There are at least two dozen premium wineries in Santa Clara Valley (also called Silicon Valley, for the techies out there). Being folks of limited exposure, limited capacity, and most of all limited budget, we visited only three. However, we managed to increase the profitability of all three!
The first was right next door to our RV park. Sycamore Creek, like so many wineries, is small, but produces excellent wines.
Sycamore Creek's tasting room is inside their storage warehouse; the oak barrels were calling to us!
Sycamore Creek offers up to six tastings of their regular wines at no charge. The other side of the wine list shows their estate wines, higher quality perhaps, and limited quantities. To taste those wines will cost $5 for six samples.
Our second visit was to Kirigin Cellars, another small but excellent producer. They produce primarily red wines, but also offered a splendid white. Their knowledgeable tastemeister described each wine as we sampled it. He sounded so proprietary I asked if he were part of the ownership of the winery. He said he was a part-time employee but really enjoyed the Kirigin wines so much that he felt a kind of ownership. He is actually a graduate student working toward a career in forestry, perhaps as a ranger.
Turns out it is partly tradition, but also very practical. Grapevines are particularly susceptible to certain diseases, particularly fungus diseases. Roses are not only susceptible to the same diseases, they are early warning devices, as they are more susceptible than the grapevines! If you see the disease on your roses, you have time to spray the grape vines and save your crop!
And that's what we have learned during this part of ... Our Life on Wheels!