BEST BY THE GLASS
The San Diego region boasts dozens of top-notch
wineries, focusing especially on grape varietals that do
so well in our warmer, drier climate. Take a tasting trip
to see (and sip) for yourself.
Raise a glassat these
San Diego restaurants
with fine wine lists
(5200 Grand Del Mar
Way), the Grand
Del Mar’s flagship
restaurant, is ideal for
a luxurious experience,
with fantastic food
2,500 wines from all
over the world.
(140 West Broadway)
pairs French and
American bistro fare
with a California-
centric wine list. Try the
flavored popcorns and
fresh, local mussels.
Wine Vault & Bistro
(3731 India Street) is a
wine shop during the
day and bistro at night.
The wine list changes
often and features
many California greats.
On Fridays, three-
course dinners are only
$20 with wine flights
ranging from $7 to $15.
(505 Laurel Street)
This popular Italian
Balboa Park features
its own wine shop.
Bottles are sold at retail
price and served with
a minimal corkage fee
(waived on Sundays).
(9550 Waples Street)
Drink world-class wines
at retail prices paired
with classic French fare.
Special tasting events
are held Wednesday
evenings and Saturday
afternoons, or drop by
for happy hour.
Hawk Watch (27054 Chihuahua Valley Road)
and Shadow Mountain (34680 Highway 79)
are producing amazing Rhône-style wines with
a few Spanish varietals. If you can’t make it to the
winery, try Shadow Mountain’s wines at the
San Diego Zoo.
Orfila (13455 San Pasqual Road) is the biggest
local winery, but don’t forget Altipiano (20365
Camino Del Aguila), which grows Italian and
Rhône varietals. Orfila offers daily tours at noon
and Altipiano has a gorgeous sitting area overlooking the winery. To try: Orfila’s Estate Lotus,
a white blend, and Altipiano’s Barbera. And don’t
miss Bernardo Winery (13330 Paseo Del Verano
Norte). Founded in 1889, it’s the oldest continually
operating winery in Southern California.
Vesper Vineyards and Triple B Ranches
(15030 Vesper Road) share a tasting room, with
plenty of great wines from French and Italian
varietals. Take a tour with winemaker Chris
Broomell, whose vast knowledge will appeal
to newbies and wine geeks alike (reservations
required). To try: Vesper’s white blend Alcalá
and Carignan, Triple B’s Montepulciano and
Look for Orfila’s auxiliary tasting room
(4470 Highway 78) or Witch Creek Winery
(2000 Main Street), a boutique winery based in
Carlsbad with a tasting room in Julian. Witch
Creek specializes in several Italian varietals such
as Nebbiolo and Montepulciano.
Stop in to taste Milagro Farm’s award-winning
Sauvignont Blancs (18750 Littlepage Road) among
sprawling oak trees with horses grazing nearby.
Also try Salerno Winery, which prides itself on
handcrafted wine, and the family-run Lenora
Winery with tasting room hours on weekends only.
Located just north of San Diego County, visit
South Coast Winery (34843 Rancho California
Road) for a full resort experience with wine, full
service restaurant and spa. Stop at Wilson Creek
to try their famous almond Champagne (35960
Rancho California Road) and Ponte Winery (35053
Rancho California Road) for great wines and views
of the rolling hills.
On vacation, nobody wants to
TAKE A TOUR!
North Park’s Splash Orfila Winery