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San Diego Wineries That Offer More Than Just Wine

These local wineries and tasting rooms attract attention with yoga, personal wine blending and more



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Wine blending at Solterra Winery & Kitchen

Attend a Cheese Tasting at Domaine Artefact Winery

Explore the nuances of Rhône-style whites paired with fine French fromage at this Escondido estate. Think aromatic roussanne with a semi-soft Comté, or grenache blanc with pyramid goat cheese dusted in ash. Domaine Artefact’s glorious, 30-acre country setting wows with its horse-filled pastures, olive tree orchards, and a stylish open-air tasting patio, all surrounded by the hills of San Pasqual Valley. Reservations are required for this tasting.

 

Yoga at Carruth Cellars

 

Sun Salute at Carruth Cellars

Get your downward dog on in the tasting room of this Solana Beach urban winery. The 60-minute vinyasa flow class, led by top local yoga teachers, is followed by a tasting of two whites and reds and a lively wine lecture, so you can stretch your body, mind, and palate. Sundays 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; $25 in advance; $30 at the door. 

 

Well-Curated Wine Lists

If you don’t read Wine Spectator but you have some dollars to spend, here’s where to go:

Addison
A.R. Valentien
Bracero Cocina de Raíz
George’s California Modern
Ironside
Juniper and Ivy
Kitchen 1540
Mille Fleurs
Mister A’s
Marina Kitchen
Market Restaurant + Bar
Nine-Ten
Pamplemousse
Stake
Wine Sellar & Brasserie
Veladora

Pair It with Pizza at Cordiano Winery

After owning a slew of successful restaurants, the Cordiano family, hailing from Calabria, Italy, swapped their avocado trees for vines and now welcome guests to sample their 10 varieties and nibble on Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza. Their hillside perch offers dramatic, jaw-dropping views of San Pasqual Valley. Reminiscent of Tuscany, it’s a dreamy spot for sunsets and sipping.

 

BYOH at Hacienda de Las Rosas

Riders are welcome to hitch their horses and belly up to the tasting bar at this picturesque Ramona ranch estate, home to Peruvian paso horses, succulent gardens, and lovely Spanish Mission–style architecture. Owner Tammy Rimes pours six varieties, including a refreshing Spanish albariño. Cigar aficionados will appreciate a relaxing smoke in the outdoor lounge shaded by old oaks, while picnickers can seek out a wine barrel table on the back patio.

 

Play Bocce at Solterra Winery & Kitchen

Leucadia’s urban winery is a lively neighborhood haunt with fun distractions. Blend your own personal bottle from the seven wines on tap, enjoy brunch on the patio and live music on Thursdays and Sundays, or play bocce ball and cornhole out back. Winemaker Chris Van Alyea, who sources grapes from Baja, NorCal, and locally, focuses mostly on red varietals, but also makes some interesting late-harvest wines, port, rosé, and a handful of whites.

 

Bocce in the demo vineyard at Solterra

 

Stomp Grapes at Orfila Vineyards & Winery

Owned by an Argentine ambassador who once dated Jackie O, Orfila is San Diego’s largest producer of local wine. Weekends are filled with rotating food trucks, live music on the patio, and copious wine tastings. Plan ahead for their annual end-of-summer Grape Stomp, a party for 400 oenophiles with farm-to-table fare, wine tastings, live jazz, tractor rides, and some serious purple-toe stomping, of course. Psst: It happens every August, so now you won’t miss next year’s event.

 

Stomping grapes at Orfila

Indulge in art and opera at Salerno Winery

Salerno Winery’s proprietor and avid art collector, Jaime Chaljon, has amassed a world-class sculpture collection, filling the garden of his Ramona vineyard with more than 30 pieces. Wander the grounds, checkmate a king on the giant chess set, and then head to the patio for wood-fired flatbreads, cheese, and charcuterie with freshly baked breads and a hearty malbec, while the notes of an opera tenor fill the air.

 

Catch a Movie at Vinavanti Urban Winery

Every Tuesday, Vinavanti in Hillcrest hosts Cellar Cinema, double-feature evenings infused with wine. Movies like The Road Warrior, The Princess Bride, and The Sound of Music fill the screen while their all-natural, unfiltered wines fill your glass.

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