Perched on the side of a small hill just above the Escondido Auto Park is Vesper Vineyards' urban winery and tasting room, which grand opens on Saturday.
Vesper crafts several wines from grapes grown across San Diego County within this new 6800-square-foot facility.
Owners and winemakers Chris Broomell and Alysha Stehly are natives of Valley Center, who grew up in farming families amongst the citrus and avocados. They studied environmental horticulture and enology, and their familiarity of San Diego's multiple microclimates affords them a distinct skill at selecting the best farmed vineyards in the county; almost all of Vesper's wines are made from varietals with origins in the Rhone River Valley of France, grapes well suited for the similar growing conditions in San Diego. Each of Vesper's wines is sourced from a single vineyard, creating a remarkable representation of that particular place; a concept often summarized by the term terroir.
Vesper Vineyards' goal, to "show that San Diego County can be included among the great wine regions of California", is becoming a reality. Jon Bonné, wine editor for the SF Chronicle, recently listed Vesper's 2011 'Alcala' White Blend (67% Marsanne/ 33% Roussanne) from the Highland Hills Vineyard in Ramona Valley to SF Chronicle's "Top 100 Wines of 2013." Bonné also highlights Vesper in the recently published "A New California Wine", a must-read for California wine devotees.
The Vesper Vineyards tasting room officially opens this Saturday, January 11th with two new wine releases, 2012 McCormick Ranch Rosé and 2011 Highland Hills. It's open for walk-ins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sunday.)
The tasting room is also open during the week and for groups of six or more by appointment only. Each tasting consists of 5 pre-selected wines for $10. Additionally, small, locally made snacks are available, but you're also welcome to bring your own nibbles.
· Vesper Vineyards [Official Site]
· All Wine Coverage on Eater [~ESD~]