VIDEO: TOM & SANDY MOLLER OF SATORI CELLARS

Meet Tom and Sandy Moller of Satori Cellars of Santa Clara Wineries. Tom is a techie-turned-winemaker, while Sandy is a yoga teacher and winemaker.

The Mollers started Satori Cellars over 10 years ago and have gone on to win awards for their wines. We spoke to them to find out how they got started with the winery and how they choose fun and unusual names for their wines.

The tasting room of Satori Cellars are open only on weekends. Please check their website for the timings.

Address2100 Buena Vista Ave, Gilroy, CA 95020

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VIDEO: GINO FORTINO OF FORTINO WINERY

Gino Fortino of Fortino Winery in Gilroy talks about Charbono wine, which is made out of an Italian grape varietal. There are only 80 acres of the Italian grape varietal Charbono grown in California and Fortino’s grows some of them. “Cult wine,” is often a phrase used when talking about Charbono.

Fortino Winery was founded in 1970 in Gilroy by Gino’s parents – Marie and Ernest Fortino. The winery is part of Santa Clara wineries, one of the oldes wine growing regions in California.

Address: Fortino Winery, 4525 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA 95020

Tasting Room is open from  10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday and on Sundays it is open from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm.

 

VIDEO: DHRUV KHANNA OF KIRIGIN CELLARS, OLDEST WINERY IN SANTA CLARA VALLEY

Meet Dhruv Khannna, a lawyer and owner of Kirigin Cellars, the oldest winery in Santa Clara Valley. 2016 marks the centennial year of  Kirigin Cellars located in the oldest wine growing region in California.

Khanna combines the tech and agriculture strands of Santa Clara Valley, once known as “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” and now known as “Silicon Valley,” and home to some of the best hi-tech companies in the world.

We sat down with Khanna to find out how he went from a lawyer and co-founder of Covad to the owner of Kirigin Cellars. He shares what kinds of grapes they grow at the vineyard and their list of red and white wines. Kirigin is also known for its dessert wine – the coffee and chocolate infused Vino di Mocca, which is a creation of the former owner Mr.Kirigin.

This is perhaps the only winery in the USA that has a cricket field along with a couple of soccer fields. Khanna is passionate about playing cricket.

This interview was aired on TV in the USA.

Kirigin Cellars is open for wine tasting everyday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Address: Kirigin Cellars
11550 Watsonville Rd Gilroy, CA 95020

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.

 

VIDEO: GENE GUGLIELMO OF GUGLIELMO WINERY OF SANTA CLARA WINERIES

Meet Gene Guglielmo, a third generation winemaker from Santa Clara county, the oldest wine growing region in California. Guglielmo Winery is the oldest continuously family owned and operated winery in Santa Clara Valley.

We sat down with Guglielmo to find out the history of his family’s winery and taste a couple of Guglielmo wines. Guglielmo shares how his grandfather Emilio Guglielmo came from Piedmont in Italy to the San Francisco Bay area in the early 20th. After working in San Francisco his grandfather bought a vineyard in the Santa Clara Valley. His grandfather started making wine and slowly grew the business. After World War II George Washington Guglielmo (Emilio’s son and Gene’s father)  joined the winery and expanded it by installing new machinery and steel tanks. Today, Guglielmo makes a mix of red and white wines.

This TV interview was aired in the US.

Guglielmo Winery is locaed at 1480 E Main Ave, Morgan Hill, CA 95037. The tasting room is open 10am to 5pm every day and there is a $5 tasting fee.

 

Photos courtesy of Guglielmo Winery

SEPTEMBER IS CALIFORNIA WINE MONTH

Kirigin Cellars

 

We are celebrating California’s wine month with a series of audio, video and blog posts. In the San Francisco Bay area we are surrounded by wineries and vineyards from Sonoma, Napa, Livermore to the wineries of Santa Clara county.

Santa Clara Valley is home to the oldest wine growing region in California. Tucked away in Silicon Valley’s backyard are a cluster of wineries that make a variety of red and white wines. And some like Fortino Winery also make fruit-based wines in addition to red and white wines. Once known as vinegar alley and known for its jug wines, the wineries now produce award-winning wines.

