San Diego Wine Culture Uncorked
Today, there are more than 115 dynamic wineries in San Diego County and the local industry is booming. But truth be told, there seems to be one big common misconception about San Diego’s wine industry: many people think Temecula is part of San Diego County, but that’s not true. No offense to our fellow winemaking friends in Riverside County, but we are not one and the same!
Once you start to explore the San Diego region, you’ll discover passionate winemakers with interesting pedigrees and life experiences growing a wide selection of varietals (more than 60 distinct vinifera varietals). That incredible variety is due mostly to the exceptionally varied topography of the county. San Diego actually has more distinct microclimates than any other single county in the USA; it has grapes growing on its coastline and canyons; its mesas and mountains; even in its desert and dry washes. It has grapes growing at sea level and at every level up to 4,200 feet (which is one of the highest vineyards in the state).
San Diego’s Mediterranean climate—typified nearly all year long by hot days, cool nights and ocean breezes—plays a large part in making San Diego so suitable for grape growing. France’s Rhone varietals (Syrah, Petite Sirah, Marsanne, Roussanne) as well as Southern Italian varieties (Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Barbera) do particularly well here.
San Diego wines continue to gain recognition around the world for their quality, concentration and rich aromas. Wine lovers have come to appreciate our floral Viogniers, our sassy Chardonnays, our dry rosés and our grassy Sauvignon Blancs. Red lovers adore our chunky Syrahs, our big-fruited Petit Sirahs and our softer, rounder medium-bodied Sangioveses and Montepulcianos.
Featured Wineries and Tasting Rooms
Where: 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128
Founded in 1889, Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo is the oldest continuously operating winery in Southern California. Guests can explore the sprawling property (home to 2,500 vines), browse more than a dozen shops on site and visit the tasting room where there is a wide variety of gift items and more than 30 local wines available to try.
118 S Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075
When you visit this winery on Cedros in the artsy enclave of Solana Beach, you’ll experience a fully operational winery in an urban setting just blocks from the beach. They source their grapes from vineyards in Northern California but the fruit is crushed, pressed, fermented, barreled, aged and bottled right there on site in San Diego.
Castelli Family Vineyards
17872 Oak Grove Road, Ramona, CA 92065
Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery
3255 Summit Drive, Escondido, CA 92025
Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery specializes in estate grown Spanish, Bordeaux, and Rhone varietals – hand crafted from vine to bottle. They have expanded to fifteen different varietals grown on a 10 acre property while practicing minimalist and sustainable farming.