Following the Wine Trail to Kirigin Cellars

Rolling vineyards, cricket and car shows

Santa Clara County Wine Trail Kirigin Cellars EXPANSIVE ESTATE This Gilroy vineyard has been making wine for 100 years. Photo by Vrinda Khanna
By Bev Stenehjem

On a recent Sunday afternoon, a group of us followed the Wine Trail of Santa Clara Valley and stopped in at Kirigin Cellars, which has been making wine on the property since 1916. There are so many things to love about Kirigin Cellars: to start with, its expansive property comprises rolling vineyards, over 1000 rose bushes and 100 sequoia redwoods.

All of Kirigin wines are made from 11 grape varietals that are grown on their 33 acres. On this particular day, I sampled two whites, a sparkling and three reds. All were exceptionally delicious but the standouts for me were the Malvasia Bianca ($19.90), a white wine, and of the reds; the Tempranillo ($19.90) and the Petite Sirah ($19.90). The Malvasia Bianca is a rarely seen white varietal with intense floral aromas. It’s dry, but fruity—the perfect sipping wine—served chilled on a hot summer day. The Tempranillo ($19.90)—is another unusual varietal to spot on a tasting menu—with flavors of leather and ripe cherry. The Petite Sirah ($19.90) is also excellent—a full-bodied wine tasting of blackberries and a hint of black pepper.

Our last pour was its famous “kissing wine,” Vino de Mocca ($19.90), a delicious dessert wine infused with a mix of chocolate, coffee and orange.

Kirigin Cellars is also well-known for its cricket matches, dog events and classic car shows. They have plenty of parking and free, level two charging stations for electric vehicles.  

Visit Kirigin Cellars at 11550 Watsonville Rd, Gilroy or online at

Debra Eskinazi
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About Debra Eskinazi
Debra Eskinazi is the editor of South Valley magazine.