Best Wineries near La Jolla – 2014
San Diego County’s Best Wineries near La Jolla of 2014
La Jolla, a picturesque seaside community in San Diego, is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on three sides and by Mt. Soledad on the fourth. Although La Jolla is a mecca for beachgoers, its quaint, Mediterranean feel and unique microclimate also make it an ideal location for rich, verdant farmland. Over the past few centuries, the fertile soil and temperate climate have yielded some of the country’s best wineries.
Interstate 15, located about 45 miles north of the heart of San Diego, transports you to some of the best vineyards and wineries in the region. As you travel through the yawning canyons and valleys, you will find vineyards both large and small dotting the landscape, inviting you to stop in for a tour and taste of the best wine and food pairings San Diego has to offer.
Selecting a Vineyard or Winery
When deciding which winery or vineyard to visit, consider what kind of experience you want to have. Some details to learn about an establishment before stopping by for a tour or tasting include:
- Specialties and types of wines offered. If you are looking for a crisp chardonnay or a bold red, locate wineries that have received rave reviews for those varieties.
- Dining options. From light appetizers to gourmet meals, many wineries have options available for those looking for food with their libations
- Views. Most wineries offer picturesque views, whether located at the top of a hill or nestled in a valley.
- Tour details. Are they available on a walk-in basis, or do you need to call ahead?
- Costs. Plan your budget for the cost of tours, tastings, and meals.
Popular Wineries near La Jolla
An array of majestic vineyards and wineries are a few minutes’ drive or ride from the La Jolla area. From the small and family-owned to the sprawling and impressive, you will be sure to find one or more establishments to delight your senses and create memories for years to come.
Although each location has a unique appeal all its own, the following wineries have gained the reputation of being the best in the region. Read on to learn more about the history and singular characteristics of these businesses.
Owned and operated by Peter and Denise Clarke, Altipiano Vineyard and Winery sits on a private estate overlooking San Diego Safari Park and picturesque San Pasqual Valley. They are known for their Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah wines. Visit their tasting room from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on weekends.
Located on Paseo del Verano Norte in Rancho Bernardo, Bernardo Winery is the oldest operating winery in Southern California. Their house-made olive oil and pasta pleasantly pairs with their Italian, Spanish, and French wines. Picnic grounds are available on-site, and the public is welcome to come in for self-guided tours.
Falkner Winery sits on Calle Contente Road in Temecula, on an estate overlooking Temecula Valley. They craft varietal wines from their own grapes, including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, and their exclusive “Rosato.” Tours are offered on weekends at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Spread over 36 acres on Via Rancheros Road in the quaint town of Fallbrook, this winery was founded in 1981and mostly produced champagne until the mid-90s. After changing owners, it began to offer an expanded selection, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Tours are available throughout the week by appointment only.
Orfila Winery has been growing grapes since 1973, when it was known as San Pasqual Winery. The City of San Diego owns the 10,000-acre agricultural preserve on which the winery sits. They are known as a “boutique” winery, specializing in Rhône style varieties. Enjoy tours every day at noon and tastings between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Known for its fertile soil and magnificent grapes, this winery has been honored with over 1600 awards, including two Golden State Winery of the Year awards from the California State Fair. South Coast offers reds, rosés, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and more. Its onsite Vineyard Rose Restaurant offers a local menu and expert wine pairings.
Located in Temecula Valley on Rancho California Road, Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards has been owned and operated by the Wilson family since 1996. Wines are crafted from an on-site vineyard, and their wine list features a fêted Almond Champagne. Creekside Grille offers a seasonal menu including gluten-free options, and picnic tables are available for those who prefer alfresco dining.
If you are new to the San Diego area or just not sure which wineries and vineyards you would like to visit, a guided tour may be right for you. Companies offering guided tours have years of experience selecting perfect locations and vendors for a memorable adventure.
Choose a company that demonstrates their intimate knowledge of the area and makes the arrangements for you, allowing you to enjoy the sights – and, of course, the wines.
Two companies to consider for your guided wine tour are:
- San Diego Beer & Wine Tours/La Jolla Wine Tours. For a great time without having to do the driving, this company offers chauffeured tours of San Diego wine country. They will pick you up from your hotel or home and take you to some of the best wineries in the region for tours, tastings, and delicious food pairings. Train and walking tours are also available, in addition to wine tasting parties.
- Destination Temecula. Destination Temecula coordinates memorable wine tours for small and large groups, and they offer special events perfectly tailored to your specifications. They will help arrange transportation and recommend local attractions such as estates, ranches, and orchards, in addition to vineyards and wineries.
Whether you select your own wineries or choose a tour company to guide you through the best San Diego has to offer, you will experience exhilarating sights and delectable flavors.
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