|Smithsonian, National Museum of American History collection.|
Bocce and wineries have been close companions in California for many years, with some Wine Country and Monterey/Santa Cruz venues referred to as "Bocce Wineries." Bocce, the Italian version of Boules (the "rolled" form of Petanque) is played by rolling a small wooden pallino ball (also called a "Jack") down a rectangular pit covered with ground oyster shells (or in some cases, artificial turf). Two opponents (or teams) then toss larger green and red wooden balls ("boules") to try to get closest to the pallino and knock opponents' boules away. The player (or team) with a boule closest to the pallino, wins.
Locally, Campo Di Bocce in Los Gatos hosts the largest number of indoor Bocce courts in the area and has been home to California tournaments, although many area cities are adding outdoor Bocce courts due to the game's local popularity. City park Bocce sites are still difficult to find online (Santa Clara Country Parks does not offer a "Find a park" with Bocce as a "By Activity" option, sadly), however Backesto Park in San Jose now has a newly renovated oyster shell Bocce court which has been the home for tournaments, plus the City of San Jose has courts in a number of their parks, if you search by "Bocce" on their Web site.
To learn about the passion of one local home winemaker and Bocce player, see the story of John Ross below. The story of Campo Di Bocce follows:
- MOHI, Leal Vineyards, Sycamore Creek (Morgan Hill)
- Leal Vineyards (Hollister)
- Byington Vineyards (Santa Cruz Mountains)
- Clos La Chance (San Martin)
- Fortino Winery (Gilroy)
- Loma Prieta (Los Gatos)
Unfortunately the WSCVA Web site does not mention Bocce Wineries, however, there is contact information available there for each member winery.