Kim Englehardt lion ranch wineries of santa clara valley
Kim Englehardt, president of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, said the outlook is strong for the local winemaking region. Contributed photo

Stacy Giannini, director of marketing for Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, who helped stage the first regional tasting for the group last year at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, anticipates a good turnout for the upcoming annual wine auction March 25 at Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill. 

Certainly one of the oldest and most historic wineries of the region, dating back to 1925, the event center at Guglielmo is always ready to welcome visitors and share a taste of Old World hospitality. The Guglielmo Family has owned and operated the facility since Italian immigrants, Emilio and Emilia Guglielmo, saved up enough money to purchase acreage in Morgan Hill, where they planted vines and built the winery that is still in use today. 

“We’re holding this year’s event at Guglielmo Winery, which will accommodate a much larger crowd than in the past,” Giannini said. “We have a total of 18 wineries and 10 local restaurants who will be pouring and serving. This year’s auction will feature a VIP wine tasting experience that will be led by Mary Orlin and Mary Babbitt from the ‘Sip, Sip Hooray!’ podcast. They’ll taste five wines, while discussing the complexities of the wine with the winemakers who have produced them. We have a variety of auction items that include international trips, wine dinners, events, autographed memorabilia and wine.” 

The 2023 Santa Clara Valley Wine Auction is presented by the Morgan Hill Community Foundation, and will feature the cuisine of local chefs, along with wines from the area’s growing number of wineries. VIP admission is at 5pm; general admission is at 6pm. Tickets are available at

Kim Englehardt, president of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, explained that the importance of this event goes beyond raising money. 

“The Santa Clara Valley Wine Auction provides the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley and the Morgan Hill Community Foundation the opportunity to build relationships with people who are passionate about supporting programs and initiatives that serve their communities,” she said. “It enables our wine producers valuable exposure and showcases their finest wines to potential buyers who may also be interested in supporting their wineries beyond the auction.” 

Significant momentum is building for the region, home to the Santa Clara Valley Wine Trail, which now boasts 30 stops, with clear signage along the roadways between Morgan Hill and Gilroy. A pass good for one year can be purchased for $90 from the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley website. Englehardt, who makes wine for Lion Ranch in San Martin, the brand she co-owns with her husband, Todd, said the region is growing and the outlook is brighter than ever. 

“Out of the 4,500 acres in the valley planted in vines, 70% are 20-acre vineyards or less,” she said. “Growers focus on growing the highest quality wine grapes from each site with most vineyards tending their vines by hand.

“The most prevalent varieties include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel, but you can find 48 more varietals (and counting) that are currently being farmed throughout our Valley.”  

Lion Ranch is among those planting Rhone varieties never before seen in the valley, including Terret Noir, Muscardin and Vaccarese. 

This year’s wine auction will also feature some new members. Says Englehardt, “We’re excited to announce our newest member wineries Besson and Horse Thief, both located in Gilroy. We also will welcome DeRose, with a long history in Hollister, who will have their second tasting room coming soon in San Martin.”


Participating wineries:

Besson Vineyards

Calerrain Wine

Cinnabar Winery

Clos LaChance Winery

Dorcich Family Vineyards

Fortino Winery 

Guglielmo Winery

Kirigin Cellars

L & M Vineyards

Lighpost Winery

Little Uvas Vineyard

Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Martin Ranch Winery


Moose Mountain Vineyards

Sarah’s Vineyard

Solis Winery

Verde Vineyards

La Vie Dansante

Participating restaurants:

Sinaloa Cafe

Trail Dust BBQ

Bubbles & Brews


Noah’s Bar & Bistro

Betto’s Bistro

Nick the Greek

Teresa’s Morgan Hill Cafe

Rosy’s at the Beach

Mama Mia’s Morgan Hill 

Among this year’s auction items:

• 14KW diamond pendant from Jewel Box Morgan Hill

• Seven-day Mexico trip donated by Miramar Vineyards

• Joe Montana signed football helmet

• Foursome golf round at Cinnabar Hills with two golf carts

• Four VIP tasting with winemaker Meghan Zobeck at Burgess Winery in Napa

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