Other integral members of the project, including Dr. Jon Hatakeyama of Morgan Hill, Jane Howard from the Gilroy Welcome Center, and County Supervisor Mike Wasserman, were in attendance as well. The ceremony began with a speech by Sampognaro, thanking the members of the community who helped spearhead the project. He noted that the installation of the Wine Trail signs last year was a huge boost to the local tourism industry and growth in visitors to the local wineries and area as a whole.
It was mentioned that the local wine industry adds approximately $180 million dollars into the local economy, a figure estimated before the installation of the Wine Trail signs. Time will tell what the impact of the signage is to the local economy, but the future looks good.
Wasserman also had some great words to say about our local wine industry and the Wine Trail itself. He mentioned all the accolades our local wineries have accumulated, the increasing quality of our wines, and that, “Napa ain’t got nothing on South County.”
Last year’s inaugural event began at one of the area’s oldest wineries, Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill. This year’s event began at Lion Ranch in San Martin, one of the newest wineries in the area, and followed a tour of other newcomers such as Stefania in Gilroy and Seeker in San Martin. The tour then concluded with a visit to Lightheart Cellars in San Martin, a neighbor to Lion Ranch.
Wine tasters could then follow the signs and taste at participating wineries as they celebrated the anniversary of the event
Participating wineries also offered a variety of events from barrel tasting to music, food and more. The Wineries of the Santa Clara Valley intend to make this an annual event. For more information visit SantaClaraWines.com.