The greatest gift you can give your aging parents is spending time with them. If your folks are wine lovers, why not plan a special day of wine tasting? No need to travel to Napa Valley or even outside the greater San Diego area, as there are plenty of wineries to choose from in our own backyard. Here are 10 to consider visiting.
- Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards. Wilson Creek is located in Southern California’s wine country, Temecula Valley. Family owned and operated since 1996, it’s known for its almond champagne and chocolate port.
- Bernardo Winery. Founded in 1889, Rancho Bernardo’s Bernardo Winery is the oldest continuously operating winery in Southern California. You can explore the sprawling property, home to 2,500 vines, browse more than a dozen shops onsite, and visit the tasting room where there are over 30 local wines to sample.
- Hacienda de las Rosas Winery. Hacienda de las Rosas is a family-owned boutique winery in Ramona that uses California grapes, many grown in San Diego County, to produce wines that embrace the essence of Spanish winemaking traditions. It also has a tasting room located in Fiesta de Reyes plaza, in the heart of historic Old Town San Diego.
- Hawk Watch Winery. Located in the mountains near Warner Springs, Hawk Watch uses old-world winemaking techniques that result in full-bodied, bold reds and elegant, fruit-driven whites. The entire winemaking process from crushing the freshly picked grapes to bottling the finished wine is done on-premises.
- Menghini Winery. Julian’s Menghini Winery is nestled in the foothills of Volcan Mountain and surrounded by apple orchards and a six-acre vineyard. It produces 4,000 cases of wine each year.
- Orfila Vineyards & Winery. A boutique winery nestled in the picturesque San Pasqual Valley outside Escondido, Orfila produces award-winning Rhone-style wines.
- San Pasqual Winery. This urban micro winery located in Pacific Beach uses grapes grown in local vineyards to produce wines that pair sophistication with down-to-earth accessibility and are perfect for sunny al fresco dining.
- Shadow Mountain Vineyards. Located near Warner Springs, Shadow Mountain is a third-generation family-owned estate vineyard and winery that specializes in limited production white and red table wines grown from the grapes on the estate.
- Winery on Cedros. This fully operational winery is in an urban setting, just blocks from the beach. Operated by Caruth Cellars, the winery is located in Solana Beach’s Cedros Design District. It sources its grapes from vineyards in Northern California, but the fruit is crushed, pressed, fermented, barreled, aged and bottled in San Diego.
- Witch Creek Winery. Located on historic Highway 101 in the heart of Carlsbad, Witch Creek produces small-lot, handcrafted wines using traditional winemaking techniques that result in full-bodied well-balanced wines rich in flavor. It has a tasting room in Carlsbad onsite at the winery, just one block from the beach, and another nestled in the mountains of Julian.
Always check with the wineries you choose to visit to learn the hours their tasting rooms are open and whether they have other activities available. We at S.A.F.E. suggest you choose a designated driver for the day who won’t imbibe, or splurge on a limo so everyone in your party can enjoy San Diego’s boutique wines. It will be a day to remember for you and your parents.