Just because you have enjoyed a Sangiovese or Nebbiolo doesn’t mean you have explored the full range of Italian-inspired wines.
Ever tasted a Charbono, Dulcetto, Grignolino, or Vermentino? Well, if you are still nodding “yes “ to all four, how about a Sagrantino? That one caught my attention during a visit to the Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill.
Guglielmo is a family owned winery that has been making wines for close to a 100 years. It was founded in 1925, in the early stage of Prohibition, which tells you what one Italian-American family thought of that crazy experiment.
Sagrantino is a new addition to the family’s estate holdings and the vines border the imposing brick winery. This red wine grape is at home in Umbria, in Central Italy. It is the grape used for Montefalco wines. Janics Robinson mentions it in her definitive book, and one other California winery grows the grape.
But back to Guglielmo Winery, now run by the fourth generation.
That in itself is amazing for California wine but not that unusual in Italy.
The only other California wineries that have been in family hands longer are Wente and Concannon. The Mondavis bought Charles Krug in the 1940s and for those curious, Gallo started up in 1933.
Guglielmo is a great winery to visit, not only for its history but for its current wines. You feel like you are going back in time, seeing what wineries were like in Santa Clara County before trophy Napa wines and Silicon Valley.
Before Apple and Google, Santa Clara was a major wine region, with more history and vineyards than Napa Valley.
I love the fact that the winery and the 80 acre estate vineyards are surviving today as urban life moves into the neighborhood and Google buses are circling the area.
Tasting five wines will set you back $10. And all of $15 if you want to taste the Reserve line. My favorites are the Barbera, one of the very best, Dolcetto, Grignolino, Sangiovese, and the Sagrantino which was first produced in 2016.
It is richly flavored with ripe dark fruit…sort of like Zinfandel with more structure and balance. “Zinfandel without the flab” was my note.
And, Guiglielmo’s Grignolino Rose is a thing of beauty. Old-fashioned Rose in the good sense, meaning best with food.
The winery also makes Teroldego and Charbono which I plan to taste on my next visit.
If you like history, enjoy trying new wines, and want to travel back in time, then, check out the winery and its wine club.
located at 1480 East Main Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA. The winery is less than 20 minutes south of San Jose, 1.5 hours south of San Francisco and 45 minutes north of Monterey.