La Vie Dansante Wines


The big news for April is the formation of a new group supporting the resurgence of Rhone varietals here in Santa Clara County.  La Vie Dansante Wines is very proud to be a Charter Member of the GSM Rhone Society which also features Sarah’s Vineyard, Aver Family Wines, and Lion Ranch Vineyards and Winery.  Normally “GSM”, when it pertains to wine, means “Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre”, a common blend in the south of the Rhone Valley.  In this case “GSM” stands for “Gilroy, San Martin, and Morgan Hill”.  Yeah, we think we’re pretty clever.

The GSM Rhone Society was formed as a mutual support society for wineries who are actively pushing the resurgence of Rhone grapes and wines in our valley.  To be a member the focus of your vineyard or winery must be on the Rhone grapes and wines we make from them.  You must also be actively promoting the varietals and those other wineries that make them.  Basically you can be a member if when people think of your winery they immediately.  There is also some talk of establishing a “quality mark” similar to the embossed keys you see on bottles of Chateauneuf du Pape or the rooster you find on bottle of Chianti.

Watch for the GSM Launch Party being held on at 5:30pm Wednesday April 25th at The Grapevine on Depot Street in downtown Morgan Hill.  You’ll have a chance to meet all four winemakers and sample locally produced Rhone-style wines.

In the winery we’re crazy busy bottling wines to be released this fall. So far we’ve finished a Mourvèdre Rosé, the 2016 Roussanne, the 2015 Syrah, a bunch more Stage Right, and a little Chardonnay (for a friend). Still to go are the 2015 Serenade, the 2015 Nocturne, and possibly a little 2015 Zinfandel (under the LVD Wine Co label). This is also the time of year when we start talking to all of our Vineyard Managers, trying to pin down some prices and commitments on grapes. We’ve got our 2018 Production Plan all worked out but right now it’s just words on paper – time to start turning it into reality.

In the February News post we mentioned a “big announcement” for March. Well, here it is… Beginning March 4th La Vie Dansante Wines will be open for Tasting five days a week from noon to 5pm. That’s right, you’ll be able to stop by and enjoy a glass or two of wine from Thursday through Monday. We’ll be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesday to allow us some time to get the rest of our projects done around the winery and hopefully enjoy a little down time. If all goes well we plan to hire a part time server to assist us later this summer and we’ll be able to be open daily.

But wait, there’s more! During Passport weekend – March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th – we’ll be releasing La Vie Dansante’s Barrel Aged Syrah and Champagne vinegars. Both of these are hand-crafted in the premium Orleans method and then allowed to age for a year in oak – new french for the Syrah, and neutral french for the Champagne. As lovers of anything pickled we have to say these are going be amazing in pickles, a vinaigrette, or just plain on veggies.

Also happening in March is the La Vie Dansante Wines Spring Wine Club release party which will be held March 17th from 1pm to 4pm. Yes, that’s St Patrick’s Day, and No, we won’t be coloring the wine green. The 17th will be the release of La Vie Dansante’s first every Viognier. We were coerced into opening a bottle last week and it is simply delicious. We’re planning to have food and some live music so be sure to join us for this fun event.

On the winemaking front we have a ton of bottling to do. Basically, all of the 2015 Reds, the 2016 Roussanne, the 2017 Rose, more Stage Right, and even a little Chardonnay for a friend. Anybody interested in working on the bottling line (it pays Pizza and wine) drop a note to Jeff at – we can always use another pair of hands.

When I was first thinking about starting up a winery we thought “what a great job, you work hard from March through December and then you get to take three months off”. Boy, were we wrong. Really wrong. We sat down at the beginning of February and put together a detailed project list for the upcoming year. Everything from finishing the Tasting Room to creating an entertainment calendar. I wanted to capture ALL of the upcoming projects so that nothing could slip through the cracks. Well, two problems; first, we did a GREAT job on the list – something like 125 projects – second, all of the projects seem to have a due date of “Before the first of March”. Why? Check out the News for March and see our big announcement.

So this month, after a bunch of organizational stuff, boils down to a ton of physical labor. We plan to completely dismantle and refinish all of the picnic tables, complete the small patch of pavers in front of the Tasting Room, finish the gaming area, make food and soft drinks available in the Tasting Room. Then there’s the winemaking stuff; a vineyard to prune, wines to blend, vinegar to bottle, labels to design an get approved… you get the idea. What we thought was going to be an “easy” month turns out to be 12 hour days, seven days a week to get ready for our big season!


Upcoming Events

Tasting Room:
Stop by and try the La Vie Dansante wines every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5pm.
We pour at “Blended, a Winemaker’s Studio” located on Dryden Ave east of Hwy 101 just north of Gilroy.  Our tasting fee is $10 (refundable with the purchase of a bottle).

If you work the weekends give us a call at (408) 852-0779 or email for a weekday appointment.

4/013 – Friday Night Movies at Blended! 6pm to 9pm. Admission is free, we’ll provide the popcorn and wine for purchase. Adults only, no pets, no outside alcohol. “Curtain” time will be approximately 6:30.

4/07 – Gilroy Art and Wine Stroll. Saturday from 1pm to 5pm in Downtown Gilroy. We’ll be pouring at The Bartender’s Union on the west side of Monterey Rd between 5th and 6th.

4/26 – A La Vie Dansante Wine Symposium – “Creating the Next Great GSM”. Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30 at the winery. Cost is $45 per person and Wine Club discounts apply. Tickets are limited to 16 so reserve yours soon in the Tasting Room or online at: Blending the Next Great GSM

4/22 – 28 – Morgan Hill Wine Week.  

4/23 – Morgan Hill Downtown Association Mixer celebrating the winemakers of Santa Clara Valley.

4/25 – GSM Rhone Society Launch Party. Wednesday night from 5:30 to 7:30 at The Grapevine on Depot St in Downtown Morgan Hill. All four winemakers, Todd from Lion Ranch, Tim from Sarah’s Vineyard, and John from Aver family will be pouring their wines. The pouring if complimentary for Grapevine Wine and Cheese Club members and $7 for the public.

4/26 – A La Vie Dansante Wine Symposium – “Creating the Next Great GSM”. Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30 at the winery. Cost is $45 per person and Wine Club discounts apply. Tickets are limited to 16 so reserve yours soon in the Tasting Room or online at: Blending the Next Great GSM

4/28 – Morgan Hill Wine Walk – Saturday from 1pm to 5pm.   It’s too early to tell where we’ll be pouring, watch this website and our social media channels for more information as we find out.