Historic vineyard

Touring Solis Winery in Gilroy

Ron and Toni Davidson, with their dog Cosmo and friend Angela Kimball enjoy a bottle of Solis’ finest. Photo: Bev Stenehjem BOLD FLAVORS Ron and Toni Davidson, with their dog Cosmo and friend Angela Kimball enjoy a bottle of Solis’ finest. Photo: Bev Stenehjem

Solis Winery, one of Santa Clara Valley’s oldest wineries, is always a pleasure to visit. A small house, built in the 1900s and adorned with abalone shells that sparkle in the sun, greets visitors upon entering the driveway.

Entering the tasting room, guests are treated to a front-and-center view of the winery’s gorgeous vineyards, the local hills serving as a natural backdrop. For the past 16 years, Solis Winery has been owned by brothers Vic and Michael Vanni, and making bold-flavored wines from Italian varietals.

After several years of waiting for a new planting, their delicious Fiano has returned. An uncommon varietal, it is my favorite alternative to Chardonnay. With fresh tastes of pineapple, peach, pine nuts and hints of savory herbs, it finishes with a racy tang. It’s great for sipping or when paired with seafood, creamy cheeses or roasted chicken.

Their red wines are dry and food-friendly. If you like Super-Tuscans, like I do, you will enjoy the Seducente Reserve 2012 ($28), a gold medal winner—which pairs well with pizza and big Italian dinners. The Petit Verdot Estate 2012 ($30), with well-structured tannins, will present well through 2022. The Estate Syrah 2012 ($36) has tons of red fruit and a hint of smoke on the soft, silky finish.

Toni Davidson, a six-year wine club member visiting from Sunnyvale, says it best, “All their wines are delicious!”

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at bevstenehjem@gmail.com.
Bev Stenehjem

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About Bev Stenehjem
Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at bevstenehjem@gmail.com.