Articles by Bev Stenehjem

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 [email protected].


Rapazzini Winery has been a visual icon along Highway 101 since 1962 when it first opened. The Larson brothers, Alex and Charlie, purchased the winery in 2000 to continue the long tradition of fine winemaking. Acting as sentries, two standard poodles were regally seated at the [...]

Lush Hills

We passed row after row of grapevines along the driveway to Clos LaChance Winery—all 150 planted acres lush against the hills of CordeValle. With a gorgeous tasting room and a large patio overlooking rolling hills this is one of our most beautiful wineries. There were three [...]

Wine Faux Pas

Swirling too hard. And spilling it all over. Putting ice cubes in your wine. Place the bottle in a bucket of ice or try liquid-filled stainless steel “ice-cubes” or even frozen red or green grapes—so as not to dilute your wine. Mispronouncing Meritage. To be correct, [...]

Rustic vibe

It was jam-packed on opening day at the 18th Barrel wine and beer tasting room. Owned by Monica and Anthony Ramirez, it is the newest business to take the corner of Third and Polk Street in San Juan Bautista. It’s got a rustic, steampunk decor with open-beam ceiling, granite [...]

Food truck roundup

Most people smirk at the name of food trucks, recalling the old cliché, “roach-coach” and envisioning greasy foods served by questionable cooks. But in today’s new world, food trucks have gone upscale and gourmet. In search of enlightenment of how far food trucks have [...]

Gastronomic wonder

Move over wine and food pairing. It’s cocktail time. According to The Milias Restaurant, in Gilroy, pairing cocktails with dinner has become its most popular event. “We tried doing wine dinners but had very few takers,” says chef and co-owner Adam Sanchez. After doing a [...]


Getting to Stefania Wine took us onto a meandering country road through the golden hills of west Gilroy. We pulled up front to the tasting room, adjacent to the winemakers’ home owned by Stefania and Paul Romero. As married business partners, Stefania and Paul take care of the [...]

Wine rides

Anyone planning a day at our local wineries with a group of friends should consider booking the chauffeured services of California Passport Tours; a boutique travel and transportation company offering food and wine tasting experiences to local wineries in south Santa Clara [...]

Hiram’s speakeasy

Pssst—what’s the password? You better have it if you want to get through the Speakeasy door in the back of the building at the upcoming Prohibition Party fundraiser dinner party this Saturday night at Villa Mira Monte in Morgan Hill. This lovingly restored Victorian was the [...]

In the air

At 104 years, Morgan Hill Cellars is the oldest winery in our Santa Clara Valley wine region. I stopped in to say hello to Maryclaire and Mike Sampognaro, high tech retirees and owners of the winery to see what was new since my last visit. Maryclaire started me off with their [...]
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