South County

South County refers to the southern part of Santa Clara County, namely Morgan Hill, San Martin, Gilroy, and further out to the county lines.

There’s a tremendous amount of variety within this area in terms of neighborhood, terrain, home types, urban vs rural, etc. On our local multiple listing service, this vast region is all “Area 1”.

 

Morgan Hill Jackson Oaks view of South County

South County living

People living in South County may be in a fairly urban area of Gilroy or Morgan Hill, with restaurants, shops, and a train station within a few blocks. It could be more suburban or centered on or near a golf course, parkland, or other open space.

The could just as easily be in farmland or ranchland, with vineyards, fruit and nut orchards, or other produce growing (particularly garlic and mushrooms). There are even some flower farms and grass farms in this part of Santa Clara County! Possibly instead your neighbors could be goats, horses, donkeys, cows, or sheep, depending on how far out you’re looking.

These communities are populated mostly close to Highway 101, and are otherwise fairly rural.

Morgan Hill, San Martin, and Gilroy info

 

Please check out the individual posts for these South County areas and learn more about each of them:

Related reading on another of our sites

Morgan Hill (on popehandy.com)

San Martin real estate (on popehandy.com

Gilroy (on popehandy.com

Willow Glen Wine Walk

How does an afternoon of fine wines, springtime sunshine, and a stroll through a charming old downtown sound? Good? Well then, you might be interested in visiting Downtown Willow Glen during this year’s Spring Wine Walk!

Willow Glen invites you to “Sip and Stroll the Avenue” on Saturday, April 12th from 2pm to 5pm. Attendees will receive a wristband, wine glass, and a map to guide you around the day’s tasting locations.

Tickets are currently available online through Eventbrite for $30 per person and, if available, tickets will be sold on the day of for a bit more ($45/ person). Grab your friends and go for the group price ($30 in advance per person for a group of 10+).

 

 

Be sure to read through the links below for check-in information, parking instructions, and more.

Information and Ticket Purchasing: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/willow-glen-2018-spring-wine-walk-tickets-41436677217

Downtown Willow Glen event page: http://www.willowglen.org/Wine-Walks

 

 

 

Saratoga Holiday Wine Stroll

The Saratoga holiday season begins this Saturday, November 26, 2016, with the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Wine Stroll followed by Tree Lighting & Celebration of Light.

Tickets for the Wine Stroll are on sale now online or by phone for $40 and will be available day-of for $45. The Stroll goes from 2pm to 5pm. Visit the website or call 408-867-0753 for more details.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5:30pm. For more information, visit the website at saratoga.ca.us/treelighting

 

 

 

 

A visit to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino

For Father’s Day, my husband thought it would be nice to take a leisurely back-roads drive to Ridge Vineyards in Cupertino via Pierce Road in Saratoga and then do a little wine tasting.  It was nice to get away from major roads and freeways, and we very much enjoyed the drive – but much more so the destination!

Every time we visit Ridge, it seems to be just a little bit nicer than when we’d last seen it. The grounds have gone from rustic to sophisticated and there are many more places to enjoy a little wine and picnic now as compared to ten or twenty years ago. (I think I first joined Jim there more than 30 years ago.)  Here are a few photos of our trek there today. It’s always a pleasant place to visit, and often the views are spectacular.

 

For more info about Ridge, tasting, or joining any of their member programs, please visit them online or stop by the lovely Montebello Road campus when they’re open.

17100 Monte Bello Road Cupertino, CA 95014

Phone 408.867.3233

Love Cupertino? Check out housing market info here:

Cupertino Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics

 

 

 

 

J Lohr Wine Tasting Room in San Jose: worth a visit!

J Lohr Wine Tasting Room in San Jose (about 2 miles from downtown SJ)Awhile back, a Realtor friend, Colleen Kulikowski, was visiting from the Buffalo & Niagara Falls area of New York. Together we attended the California Association of Realtors conference in San Jose, CAR EXPO, where we enjoyed some great sessions and at which I was a panelist one day on social media and real estate blogging.   I very much wanted her to see more than just the inside of a conference center, though, so in the evenings and days before and after we saw some sights along the coast and went wine tasting in Los Gatos, Willow Glen, Monterey and central San Jose at the fabulously convenient J Lohr Tasting Room.

