Mural celebrates wine

Gilroy greets new mural spotlighting regional wineries

Italian muralist Gianni Martino paints final strokes on his giant mural off Monterey Street in Gilroy. Credit: Barry Holtzclaw

In case you missed it, there is a new mural in town, and this week Gilroy’s downtown business community celebrated it with a ribbon cutting.

The sprawling colorful mural celebrates the wineries of Santa Clara Valley, and is located on the north side of the CMAP TV building at 7500 Monterey St.

Commissioned by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, the mural was painted by the same Italian artist who created the now-iconic “Garlic City” mural across the parking lot in the heart of downtown. The Chamber hosted a ribbon-cutting at the mural on Oct. 23.

Mark Turner, president and CEO of the Chamber, was enthusiastic about the work of Gianni Martino, who paid his own way from Torino, Italy, to complete the month-long project just in time for this week’s celebration. He painted the other mural in 1993, and the styles of the two are very similar.

Turner said he chose Martino because his was the low bid for the project, and also so the parking lot offers passersby a visually matched pair of wall-size postcards.

The new mural features names of the more than 20 wineries in the Santa Clara Valley, surrounding Gilroy and Morgan Hill, plus other sponsors, which include downtown businesses, wineries and Realtors.

Martino also has painted the signage for the Fifth Street Coffee Roasting Company across the street, whose inside wall includes a giant portrait of owner Yolanda Castaneda, also painted by Martino.

The original mural was the brainchild of the late Caryl Simpson, a Monterey Street retailer and founder of a gourmet condiment company, who also brought Martino back to Gilroy in 2013 to give the Garlic City mural a 20-year touchup. Simpson would pass away two years later. The original mural was financed by the Downtown Merchants Association.

Companies and individuals that contributed to the new mural include:

Accurate Printing and Promotions, Action Gypsum Supply West, Alara Cellars, Aver Family Vineyard, Bryan Bins, Church Creek Cellars, Clos LaChance, Creative Labels, Creekview Vineyard, Danny and Nita Mitchell, Dora Fortino, Dorcich Family Vineyards, Epic Painting, Fernwood Cellars, Fortino Winery, Gilroy Downtown Business Association, Gilroy Self-Storage Depot, Gilroy Welcome Center, GIna Lopez/State Farm, Hecker Pass Winery, Heller Vineyard and Wines, Integrated Financial Benefit Services, Jason-Stephens Winery, Jose Montes, Joyce Duarte, Larry Connell, Lion Ranch Winery, Lisa Faria/Coldwell Banker, Dora Fortino/Premier Paralegal Services, Mayor Roland Velasco, Martin Ranch Winery, Medeiros Family Wines, Merrill Gardens, Michele Campbell Insurance, Miramar Vineyards, Morgan Hill Cellars, Northern California Plasterers’ Apprenticeship Local 300, Oliveira Plastering, Rivers del Rey, Sarah’s Vineyard, Satori Cellars, Seeker Vineyards, Solis Winery, Starritt Realty, Stefania Wine, Vivan Investment Partners.