Forget the long drive to Napa Valley. Los Gatos wineries are a short drive away and offer award winning wines, captivating views, and relaxing atmospheres. BYOP (bring your own picnic) and enjoy the day. These boutique wineries are located between downtown Los Gatos and Summit Road along Highway 17 in the picturesque Santa Cruz Mountains.
Whether it’s a reserved private tasting or an unplanned casual glass of wine, each winery has its own unique charm and offers a tailored experience for friends, couples, families, and yes even pets. Children are welcome at many of the wineries. For a more relaxing and safe day leave the car in LG and book a tour with Tommy John’s Wine and Brew Tours. Cheers!
Note: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic please refer to each winery’s website for updated hours, tasting and tour reservations, and safety protocols.
Loma Prieta WInery
The first stop on the Summit Road wine tasting tour is the Loma Prieta Winery located just a short 20-minute drive from downtown Los Gatos. This small boutique winery, resting at 2600 feet on Loma Prieta Way, is named after the flat-topped mountain to the southeast of the winery. A must first stop on the way to the winery is Summit Store. This specialty grocery store has a full-service deli, pizza and even sushi. Everything you need to create the perfect curated picnic. After you have purchased your perfect picnic, take the short eight-minute drive to Loma Prieta Winery. Upon arrival, head to the Tasting room to purchase either a flight, a glass, or a bottle of wine. Be sure to try the winery’s award-winning Pinotage. Then, find a seat on the patio and enjoy the spectacular views of the entire Monterey Peninsula and the Santa Cruz coastline. After you have enjoyed the views, wine, and picnic lunch, take advantage of the Bocce court, giant chess and checker boards, and the telescope to fully take in the views. Loma Prieta Winery is also dog friendly, but they must be leashed. Tastings are on a first come first serve basis and current tasting fees are announced by calling the tasting room at (408) 353-2950 .
Burrell School Vineyard and Winery
The next stop is a ten-minute drive to Burrell School Vineyard and Winery. This charming winery’s tasting room is set in a historic 1890’s one-room schoolhouse that showcases the winery’s premium wines. There is no better way to enjoy a glass of their Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir then on the outside veranda which overlooks the Estate vines with spectacular views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Live music from jazz to blues completes the wine tasting experience. Guest can visit on a first come, first serve basis, or make a reservation on OpenTable.
Regale WInery and Vineyards
A quick 2 minutes’ drive brings us to the last winery of the day, Regale Winery and Vineyards where romance, breathtaking views and a touch of Tuscany come together. This hilltop escape is set among Italian-inspired gardens and décor. Before you take in the lush landscape, stop at the tasting room. Guest are invited to experience a selection of boutique wines hand selected by Regale’s winemaker, and also choose from limited-production wines. Regale’s primary oenological focus is Pinot Noir and Cabernet, but it is worth tasting the interesting limited-production varietals and their popular Chardonnay they offer. Wines can be purchased by the glass or bottle. Every Saturday and Sunday L’Appetito at Regale offers hand-crafted woodfired pizzas and more. Tables are open on a first come, first serve basis.
Now that you have tasted fabulous award- winning wines, feasted on a curated picnic and soaked in all the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer it is time to head back to downtown Los Gatos. The 15-minute drive on highway 17 brings you back to fabulous shops, restaurants and a wonderful hotel stay.