San Diego's growing community of urban wineries includes Vinavanti Urban Winery, which was established in San Marcos in 2007 and for the past three years, has operated a winery and tasting room in the Sorrento Valley area. Specializing in natural unoaked and unfiltered wine made with grapes sourced from San Diego County, Vinavanti is putting down new roots in Hillcrest for a wine-making facility, tasting room and eatery due this summer.
Colliers International helped the boutique winery find a 3,300-square-foot corner space at 1483 University Avenue that they plan to transform with a raw and industrial design that will feature a wine cellar viewable behind glass walls, seating for 100 and an outdoor patio beyond roll-up doors. House wines, as well as guest wines, will be poured and a tasting bar will house taps for both wine and beer. Vinavanti will also offer refillable one liter "litros", or wine growlers. The kitchen will cook up small shared plates, including flatbreads, crostini and a variety of tapas.
Winemaker and owner Eric Van Drunen is also part of the team involved in the production of Los Pilares wine, one of our more notable local labels. For Vinavanti, he produces everything from a sparkling viognier to a GSM red blend. His latest release, "The Maverick", is a 50/50 field blend of Petit Verdot and Malbec, using with grapes from Ramona Valley's Page Vineyard; it's first certified organic wine to be made and grown in San Diego.
Vinavanti also plans to host winery tours, educational classes and monthly events to benefit local non-profit organizations.