excited to join the Morgan Hill Unified School District executive team and share in their passion and commitment to serve this community,” she said. “I feel drawn to the diversity and culture that makes Morgan Hill so special. I plan to support the vision and mission for all students to have a safe and equitable school experience with caring and dedicated teachers, staff, and principals.”

Vazquez-Vialva looks forward to fostering relationships with students, teachers, parents, staff, and community members.

Welcome to Morgan Hill, Pilar!

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Alyssa Buzbee with her book she wrote.

Danielle Buzbee’s daughter Alyssa is a budding author who just came out with her first book. The family celebrated with a book launch and signing at Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant Saturday, July 13.

The girl’s book is a work of fiction called “The Journey.” It’s based on real events told from Alyssa’s perspective about her older sister’s relationship with her boyfriend (eventually her husband) and their son.  Alyssa attended 4th and 5th grades at Barrett Elementary School and 6th grade at Britton Middle School and will start 7th grade at Inspire Charter School.

She worked with David Chappell and Literary Legacies to write and publish her book, Danielle told us.

“She wanted to tell the love story she saw happening between her 17-year-old sister and her boyfriend,” she said. “She hopes that readers find love in their lives at home, too.”

Best wishes with your writing career, Alyssa!

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Broadway classic “Man of La Mancha” is the latest production of San Jose Musical Theater. The musical about Don Quixote opened July 12 and many folks from South Valley are involved.

From Gilroy are Chris Brady (who plays Sancho Panza) and Jordan Reyes (the Captain of the Inquisition). From Morgan Hill are Megan Griffin (who plays Antonia), Christine Carrillo (who plays an inn wench), Bridget Harnett (the stage manager), Michelle Griffin (costumer) Ingrid Rottman (the house manager, the star in South Valley Civic Theatre’s “Gypsy”) and Joy Reynolds, Lori Foster and Marilyn Pifer who were in charge of the props.

The show runs until July 21 at Evergreen Valley College Theater. Look for Morgan Hill Life’s Marty Cheek’s review of the show on

Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi is the editor of Morgan Hill Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi