Downtown group plans wine stroll for May

Downtown group plans wine stroll for May

It may not be as renowned as the Napa Valley to the north, but
the Santa Clara Valley is still a vintner’s destination spot that
churns out award-winning wines each year. This spring, the Gilroy
Downtown Business Association plans to put those wineries offerings
on display in downtown Gilroy during the city’s first Wine
Stroll.
It may not be as renowned as the Napa Valley to the north, but the Santa Clara Valley is still a vintner’s destination spot that churns out award-winning wines each year. This spring, the Gilroy Downtown Business Association plans to put those wineries offerings on display in downtown Gilroy during the city’s first Wine Stroll.

“It’s a real fun thing to do for a community to get people downtown,” said Jane Howard, executive director of the Gilroy Visitors Bureau and chair of the event.

All of the wineries that plan to take part are members of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley trade group, and most of those wineries are in the South Country area.

Although final details for the event have yet to be determined, the Gilroy Downtown Business Association tentatively plans to host the event from 3 to 6 p.m. May 15.

The Santa Clara Valley is fortunate to have local wineries of such a high caliber, Howard said, saying that she expects 10 to 12 wineries to participate.

“To me, it’s amazing that a lot of locals are not aware of the wineries that we have here and the outstanding wines they’re producing,” she said.

Howard noted that the City of Lodi – near Stockton – held a similar event in the past, and Morgan Hill had a wine stroll of its own last year.

Participants in the Gilroy event must purchase a ticket, which comes with a wine glass and allows the participant to stroll through downtown tasting wines and eating hors d’oeuvres inside stores.

Eric Howard, Jane Howard’s nephew and president of the Gilroy Downtown Business Association, said Gilroy could build to host two wine strolls each year if this inaugural event is successful.

Although there will be no entertainment outdoors, merchants might provide entertainment inside their stores, Eric Howard said. For instance, he is considering having a guitarist play inside Bruce’s Tire, where he works. He has received a lot of positive feedback about the event from members of the community thus far, he said.

Jackie Starkovitch, winery directory at Gilroy-based Martin Ranch Winery, said she has heard a lot of enthusiasm from Wineries of Santa Clara Valley members too.

“It will be great,” she said.

Although ticket prices for the event have yet to be determined, Jane Howard said they likely will be comparable to the Morgan Hill event, which was somewhere around $20 per person.

The event is just one of several events offered by the Gilroy Downtown Business Association, including the annual holiday parade and the Garlic City Fun Run – an annual car show that attracts 4,000 to 5,000 people downtown each year. The auto event is scheduled for June 26, Eric Howard said.

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