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Two hands grasping the stems of wine glasses filled with white wine in a barrel room. Carruth Cellars

17 Outstanding San Diego-Area Wineries to Visit Right Now

From countryside estates to coastal tasting rooms, where to sip some of wine country’s top bottles

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Southern California’s wine-growing regions, including Temecula and Ramona, can be easily accessed by San Diego County residents and the area is increasingly populated with winemakers utilizing local grapes or varieties grown elsewhere in the state. Whether your tastes lean towards reds, whites, or something in between, here are 17 wineries and tasting rooms to visit around town.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ponte Winery

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Ponte’s pretty tasting room and adjacent hotel are set on a 300-acre vineyard in the heart of Temecula wine country. Grape growers in the region since 1984, the Ponte family are considered boutique producers with a classic line of single grape varieties — cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sangiovese — plus blends, bottles of bubbly, and dessert wines like sweet white moscato.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

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Founded in 1974 by a name known throughout the golf industry, this winery is now owned by the Lin family who continues the business of making bold reds and delicate whites, as well as sweet, sparkling, and rosé wines. Open every day, catch a tour of the estate for $20 and walk the grand estate or add $20 more for a tour with a wine tasting.

Leoness Cellars

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Founded in 2002 by Gary Winder and Mike Rennie, Leoness produces a viognier, syrah, cabernet franc, merlot, white merlot, muscat cenelli, and cinsault port, among other wines. There are several tours available, including an artisan wine and cheese pairing and vineyard tour and tasting, both available seven days a week.

Baily Winery Estate Club Tasting Room

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In business for more than 30 years and the second oldest winery in the valley, Baily’s grows its own grapes, specializing in cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, sauvignon blanc, and semillon. Tastings are $20 and includes six sips. Baily’s also offers a reserve vertical tasting format for $40 with six years of one variety served with small bites.

Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery

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Hungry Hawk first opened in 2008 with a vineyard block of Bordeaux varietals, but 15 different grapes are now grown on the property, located just four miles from downtown Escondido. Open from noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday tastings range from $15 for a standard tasting to $35 for a vineyard tour and tasting combo.

Blue Door Winery

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Blue Door converted Julian’s old livery stables into a charming and dog-friendly tasting room just a few steps off Main Street. Predominantly focusing on red varietals, the tasting room is open from noon until 5 p.m. seven days a week. Looking to stay closer to the city? There’s a second location on Morena Boulevard complete with a full production facility.

Orfila Vineyards and Winery

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Owned by the former Argentinian ambassador to the U.S., this picturesque estate grows everything from tart sangiovese to floral viognier grapes. Enjoy four wine tastings for $20 at the Escondido spot or head to its Oceanside location to drink alongside food prepped by chef Luke Morganstern.

Milagro Farm Winery

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In business since 2006, and currently overseen by distinguished Mexican winemaker Hugo d’Aosta, this boutique winery produces a few thousand cases of estate-grown reds, whites, and a sparkling rosé each year. Open Saturday and Sunday, a full tasting costs $15.

Bernardo Winery

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Founded in 1889 and family-owned and operated by the Rizzo’s for three generations, Bernardo Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in Southern California. A sampling of wines is $20 or pick out a glass to sip on the patio before exploring the village shops and artist studios on site.

Carruth Cellars Urban Winery

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The grapes might be sourced from vineyards in Northern California, but Carruth crushes, presses, ferments, barrels, ages, and bottles all fruit on-site at their facility in Oceanside. With four San Francisco Chronicle Wine Awards under its belt, including a Double Gold for the 2017 Alexander Valley Syrah, it’s a good time to go for a tasting at the Solana Beach flagship, Carlsbad tasting room, or Little Italy wine garden. A tasting room at its Oceanside facility is also coming soon.

Koi Zen Cellars

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Award-winning grapes from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Lodi make up the small batch, handcrafted wines produced on Carmel Mountain Ranch. Taste through a variety of five to six current releases for $10 or sample directly from the barrel with an opportunity to make your own custom blend a few times a year.

