Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World

Saturday, 27 February 2021 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, San Francisco Bay Area
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gilroy is a city in Northern California’s Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. Gilroy’s origins lie in the village of San Ysidro that grew in the early 19th century out of Rancho San Ysidro, granted to Californio ranchero Ygnacio Ortega in 1809. Following Ygnacio’s death in 1833, his daughter Clara Ortega de Gilroy and son-in-law John Gilroy inherited the largest portion of the rancho and began developing the settlement. When the town was incorporated in 1868, it was renamed in honor of John Gilroy, a Scotsman who had emigrated to California in 1819, naturalized as a Mexican citizen, adopted the Spanish language, and converted to Catholicism, taking the name of Juan Bautista Gilroy.

Gilroy is known for its garlic crop and the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, featuring various garlicky foods such as garlic ice cream, leading to the city’s nickname, the Garlic Capital of the World. It is also known for boutique wine production, as part of the Santa Clara Valley AVA, mostly consisting of family vineyards around the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west.

Spanish explorers led by Juan Bautista de Anza first passed through the Santa Clara Valley area in 1776, and in 1797 Mission San Juan Bautista was established near the Pajaro River. In 1809, Ygnacio Ortega was granted the 13,066-acre (5,288 ha) Spanish land concession Rancho San Ysidro. The village of San Ysidro grew nearby, at the foot of Pacheco Pass which linked the El Camino Real and the Santa Clara Valley with the San Joaquin Valley. California’s main exports at this time were hides and tallow, of which thousands of barrels were produced and shipped to the rest of New Spain. Trade and diplomatic intercourse with foreigners was strictly forbidden by the royal government but was quietly carried on by Californians desperate for luxury goods.

Gilroy Garlic Festival © flickr.com - Eugene Kim/cc-by-2.0 Gilroy Garlic Festival © flickr.com - Eugene Kim/cc-by-2.0 Gilroy Garlic Festival © flickr.com - Eugene Kim/cc-by-2.0 Gilroy Garlic Festival © flickr.com - Eugene Kim/cc-by-2.0 Bonfante Gardens © panoramio.com - UncleVinny/cc-by-3.0 Edgar Holloway House © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old City Hall © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0 Wheeler Hospital © Sanfranman59/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Gilroy Garlic Festival © flickr.com - Eugene Kim/cc-by-2.0
Gilroy is approximately 26 km (16 mi) south of San Jose, California on U.S. Route 101 and 31 km (19 mi) inland from the Pacific Coast. Despite its apparent close proximity to San Jose, it is important to note that Gilroy City Hall lies at a distance of 33.3 miles from San Jose City Hall. Lying in a southern extension of the Santa Clara Valley at an elevation of about 61 m (200 ft) above MSL, it is bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east.

Due to the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean, Gilroy enjoys a warm, Mediterranean climate. Temperatures range from an average midsummer maximum of 32.3 °C (90.2 °F) to an average midwinter low of 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). Average annual precipitation is 480 mm (18.9 in), and the summer months are typically dry. Snowfall is rare; occurring approximately once every 20 years, it is light and short-lived. Summer months are characterized by coastal fog which arrives from the ocean around 10 p.m. and dissipates the next morning by 10 a.m. Winter months have many sunny and partly cloudy days, with frequent breaks between rainstorms. The local terrain is not conducive to tornadoes, severe windstorms, or thunderstorms. The local climate supports chaparral and grassland biomes, with stands of live oak at higher elevations.

Read more on Gilroy, VisitGilroy.com, VisitCalifornia.com – Gilroy, Gilroy Premium Outlets, Wikivoyage Gilroy and Wikipedia Gilroy (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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