At J Lohr Wine Tasting Rooms, you can choose from available wines which ones you'd like to tryAs we  walked up to the door, I volunteered to pay for our tasting – just before noticing that it’s at no charge!  This is pretty rare today in Santa Clara County, Monterey County or Santa Cruz County wineries.  (When a tasting is free I always buy a bottle anyway if I enjoy the wine, and normally I do.)

Our hostess was very nice and gave us a printout of what could be tried that day and explained that we could select 6 and then she would “put them in order”.  Colleen and I prefer different types of wines so had little overlap in our selections – it was great to have so much variety.We both liked a number of wines and both made purchases (so they did ok on the free tasting by us). (more…)

The Grapevine wine, cheese and tasting bar in Willow Glen area of San Jose

Grapevine wine, cheese and tasting bar logoDowntown Willow Glen (part of central San Jose) offers fabulous strolling, dining and shopping. It’s a great destination spot, whether people want to go there for an afternoon, an evening, or a lifetime (read about Willow Glen real estate here, and ask me about Willow Glen neighborhoods).

Recently I had a friend visiting and I wanted to introduce her to this neat, historic and scenic part of Silicon Valley. We stopped in to Grapevine, a wine & cheese bar, one evening after the California Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in downtown San Jose.

Grapevine wine, cheese and tasting barThe service at the Grapevine was extremely good with friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable staff.  Menu offerings were extensive with varied wine and appetizer selections.  The ambiance was pleasant too, with great views onto the avenue, plenty of light and comfortable spacing between tables. In this age of frugality, it’s fair to mention that pricing is reasonable, too.

Colleen and I very much enjoyed the 60-90 minutes we spent at the Grapevine wine & cheese bar.  We each had a “flight” and tried 3 types of wine apiece and also ordered a yummy hot appetizer which featured artichokes, cheese and bread.  It was a great combination and very unhurried too.

Want to enjoy a little leisure time in beautiful Willow Glen? Take a little time and pop into the Grapevine Wine & Cheese Bar and try the offerings. You’ll be glad you did!

1389 Lincoln Avenue, Willow Glen – San Jose, CA, 95125

hone: (408)293-7574

http://www.grapevinewillowglen.com

 

 

 

Wine Tasting in Saratoga

Uncorked wine tasting in Saratoga CASaratoga has become a great place to go wine tasting.  Until just a few years ago, there were vineyards and wineries in and near to Saratoga, but no tasting rooms for many years, so oenophiles were out of luck if they wanted to wine taste in Saratoga.  Luckily, a trend is underway and tasting venues have been on the rise.  Today I’ll review for  you five of the places I’ve visited and enjoyed.  Three of them are right in Saratoga Village and a few more are not too far away. All have seating of some kind, either outside or in, and all of them have friendly, knowledgeable staff in my experience.

In Saratoga’s downtown Village you’ll find Cinnabar, Big Basin Vineyards and also Uncorked!, a wine bar (showcasing many wines from many vintners).  A little further out you can taste at Savannah-Chanelle and Cooper-Garrod. I’ll discuss each of them in this post.

Cinnabar opened a tasting room in Saratoga Village about 3 years ago and we finally paid it a visit yesterday (Labor Day).  Cinnabar’s chardonnay has long been one of my very favorites, so I was looking forward to sampling that and several other offerings.

The tasting room was positively hopping when Jim and I stopped in. Malcolm poured for us and educated us on the wines.  Luckily he wasn’t working alone so had plenty of time to tell us about what we were trying, about the wine club, events and more.  Cinnabar has two “flight” options, one at $5 (four wines) and one at $10 (5 wines) per person – please see their website for info on those.  Also, Cinnabar has a nicely done Saratoga visitors guide on their website – check it out!

The setting is very inviting, with a  unique gift shop and tables outside too – you can purchase “wine by the glass” and sip it outdoors, watching the activity on Big Basin Way.   This month (Sept 2010) Cinnabar also has Friday Evening Music on the Patio from 5:30 – 7:00pm.  Make it a first stop on your way to dinner in town!

Cinnabar Winery Tasting Room
14612 Big Basin Way
Tel. 408 867-1012
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