Villa del Monte gives a taste of the grape with a whiff of the mountains

by Scott Anderson on September 29, 2011

Villa del Monte Winery tasting room

Dogs welcome, wine and wine-talk aplenty, conviviality abundant and the great forested outdoors steps away. That’s owner and winemaker Neil behind the bottles.

Several weeks ago , Dianne and I cruised south and up the hills of Highway 17,  horseshoe-turned our way back over the highway and up Summit Road five minutes to our final destination of the day – Villa del Monte Winery.

The winery is a client of ours, and we’d heard they recently expanded their tasting room to the great outdoors. We wanted to see for ourselves so we rolled down the residential drive, and then traversed the final 75 feet at the steepest angle this side of Lombard Street. We later heard a story about the descent of a run-a-way scissor lift down this final grade and then about the subsequent rescue of said scissor lift from the forest below.

Never a dull moment in the mountains.

Once safely parked at the winery, we were greeted by a gathering of tasters, closing out the afternoon in the waning sun amidst towering redwoods and happy friends; new, old and in one case, furry.

Villa del Monte Winery pours at Los Gatos, Ca. Fall Wine Walk September 24, 2011

The Villa del Monte Winery team in full force. Three owners poured in Los Gatos: Neil right foreground, John in the middle, and Joyce reaching for a glass.

Neil, one of the four owners, is usually the one manning the tasting room when they’re open. We ran into Neil Perrelli, his wife and owner Joyce, and owner and co-winemaker  John Overstreet September 24 at the Los Gatos Fall Wine Walk.

They were one of 34 wineries pouring their finest for the steady stream of tasters who strolled through Besos Lingerie and Black Cat Hats to a shared inner courtyard. The tasters were greeted with shade, and a strong lineup of delicious Villa del Monte wines.

I’ve said this before about the many winery owners we know – they are a passionate, hard-working bunch, often holding down day jobs in addition to operating their fledgling businesses.

The rest of us get to savor the literal fruits of their labor, with them, at their winery, less than 20 minutes from Los Gatos.

Lucky us.

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