Our favorite Bay Area venues

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Caitlin and I wanted to begin using our blog space to shine a spotlight on some of our favorite Bay Area wedding venues and create a new feature for those of you on the hunt for the perfect venue. I’ve always been told to write what you know, so I’m going to start this series off with my own wedding venue, Testarossa Vineyards, which as you can see in the photo above is a pretty spectacular spot!

My husband Zach and I got married almost 6 years ago (our anniversary is next month) at Testarossa Vineyards in Los Gatos. First off, I’m shocked that it’s been 6 years as it feels like yesterday. We used to have a tradition of going back there to wine taste on or around our anniversary, which we have sadly fallen out of doing, but I’m hoping to revive it this year!

I still remember my first taste of Testarossa (pun intended), my mom and I were venue visiting one weekend, it was our first foray and we didn’t think we’d be finding our spot, just exploring. Testarossa was the second place we went and I fell in love immediately. We knew we’d be doing a fall wedding on a budget, so I wanted a place that didn’t require too much added decor, someplace that would be dramatic enough on its own so that all we needed were some centerpieces and our family and friends.

Testarossa Vineyards is located at the historic Novitiate Winery just above downtown Los Gatos, the old winery dates back to 1888, when it was founded by Jesuit brothers from Santa Clara University. They housed the novice seminary students on site and for almost 100 years made altar wines and sold other wines as a means of supporting the University. In 1968, they shut down the seminary college, and in 1986 the Jesuits shut down the Novitiate Winery brand, leasing the old winery to other brands. In 1997, Rob and Diana Jensen moved into the old Novitiate and began producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on the site, they began producing about 4,000 bottles a year but are now up to 20,000.

Though they continue to produce wine onsite, the Jensens opened up the old wine cave which was originally used for storage as a venue, along with the outdoor patio, tasting room, and cask room (which serves as dining space). Not to mention the beautiful Niclaire room for the bride and her party to get dressed in.

The moment I walked into the wine cave, I knew we had the spot – it’s a beautiful arched stone room, which holds about 70 guests. There is a door on one end leading to the tasting room, which is perfect for cocktail hour and dancing, which then leads into the cask room for dining. I knew ahead of time that I wanted a venue with everything on site, and the gorgeous connecting rooms created the perfect layout for easy transitions from ceremony to cocktail hour to dinner and dancing.

The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful, with beverage packages included in the facility rental and a host of outside, preferred caterers very familiar with the venue. The wine flowed wonderfully and all of our guests had a fabulous time, most of all my husband and I. I can’t wait to return in just a couple of weeks to relive that beautiful night!

Check out Testarossa’s website for more information on the venue, for weddings or special events, or just for some fabulous wine!