25 years of Testarossa (1993-2018+) and the best is yet to come!

January of each year is always a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the past 12 months, as well as get excited about the new challenges and opportunities in the coming vintage.   As we enter our 25th year since we started making wine in our Silicon Valley garage, we believe it is be a great time to look back not only on the accomplishments of the past year, but also the amazing things that have happened over the past two and half decades at Testarossa.

Since our first vintage in 1993 we have:

  • Received over 2,000 Outstanding reviews of 90pts or higher for our wines
  • In 1999 Wine Spectator selected Testarossa as one of the Eight Hottest New Wineries in California and showcased our winery at the New York Wine Experience
  • Testarossa has been selected as one of the Top 100 Wines of the Year by the following publications:
    • Wine Spectator
    • Wine Enthusiast
    • Wine & Spirits
    • Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines (Top 10 wines)
    • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Our Niclaire Pinot Noir has been selected as the top rated Pinot Noir of the year by the following publications:
    • Wine Enthusiast
      • Wine & Spirits
      • Connoisseurs’ Guide (most recently with the 2015 vintage)
  • Before we opened our first tasting room in 2003 at the winery in Los Gatos Testarossa wines were distributed in 28 states and 9 countries
  • To help weather the financial challenges of the Great Recession, we took on several custom label wine projects including two very large contracts with BevMo and Total Wine & More.   As a result, we hit our peak wine production with the 2012 vintage at just over 50,000, with 40% of that wine being made under custom labels for retailers and restaurants
  • As we approach our 25th anniversary, we are excited to share that we no longer need these private label contracts, and have returned to 100% focus on the wines we make and sell directly.  As a result we have reduced the amount of wine we make and have set a goal to make no more than 30,000 cases per year which allows us to fully focus all of our energy on making better and better quality each year.
  • With the growth of our Wine Club Memberships and the addition of our second Tasting Room in Carmel Valley Village (Monterey County), we are thrilled that we no longer have enough wine to sell to out of state or through International Importers, who, in many cases, accounted for 75% of the retail price a consumer would pay for a bottle of wine.

New Member Benefits:

The innovations and improvements aren’t happening only in the cellars.   We are in the middle of a large new initiative focused on creating new benefits and offerings for our Wine Club members starting this spring.

In early 2018 will be doing a makeover on our Guest/Member Services, especially on weekends and busy holidays.

Many of the changes you will see include:

In Los Gatos:

  • Welcome Centers where guests will check in at either parking lot entrance so you can be directed to the least crowded Tasting Area, or available Specialty Tasting.  As a convenience, Members will eventually be able to check in online and bypass the Welcome Centers.
  • Member Reservations – Members can make reservations for specific Tasting Areas before arriving on property (roll out targeted for 2nd half of 2018)
  • “Head of the Line” priority – Members who did not check in online will get “head of the line” priority from our new Welcome Centers when it comes to available seating in our many different Tasting Areas:
    • Main Tasting Room
    • 1915 Cellar 7 Tasting Room
    • Club Members Lounge in Cellar 6 (Exclusive sit down tasting for Club Members)
    • JRS Terrace and Still Room for JRS and Platinum members
  • Priority Seating in Wine Bar 107 – when Wine Bar 107 is at capacity, Members will go to the top of the waiting

In Carmel Valley:

  • Specialty Tastings – we are expanding our Testarossa University wine classes and Specialty Tastings to include classes and tastings in Carmel Valley
  • Meet the Winemakers Release Weekends – our long time Winemaker, a Monterey County resident, along with Diana and I will be regular fixtures through out the year in Carmel on release weekends.   Dates and times will be listed on the Carmel Valley page of testarossa.com
  • Other Special events are planned include lunches, dinners and vineyard trips specifically for our Carmel Valley Club Testarossa Members. Make sure we have up to date email addresses so you don’t miss out on these announcements.

The future has never been more bright!  The quality of the wines led by Bill Brosseau and his winemaking team has never been higher.

We are investing heavily in adding many new, educational, and fun experiences for our Members and guests in both Los Gatos and Carmel Valley.  Over the next few months come see what’s new.  We can’t wait to show you what’s new!

Thank you for being such an important member of our wine journey as we, with you, add new chapters, and great wines, to the living history of the historic 19th Century Novitiate of Los Gatos Winery!

Rob, Diana, Nick and Claire Jensen, and Bill Brosseau