Saturday, October 31, 2015

Downtown Campbell visitors enjoy a stroll down Campbell Avenue with wine and friendly shops

One of the many joys of living in the Bay Area is the opportunity to enjoy an evening strolling delightful downtown areas on a lovely Fall evening and enjoying some fine wine. The Downtown Campbell Business Association held their sold-out Fall Wine Walk recently welcoming hundreds of visitors to the many interesting and unique businesses in the Downtown Campbell. Winemakers from 26 wineries from around Northern California were there to share their wines with visitors while everyone had the chance to explore the many interesting shops in downtown Campbell.

This was a great opportunity to learn about this unique area of Silicon Valley. The compact four-block long downtown offers visitors and shoppers a wide range of opportunities including restaurants, shoe store, antique stores, boutiques, salons and even a funeral parlor and bicycle shop. Campbell offered a large number of wineries and participation by most of the businesses in the area. Yet it was easy to sample the wines along Campbell Avenue while checking out the stores.

Here is just a sample of what could be found during the Fall Wine Walk.

Rubin Family of Wines
The Rubin Family of Wines from the Green River Valley of Sonoma County offered their 2012 Pinot Noir and the 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay at the Olive Bar, a great place to find olive oil, balsamic vinegars and coconut oil you need for your needs for your cuisine.  The Pinot had a very nice bouquet and flavors of raspberry and cherry with a touch of white pepper and spice.  The Pamela’s Un-Oaked Chardonnay was designed to provide the white wine that Ron Rubin’s wife Pamela would enjoy.  It offers crisp clean flavors of lemon and ripe apple.

At the House of Brass, they hosted Tank House Winery who was sharing tastes of their 2010 Syrah, 2011 Zinfandel, 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2011 Barrel 24 blend.  House of Brass is a perfect place to find that brass hardware, fireplace accessory and fire pits to enhance your home.  All of the Tank House wines were delicious.  The Barrel 24 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel and aged in oak for over a year.

Music on the street
Along a parking lot on Campbell Avenue at Pro Martial Arts, a martial arts school teaching traditional Korean martial arts, we found Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery, a new winery in San Martin. The history of Lion Ranch, originally part of the Spanish land grant Rancho San Francisco de las Llagas, began in the last 1800s when Lazard “Leopold” Lion purchased 5585 acres to use for farming fruit orchards and other crops. They shared their 2013 Viognier from Santa Clara Valley and the 2013 Lions Share blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc.

Rocket Fizz is always a fun place to visit in Campbell offering fun soda pop and candies, many that you remember from your own childhood.  Jack’s House Wines set up shop here for the evening.  Jack and Barbara Nicklaus and the Terlato Family partnered to create Jack’s House Foundation, a charitable organization focused on healthcare and education.  This commitment to quality, community and philanthropy led to the creation of Jack’s House wines.  Thirty cents of the sale of every bottle supports the efforts of Jack’s House Foundation.

Naumann Vineyards
Naumann Vineyards offered their 2014 Merlot Rose, 2011 Chardonnay and 2007 Merlot at one of most fun shops in Campbell, the Kaleido Lamps.  Kaleido has a wide variety of artistic lamps that you have to see to believe. 

Stefania Wines
At the far end of Campbell Avenue near Winchester you will find The Art Beat, a creative art studio offering a variety of art activities for different age groups from pre-school to adults.  Here we found Stefania Wines, a winery that started with home winemakers planting grapes in their back yard and now Stefania and Paul have opened their own winery.  At the Wine Walk we got to taste their 2011 Haut Tubee, which they call a “little of this and a little of that” with a wide variety of red wine grapes included.  It has a nice red cherry nose and some dark fruit.  Wine lovers also enjoyed their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains, a very nice, rich wine full of fruits, tannin and structure.

The Downtown Campbell Business Association hosts several Wine Walks during the year. Check back with the San Jose Wine Examiner for details on the next event. And, in the meanwhile, be sure to visit Downtown Campbell, with plenty of parking, many interesting shops and eateries and a step back in time to when downtown really met something!

There is not enough time to list all the shops that hosted this great collection of wineries, so you will have to visit the area for yourself. Also, check out the photo gallery to see some of the winemakers in attendance.

Music on the street
For more information about Downtown Campbell and their many events:

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