Charlie & Echo

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Specializing in natural and craft — mostly sparkling — red, white, rosé, and dessert wines using grapes from local vineyards, Charlie & Echo’s winery and tasting room is located in the Miralani Makers’ District off Miramar Road. Open Thursday through Friday, individual tastes cost $2.50, a choice of five tastes is $13, or there’s the YOLO tasting of all nine varieties for $23.

LJ Crafted Wines

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Order wines by glass or flight at this boutique tasting room in Bird Rock, which was also one of the first to offer growler fills in San Diego. Founded in 2015 by Lowell Jooste, part of a fourth generation in the South African wine industry and his wife Anne, the wines are produced primarily in Napa and Sonoma Valley and served directly from the barrel without the remaining wine losing integrity via a patented Wine Steward.

A man and two women tasting wine and a charcuterie plate. LJ Crafted Wines

San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room & Gallery

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Established in 1976, La Mesa’s popular winery excels in reds, whites, rosés from grapes grown around California plus a selection of grape-free “Summer Vine” wines from locally grown passion fruit, including one incorporating habanero peppers. Stop into its locations in La Mesa or Seaport Village shop to taste the 2020 albarino and 2019 pinot gris, two gold winners at this year’s Orange County Wine Competition.

Négociant Winery

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North Park’s urban winery is operating out of a temporary tasting room until they move to a new location in Hillcrest at the former Ad Libitum. Head in for a taste of reds and whites made with grapes sourced from Central California, Baja, and Washington vineyards. 

Gianni Buonomo Vintners

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With fine grapes sourced from the Yakima Valley and the winery located only steps from the beach, Gianni Buonomo is consistently a local favorite for its laid back tasting room and exceptional reds and whites. Mix and match a flight of four wines for $12 or six for $15 while touring the facility.

Pali Wine Co.

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Central Coast pinot noir and chardonnay are standouts of this Santa Barbara-based winery with a tasting room in the heart of Little Italy. This San Diego outpost also produces premium Bordeaux and Rhône blends under its second label, Tower 15. Try a wine flight at the bar downstairs before heading upstairs to the charming rooftop patio to order a favorite glass and a selection of plates by chef Travis Clifford.

People sitting on the front patio of Pali Wine Co. at night. Pali Wine Co.

Ponte Winery

Ponte’s pretty tasting room and adjacent hotel are set on a 300-acre vineyard in the heart of Temecula wine country. Grape growers in the region since 1984, the Ponte family are considered boutique producers with a classic line of single grape varieties — cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, sangiovese — plus blends, bottles of bubbly, and dessert wines like sweet white moscato.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Founded in 1974 by a name known throughout the golf industry, this winery is now owned by the Lin family who continues the business of making bold reds and delicate whites, as well as sweet, sparkling, and rosé wines. Open every day, catch a tour of the estate for $20 and walk the grand estate or add $20 more for a tour with a wine tasting.

Leoness Cellars

Founded in 2002 by Gary Winder and Mike Rennie, Leoness produces a viognier, syrah, cabernet franc, merlot, white merlot, muscat cenelli, and cinsault port, among other wines. There are several tours available, including an artisan wine and cheese pairing and vineyard tour and tasting, both available seven days a week.

Baily Winery Estate Club Tasting Room

In business for more than 30 years and the second oldest winery in the valley, Baily’s grows its own grapes, specializing in cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, sauvignon blanc, and semillon. Tastings are $20 and includes six sips. Baily’s also offers a reserve vertical tasting format for $40 with six years of one variety served with small bites.

Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery

Hungry Hawk first opened in 2008 with a vineyard block of Bordeaux varietals, but 15 different grapes are now grown on the property, located just four miles from downtown Escondido. Open from noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday tastings range from $15 for a standard tasting to $35 for a vineyard tour and tasting combo.

Blue Door Winery

Blue Door converted Julian’s old livery stables into a charming and dog-friendly tasting room just a few steps off Main Street. Predominantly focusing on red varietals, the tasting room is open from noon until 5 p.m. seven days a week. Looking to stay closer to the city? There’s a second location on Morena Boulevard complete with a full production facility.

