Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail Route Revealed
Earlier this year, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail Route. It will feature 70-plus directional signs bearing the logo of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley that will guide visitors to South County wineries.
Supervisor Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, commented, “I believe strongly in promoting our County’s assets, including our agricultural heritage. After hearing from our wine community that there was a strong desire to establish a wine route, we worked together to make it happen.”
According to Greg Richtarek, president of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, a 21-member organization, “Many other wine regions already enjoy the significant boost in tourism enhanced by clear, attractive signage. As the ‘forgotten AVA’ that is often omitted from maps depicting the state’s viticulture regions, it’s gratifying to have long overdue and proper recognition for the Santa Clara Valley.”
The official unveiling of the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail will take place on Friday, August 22, 2014, with a ribbon cutting and news conference, to be held at 10am at Guglielmo Winery, the oldest continuously family owned and operated winery in the region, dating back to 1925.
This will be followed by a media bus tour to Morgan Hill Cellars, Thomas Kruse, Fortino Winery and Kirigin Cellars, where additional signs will be unveiled. All are among the original wineries in the region.
The public will have an opportunity to cruise the new Wine Trail on August 23 and 24, when an official “Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail Celebration” will be held at participating wineries. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at participating wineries and the Gilroy Welcome Center. See santaclarawines.com for more information.
Santa Clara County’s Valley’s wine trail signage is the result of combined efforts by the County of Santa Clara, the cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy, along with the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Wine association, whose members brainstormed the wine trail idea and will pay for the installation and maintenance of any replacement or new signs needed along the SCV Wine Trail route in the future.
Jane Howard, Executive Director of the Gilroy Welcome Center, said, “Our local wineries are truly ‘hidden gems,’ so we are thrilled that these new signs will help make it easier for out-of-town visitors to find them! The wineries are a huge boost to tourism, bringing more people to discover the world-class dining, lodging, and other outstanding recreation opportunities that the entire area has to offer.”
Morgan Hill Mayor, Steve Tate, concurred, saying, “The wine trail is an important component of our tourism effort to promote South Santa Clara County as a weekend destination for residents all along the Peninsula from San Francisco south to King City. We want people to think of us as the closest get-away.”
Wine trail signage will guide motorists in a loop through South County, along Watsonville Road, Hecker Pass Highway and the east sides of Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill. Branches off the main trail will direct vehicles to more remote wineries, and signs reminding motorists “Don’t Drink and Drive” will be installed at key locations along the route.
Visitors will also discover a wealth of farms in the region offering a variety of produce for sale on a seasonal basis. www.countrycrossroadsmap.com
About the Santa Clara AVA
It has been documented that the Santa Clara Valley was the first planting of premium vines in California, from European cuttings, dating back to 1852. This makes Santa Clara Valley the oldest premium wine growing region in the state. For more information on the region, visit santaclarawines.com