Santa Clara Valley: The Hidden Gem of Wine Tasting

Out of all the California wine regions, I love Napa and love everything that is has to offer. However, I must admit that I’m spoiled and rarely have to pay for a tasting. My aunt lives there and we always head to the wineries that she is a member at. If I didn’t have the connection of my Aunt, I wouldn’t be able to afford wine tasting there at all. The average tasting fee now ranges from $20-$200, although the average is about $40.

Don’t worry though, I have just the right alternative for you! Santa Clara County in the South Bay Area has a ton of great wineries at a reasonable price. The wineries are spread out between Palo Alto all the way to Gilroy so there are plenty to choose from. Plus, the average tasting fee is $20! Can’t beat that!!

I might be biased because I am a part of their wine clubs, but my favorites are Dorcich and Cottage Creek wineries in Morgan Hill. They both have a beautiful outdoor space and AMAZING wines to choose from. Their tastings are $20-25 but if you purchase wine, they will comp the tasting! I truly love all their wines but here are a few of my favorites…


They have two labels, Ankora and DFV which is the premium label. I love the Ankora Rose in the summer and the Zinfandel. I am obsessed with all the DFV wines but I am a HUGE fan ofthe Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon and the Dolina, which is a red blend, but so bold and tasty. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of their wines! We have been a member at Dorcich for 3 years now, so I can’t help it, I just love their wines so much!

Cottage Creek

We recently joined this family winery last year and are so happy with our decision. They are open two weekends a month and offer all types of wine. They even have a cottage that you can book on their property. Much like Dorcich, they also have a few different labels and flights to choose from. My favorite wines are the Luminous, which is a red blend, and the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Plus, if you are a white wine drinker, they have a flight just for you. Make sure to try the Clarity Chardonnay!

I know that I only mentioned two wineries because I am a member at both, but if you have the opportunity to wine taste in Santa Clara County, more specifically in Morgan Hill, you are in for a real treat!

What are your favorite wineries? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Rachael Hunter
Food Columnist | + posts


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1 year ago

Okay, Rachael Sold. I’m heading to Dorcich now. I want to be able to tell people I’ve been there, even if I don’t drink wine. My wife will love this place and probably Cottage Creek too!

Trish Althaus
Trish Althaus
1 year ago

It’s wonderful to hear about wineries that are less known. California has so many wineries it is hard to know where to start. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Clara Althaus
Clara Althaus
1 year ago

I have always wanted to go wine tasting and I am now even more intrigued to go! Thank you for the great suggestions, I’ll have to put it on my to-do list.

1 year ago

I must admit that I also am members of those wineries and I love them just as much as you do. They both have beautiful open spaces to sit and enjoy your tasting. They make you feel like family and welcome you with open arms. By the way. The dog is adorable!

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