Orfila Vineyards and Winery

Owned by the former Argentinian ambassador to the U.S., this picturesque estate grows everything from tart sangiovese to floral viognier grapes. Enjoy four wine tastings for $20 at the Escondido spot or head to its Oceanside location to drink alongside food prepped by chef Luke Morganstern.

Milagro Farm Winery

In business since 2006, and currently overseen by distinguished Mexican winemaker Hugo d’Aosta, this boutique winery produces a few thousand cases of estate-grown reds, whites, and a sparkling rosé each year. Open Saturday and Sunday, a full tasting costs $15.

Bernardo Winery

Founded in 1889 and family-owned and operated by the Rizzo’s for three generations, Bernardo Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in Southern California. A sampling of wines is $20 or pick out a glass to sip on the patio before exploring the village shops and artist studios on site.

Carruth Cellars Urban Winery

The grapes might be sourced from vineyards in Northern California, but Carruth crushes, presses, ferments, barrels, ages, and bottles all fruit on-site at their facility in Oceanside. With four San Francisco Chronicle Wine Awards under its belt, including a Double Gold for the 2017 Alexander Valley Syrah, it’s a good time to go for a tasting at the Solana Beach flagship, Carlsbad tasting room, or Little Italy wine garden. A tasting room at its Oceanside facility is also coming soon.

Koi Zen Cellars

Award-winning grapes from Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Lodi make up the small batch, handcrafted wines produced on Carmel Mountain Ranch. Taste through a variety of five to six current releases for $10 or sample directly from the barrel with an opportunity to make your own custom blend a few times a year.

Charlie & Echo

Specializing in natural and craft — mostly sparkling — red, white, rosé, and dessert wines using grapes from local vineyards, Charlie & Echo’s winery and tasting room is located in the Miralani Makers’ District off Miramar Road. Open Thursday through Friday, individual tastes cost $2.50, a choice of five tastes is $13, or there’s the YOLO tasting of all nine varieties for $23.

LJ Crafted Wines

A man and two women tasting wine and a charcuterie plate. LJ Crafted Wines

Order wines by glass or flight at this boutique tasting room in Bird Rock, which was also one of the first to offer growler fills in San Diego. Founded in 2015 by Lowell Jooste, part of a fourth generation in the South African wine industry and his wife Anne, the wines are produced primarily in Napa and Sonoma Valley and served directly from the barrel without the remaining wine losing integrity via a patented Wine Steward.

A man and two women tasting wine and a charcuterie plate. LJ Crafted Wines

San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room & Gallery

Established in 1976, La Mesa’s popular winery excels in reds, whites, rosés from grapes grown around California plus a selection of grape-free “Summer Vine” wines from locally grown passion fruit, including one incorporating habanero peppers. Stop into its locations in La Mesa or Seaport Village shop to taste the 2020 albarino and 2019 pinot gris, two gold winners at this year’s Orange County Wine Competition.

Négociant Winery

North Park’s urban winery is operating out of a temporary tasting room until they move to a new location in Hillcrest at the former Ad Libitum. Head in for a taste of reds and whites made with grapes sourced from Central California, Baja, and Washington vineyards. 

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Gianni Buonomo Vintners

With fine grapes sourced from the Yakima Valley and the winery located only steps from the beach, Gianni Buonomo is consistently a local favorite for its laid back tasting room and exceptional reds and whites. Mix and match a flight of four wines for $12 or six for $15 while touring the facility.

Pali Wine Co.

People sitting on the front patio of Pali Wine Co. at night. Pali Wine Co.

Central Coast pinot noir and chardonnay are standouts of this Santa Barbara-based winery with a tasting room in the heart of Little Italy. This San Diego outpost also produces premium Bordeaux and Rhône blends under its second label, Tower 15. Try a wine flight at the bar downstairs before heading upstairs to the charming rooftop patio to order a favorite glass and a selection of plates by chef Travis Clifford.

People sitting on the front patio of Pali Wine Co. at night. Pali Wine Co.

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