Castillo's Hillside Shire, Morgan Hill
A trip to Gilroy or Morgan Hill is a nice reminder of the Santa Clara Valley's agricultural beginnings - as you drive to the wineries, you'll pass small farms, horse ranches and perhaps an orchard or two - it's a great getaway, and only about 40 minutes from downtown San Jose. The climate here is generally warmer than the Los Gatos/Saratoga area, so the grapes that love hot weather, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and even Rhone varietals are grown here, in addition to some Chard & Pinot (in cooler microclimates, near Hecker Pass). For wine tour experiences, the wineries here have great picnic spots, behind-the-scenes tours at Clos LaChance, outdoor seated tastings, winery dinners, barrel tastings, a serenade inside the Tasting Room at Castillo's Hillside Shire, and more.
Castillo's Hillside Shire - Next to the family mansion on the hill, sits an authentic re-creation of an English Shire-style house - the Tasting Room for Castillo's Hillside Shire Winery!
Kirigin Cellars - Known for their unique dessert wine, Vino de Mocca, Kirigin also has lots of outdoor activity space (huge baseball field and a cricket field on-site), a new Event Center for weddings and corporate events, and a beautiful picnic arbor with views of rolling hills, grazing cows and vineyards
Jason-Stephens - In the scenic Uvas Valley, this winery surprises with wonderful wines and a nice mix of modern and rustic charm. Options here include barrel tasting inside the wine cellar, or outdoor seated tasting on the patio
Satori Cellars - The local Hippie-style winery, Satori offers a cosmic array of wines, such as Chardonnay of the Pink Ray - even their picnic tables pop with color, against a backdrop of estate Zinfandel vines.
Solis Winery - A small family-run winery surrounded by acres of Sangiovese vineyards. We love their Summertime music events, and sit-down guided tastings under the shade trees on the lawn
Sycamore Creek - A warehouse-style setting, with a nice patio to enjoy the Uvas Valley views! Now a Leal-owned property, as of late 2015, with dining for groups of 50+
Kirigin Cellars' 1916 Room
Tasting in the vineyard at Clos LaChance