How To Celebrate National Wine Day In San Diego? Here’s A Few Ideas…

May 25th marks more than just the start of Memorial Day weekend. It’s also National Wine Day! What better way to kick off a holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer than by indulging in a glass of wine?

Of course, San Diegans know that Temecula hosts a plethora (“Would you say they had a plethora?”…what movie?!) of wineries, but there’s plenty of vino close to home! Save the cash that you would have spent on gas driving north to purchase a bottle to bring home!

Whether you prefer a sweet white or a rich red, we’ve got you covered with lots of ideas on where to indulge.

Stroll To Your Closest Urban Winery

Nestled within San Diego and its neighboring cities, you’ll find several great urban wineries. Although the grapes may not be grown on-site, these wineries offer a nice selection of handcrafted wines for you to sample in their tasting rooms, and a comfortable ‘neighborhoody’ feel.

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Gianni Buonomo Vintners – When you think of Ocean Beach you likely don’t immediately associate the laid back waterfront community with wine but it is home to the tasting room of Gianni Buonomo Vintners. While the grapes are flown in from Washington State and the Sierra Foothills, the wine is produced on site. Stop in Wednesday through Sunday (hours vary) or book an appointment for Monday or Tuesday.

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Negociant Winery – Veer away from traditional reds at Negociant in North Park’s Boulevard District and try one of the bolder varieties, like a Sangiovese or Grenache. These wines are produced in small batches using grapes sourced from the Central Coast, Baja and Washington State and are perfect for those looking for something different. They’re open seven days a week for your wine tasting convenience.

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Pali Wine Company – If you love pinot noir, Pali Wine Company is a must try. The Little Italy winery is dedicated to specializing in small batches of the rich red wine. Their sister label, Tower 15, features Bordeaux and Rhone Blends and is also available in the tasting room and on the rooftop deck. Open nightly Monday through Friday and both afternoons and evenings on the weekend.

2Plank Vineyard – While the vineyard is located in Fallbrook, you don’t have to travel that far away to sample one of the wines from the winery’s diverse collection. There’s a tasting room conveniently located in Sorrento Valley but you must make an appointment or you can head up to Vista to visit their tasting room Thursday to Sunday.

Witch Creek Winery – Make a day of your trip to Carlsbad and visit the beach before heading two blocks east to this urban winery. While the grapes are grown throughout California and Baja, the red wines are produced on-site in Carlsbad in small batches that practically guarantees that there will be something new to try throughout the year. Open Sunday through Thursday from 12 to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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Carruth Cellars – Venture slightly north of the city to this Solana Beach tasting room for an urban, coastal vibe that’s open seven days a week. The wines may be made using grapes from Northern California, but the wine is produced on site. Primarily specializing in red wines, Carruth Cellars also features a delicious Sauvignon Blanc for white wine fans. If you want to head even further north, there’s also a tasting room in Carlsbad. For those closer to the city, they also recently opened Carruth Cellars Wine Garden in Little Italy.

Road Trip To Countryside Wineries

Want to venture a bit further out but stick within San Diego County? These incredible wineries are just a short drive outside of the city and you get the added perk of seeing the peaceful setting of the countryside vineyards.

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Vesper Vineyards – By using grapes from a single organic vineyard and naturally fermenting them, this Escondido winery is looking to make a name for itself in the area. While the tasting room is currently closed for remodeling, you can book a tasting by appointment.

Bernardo Winery – Recognized as Southern California’s oldest operating winery, Bernardo Winery has been making wine since 1889. Located in the countryside of Rancho Bernardo, you can visit the tasting room, stroll through a collection of quaint shops offering everything from jewelry and handbags to artwork and clothing. Check out the newly opened Bernardo Winery Kitchen to grab a bite or peruse the summer artwalk on Friday nights during the season.

OrfilaVineyards and Winery – Head east from Escondido and you’ll discover the sprawling 70 acre vineyards of Orfila in the San Pasqual Valley. Enjoy live music most weekends with Tunes on the Terrace from 4 to 6 p.m. Don’t forget to join their wine club to get 20 percent off wine and merchandise. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Milagro Winery – Visit Milagro in the Ramona Valley to explore the winery, organic farm and orchard and tasting room. You will have to plan your visit on the weekend as the winery is only open on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Menghini Winery – While the promise of pie often lures San Diegans out to Julian, you can add Menghini Winery to the list of reasons to venture to this charming mountain town. The six acre vineyard is surrounded by apple orchards, making it the perfect location to treat yourself to both a glass of wine and then stop for a slice of infamous Julian pie when you pass through town. The winery is open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Vineyard Grant James – Named the second best winery in the United States by Travel + Leisure, this Ramona winery lets you enjoy a glass of wine in a peaceful country oasis. Take note that the tasting room is only open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

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Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery – Located in the Ramona Valley, Turtle Rock Ridge offers a tasting room and a complimentary winery tour where you can learn about how their wine is made. Be sure to try the Chocolate Turtle, a smooth port style wine, or choose from any of their other reds and whites. Open Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Pick Up A Bottle (Several!) And Sit At Home With Friends!

Nothing’s better than a good night at home with friends and a little too much wine! Little Italy’s Vino Carta celebrates their two year anniversary this weekend – why not grab a bottle and help them celebrate?

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The Wine Bank in Gaslamp packs two floors full of great wine. Whatever you’re looking for…you’ll probably find it there!

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And if your living room isn’t big enough for all of your friends, the Wine Pub invites you to make their heated patio your living room for the night!

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Wherever you end up, enjoy National Wine Day!

We’ll see you out there!