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Wineries of Santa Clara Valley Win Big (Again!) at SF Chronicle Wine Competition

The best-kept-secret in California wines may not be a secret much longer, as 13 different wineries in Gilroy and the Santa Clara Valley brought home 70 awards in the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the world’s largest competition for American wines.

It turns out that bigger is not always better when it comes to producing great wines. Bucolic Martin Ranch Winery, nestled in the mountains west of Gilroy, cleaned up at this year’s competition. Owners Dan and Therese Martin brought home 12 total awards, including “Best of Class” for the 2013 J.D. Hurley Merlot and three Gold awards for the 2012 Therese Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Triva Vineyard-Therese Vineyards Pinot Noir, and 2014 J.D. Hurley Zinfandel.

Kirigin Cellars will also have to clear some room in their trophy case. After celebrating their centennial anniversary last year, Kirigin won big with 11 total awards, including “Best of Class” for the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Double Gold for the 2015 Petite Sirah, and two Gold awards for the 2016 Chardonnay and 2015 Syrah.

“We are delighted to receive this recognition for our award-winning wines,” said Kirigin Cellars owner Dhruv Khanna. “We have successfully carved out a niche for ourselves with exceptional and consistently high-quality winemaking across our product line.”

Other Gilroy wineries taking home multiple awards included Satori Cellars (4), Fortino Winery (4), Solis Winery (3), and Stefania (2). Solis Winery’s awards included the coveted Double Gold for its 2013 Cara Mia and Gold for 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Vic Vanni, co-owner of Solis Winery, said, “Our Cara Mia Bordeaux blend has always been a fan favorite, so it’s very rewarding to get the judges’ approval as well with this Double Gold award. We are also proud to know that we can excel in the Cabernet Sauvignon category while competing against some of the top wineries in the country!”

Other top Santa Clara Valley winners included Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards in Saratoga, which won six total awards, including “Best of Class” for its 2013 Finley Vineyard Sirah; Clos La Chance in San Martin, with two awards including Double Gold for its 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon; and J. Lohr Vineyard in San Jose, which won eight total awards including Double Gold for the 2014 Arroyo Vista Chardonnay.

Rounding out the region’s award-winners were Creekview Vineyards in San Martin (8), Castillo’s Hillside Shire Winery in Morgan Hill (5), Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill (3), and Lion’s Ranch Vineyards & Winery in San Martin (2).

Many of the award-winning wines are available at tasting rooms along the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail; hours of operation may vary. See www.VisitGilroy.com for a complete listing of wineries and a downloadable Wine Trail map.

A complete list of the 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition winners can be viewed at http://winejudging.com.

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