The Downtown Campbell Business Association held their sold-out Fall Wine Walk on September 17, welcoming hundreds of visitors to the many businesses in the Downtown Campbell. Winemakers from 34 wineries from around Northern California were there to share their wines with visitors while everyone had the chance to explore the many interesting shops in downtown Campbell.
This was a great opportunity to learn about this unique area of Silicon Valley. The compact four-block long downtown offers visitors and shoppers a wide range of opportunities including restaurants, toy store, antique stores, boutiques, salons and even a funeral parlor and automobile dealer. Campbell offered a large number of wineries and participation by most of the businesses in the area. Yet it was easy to sample the wines along Campbell Avenue while checking out the stores.
Here is just a sample of what could be found during the Fall Wine Walk.
- Travieso Winery is located very close to downtown Campbell and they were found in Simply Smashing, a boutique with distinctive clothing and gifts for women. Travieso showed off their La Llorona Viognier Chardonnay Roussanne blend, a delicious white blend. They also brought along their El Tonto Del Pueblo Grenache from Santa Barbara County.
- Sorelle Salon and Spa on First Street hosted Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery, a new winery in San Martin. This was one of the first public presentations of wines from this winery. The history of Lion Ranch, originally part of the Spanish land grant Rancho San Francisco de las Llagas, began in the last 1800s when Lazard “Leopold” Lion purchased 5585 acres to use for farming fruit orchards and other crops. They shared their 2013 Viognier from Santa Clara Valley and the 2013 Lion’s Share, a white blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne with a touch of Grenache Blanc.
- Loma Prieta Winery in Santa Cruz Mountains brought their Pinotage to The Cruiser Shop, the only bike shop in the bay area that is dedicated to Cruisers and the Custom Bicycle Culture. Loma Prieta Winery is the largest American producer of Pinotage. Pinotage is a grape that was developed in South Africa as a cross between Pinot Noir and Hermitage (also known as Cinsault) and thus called Pinotage as a combination of its parents. It is relatively unknown in the USA with only about 25 acres planted in California, three of which are now at Loma Prieta Winery.
- Martin Ranch Winery from Santa Cruz Mountains was serving their 2012 J.D. Hurley Sauvignon Blanc and the 2011 J.D. Hurley Cabernet Sauvignon at a table outside of Brown Chicken Brown Cow, a premium burger, sandwich and salads restaurant. The restaurant was kind enough to bring out some cheeses for the wine lovers to enjoy with the wine. And the burgers there were fantastic.
- Toys Toys Toys is an exciting toy store in Campbell that reminds us of toy stores in the past with a great collection of interesting and educational toys but with the service and satisfaction you expect from a boutique toy store. Here I say many toys not found elsewhere. They were hosting Trout Gulch Vineyards from Santa Cruz Mountains. This family winery focusses on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. At the Wine Walk, they brought their 20121 Chardonnay, 2011 Grenache and 2011 Rose.
- Regale Winery and Vineyards was located in the soon-to-be Rendezvous Wine Bar. Larry Schaadt, developer and owner of Regale Winery has leased the old Gaslighter Theater Building and is in the process of converting it to a wine bar and restaurant that will also serve as a tasting room for Regale. At the Wine Walk they served their 2012 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and their Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Downtown Campbell Business Association hosts several Wine Walks during the year. Check back with the San Jose Wine Examiner for details on the next event. And, in the meanwhile, be sure to visit Downtown Campbell, with plenty of parking, many interesting shops and eateries and a step back in time to when downtown really met something!
There is not enough time to list all the shops that hosted this great collection of wineries, so you will have to visit the area for yourself. Also, check out the photo gallery to see some of the winemakers in attendance.
For more information about Downtown Campbell and their many events:
- Downtown Campbell Business Association