Earlier this week I went on a tour of 3 wineries in Gilroy: Satori Cellars Winery, Kirigin Cellars and Fortino Winery. While I have visited wineries in this region I have never visited any of them during their harvest season. The purpose of this trip was to fulfill my curiosity of what it takes to harvest and make wine. Tha making wine is a lot of hard work is a mild understatement.

September is the busiest month for wineries for this marks the starts of the harvest season. What I discovered is that some wineries were busy picking their grapes and crushing them, while others were getting ready to pick them.

Tom Moller, Satori Cellars, Santa Clara Wineries

 

“When you pick the grapes is a very important decision,” points out Tom Moller of Satori Cellars Winery in Gilroy. Essentially when you pick the grapes determines how your wine will turn out at the end. The sugar level in the grapes will determine when they get picked and crushed.

 

Santa Clara Wineries

 

At Kirigin Cellars I watched as the grapes were dumped into a huge steel crusher to extract the grape juice for making the wine. “They have been picking grapes since 6 am,” points out Dhruv Khanna, owner of Kirigin Cellars that is celebrating its centennial year. They picked about 7 tonnes of grapes in the morning and by 1 pm they had them all crushed says Khanna as we stood by the wine crusher with bees buzzing around us. Surprisingly nobody seemed to pay any attention to the buzzing bees.

 

Fortino Winery

 

Fortinos of Fortino Winery

 

My final destination was Fortino Winery where I met Gino Fortino and his father Ernesto Fortino. The winery was established in 1970 by Fortino senior, who focussed on making wines from varietals. Fortino Winery is one of the few wineries that grows Charbono, a rare Italian varietal. ” We have 3 acres of Carbon out of the 80 acres in California,’ points out Fortino. Besides their estate grown red and white wines Fortino Winery also make a variety of fruit-based wines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Master Sommelier Richard Dean of San Francisco’s Taj Campton Place

Master Sommelier Richard Dean of Taj Campton Place

We sat down to talk with Master Sommelier Richard Dean of San Francisco’s Taj Campton Place. Here is an interesting fact I discovered from him and that is there are less than 240 Master Sommeliers in the world.He was the youngest in the world  and the second American to become a Master Sommelier in the world. Dean became a Master Sommelier about 40 years ago when California was not considered as a wine growing region.

When you meet  Dean he instantly makes you feel at ease. Perhaps that is the reason I felt comfortable enough to ask him really basic questions about wine, what glass to use with what wine, the art of pairing food with wine and his recommendations for visiting the vineyards in the San Francisco Bay area. And, we also wanted to find out if he has a “nose” for wines or did he have to work really hard at his job? Tune in to find out what he has to say.

LISTEN: Master Sommelier Richard Dean of San Francisco’s Taj Campton Place

This interview with Master Sommelier Richard Dean was originally aired on TV in the US.

You can subscribe to our podcast and  YouTube channel, where every week we feature new interviews.

 

 

 

Video: Sycamore Creek Vineyards in Santa Clara Valley

When you think of wine in California then the two places that instantly come to mind are Napa and Sonoma located north of San Francisco. Instead, if you drove down south of San Francisco into Silicon Valley area and a little beyond into the towns of Gilroy and Morgan Hill you will discover a wonderful wine trail of family-owned wineries. Santa Clara Valley is considered as  one of the oldest wine growing regions of California.

Santa Clara Valley is best for its start-ups and hi-tech companies and many are pleasantly surprised to discover  the wineries in this area. Guglielmo Winery is is the oldest winery dating back to 1925. Apparently in the 18th and 19th the wine grown in this region was used during sacrament by the California Missions. In the 20th the region witnessed an increase in vineyards, which petered out in the 1970s. In the past fews there has been a resurgence in vineyards and wineries in this area. In 2014 Santa Clara county unveiled the Santa Clara Wine Trail initiative to help promote the wines of this region.

Earlier this year, we caught up with a couple of folks from Santa Clara Wineries at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. We spoke with Sommelier Alicia Cuadra-Cuter of  Sycamore Creek Vineyards in Morgan Hill. In this video interview she offers helpful suggestions on how to judge wines. She walks us through a couple of Sycamore Creek Vineyards wines and helps us understand and discover their flavor profiles.