The Best San Diego Wineries for Visitors
Why do you need to know the best San Diego wineries to visit? Because life is better with a glass of wine in one hand and sunscreen in the other. There are no bad days in San Diego where the sunshine is plentiful and local winemakers are producing some of SoCal’s most celebrated bottles. Whether you favor an intimate tasting experience in a cellar or a breathtaking rooftop view with a fanciful flight, San Diego is a diverse and exciting place to fill your wine glass.
Here is a full list of the San Diego County wineries. We encourage you to review the full list when you are putting together your San Diego wine tasting tour.
Our list of the 10 best San Diego wineries
If your inner hipster is screaming to get out, visit Négociant in the upcoming “Boulevard” section of the North Park neighborhood. You can do such hipster things at the winery like yoga on Sundays and live music on Fridays. Winos rejoice in their generous pours and 5 tastings for $10 means you can get tipsy on a budget. Also cheese. They have cheese and charcuterie platters that if you close your eyes long enough you can almost feel like you’re in Italy.
You wouldn’t know it from the millennial pink wine barrels that Bernardo’s is the oldest running winery in Southern California, founded in 1889. Get a little R&R at this local winery tasting a flight (just $12 for 5 tastings) on their outdoor patio or opt for a little entertainment like their Sunset Art Walk every Friday night, live music on Sundays, Farmer’s Market every Friday, and public tours every weekend. Their wines include the basics like Syrahs and Merlots, but POP you with a surprise Chablis and Albarino and even a Burgundy - say what?! Bernardo Winery also boasts two tasty dining experiences at Café Merlot and V’s Coffee & Charcuterie located in their courtyard.
Remember when the Golden Girls sang, “Thank you for being a friend…”? Well, that’s kind of what it’s like at Koi Zen. They’re all about community and making each one of their guests feel like they’re part of the family. They have 5-6 current releases on hand to taste for just $10 and if you aren’t feeling sociable you can choose a private tasting for just $25 per person. Their community events are like hanging out on a weekend with your BFFs - lectures on wellbeing with their Over a Glass Speaker Series, wine classes, art shows, live music, and even arts and crafts (you know you’ve always wanted to learn how to make a wine bottle succulent). Their small batch artisan wines include a Malbec, Petite Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc. This all makes Koi Zen one of the best San Diego wineries.
Pali is the big wino creation of entrepreneurs Tim Perr and Scott Knight who hail from Pacific Palisades, California (hence the name “Pali”). They are busy producing over 20,000 cases a year from Central Coast grapes and sharing it with patrons at their San Diego tasting room. Located in the heart of Little Italy, Pali is the perfect place to relax on their rooftop deck with a flight of 5 tastings for just $15. They have a wide range of varietals like their Sunset Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Petite Verdot, and Dornfelder. Stay for live music, weekly specials, and Throwback Thursday, playing all those hits from the 90s (insert Ace of Base song here). You can also enjoy their growlers. Come fill up a few bottles of their wine to bring home and share.
Located in the heart of Little Italy, Pali is the perfect place to relax on their rooftop deck with a flight of 5 tastings for just $15. They have a wide range of varietals like their Sunset Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Petite Verdot, and Dornfelder. Stay for live music, weekly specials, and Throwback Thursday, playing all those hits from the 90s (insert Ace of Base song here). You can also enjoy their growlers. Come fill up a few bottles of their wine to bring home and share.
This is not only a good-time winery but also an educational one. This is a full production winery so visitors will not only be able to watch and maybe even help in the winemaking process but during harvest season, the winemakers are busy busy and will give you a little lesson in winemaking so you can be the envy of all your friends. Come for live comedy shows, paint night, live music, and of course tastings. They are heavy on the reds like Sangiovese and Zin and word on the street is they make a killer sangria - $5 all day Sangria Sunday - holla!
With imported grapes from the winemaker’s alma mater in Washington, you better believe you are gonna get some fine wine up in this tasting room. The interiors are well thought with tables made of wine barrels and the bar made from antique jewelry cases. The owner/winemaker is on hand to give you the 101 on GB wines. The Sangiovese is king of the world and their creative red blends are a thing of magic. Guests can choose from a four-tasting flight ($12) or a six-tasting flight ($15). Pair your wine with one of their delectable cheese and charcuterie platters and celebrate TGIF with Friday happy hours.
The owner/winemaker is on hand to give you the 101 on GB wines. The Sangiovese is king of the world and their creative red blends are a thing of magic. Guests can choose from a four-tasting flight ($12) or a six-tasting flight ($15). Pair your wine with one of their delectable cheese and charcuterie platters and celebrate TGIF with Friday happy hours.
Ramona, CA ~ You’ll forget the wine tasting after seeing all the things you can experience sans wine at Milagro. The winery features 110 acres of rolling hills, giant moss-covered boulders and vineyards for days, making for a perfect backdrop for hiking and working off that $12 wine tasting.
You can also get competitive in a game of bocce ball or channel your inner cowboy with horseback riding on the grounds. Winery tours happen on Fridays and if you’re just all about the wine then their award-winning wines are sure to excite your palate with red blends, ports, and their Bordeaux-style Merlot with notes of plum, black licorice, and vanilla. That all adds up to make this one of the best San Diego wineries to visit.
Ramona, CA ~ Be transported to Italy in this Italian-villa inspired winery in the beautiful valleys of Ramona. Bottles average $38 which make the modest $10 tasting all the more worth it. Their red blends are complex in flavor and vibrant and unique to the palate.
Put your fancy pants on and be seated at one of their outdoor wine dinners (reservations required) which feature expert wine pairings with exceptional farm-to-table food - think beef short ribs with polenta.
Ramona, CA ~ These award-winning wines are just as appealing as the stunning mountain views. Their tasting menu is just $10 ($8 more if you want to keep the custom glass) and features such wines as Hello Sexy, a red blend with a mix of berry flavors and spice, and Hello Juicy, their fan favorite sangria.
Partake in a complimentary winery tour where you can get an in-depth education in winemaking and maybe even a barrel tasting if you’re feeling lucky. Make it a fun experience and bring a picnic for you and your friends and even pets are welcome to hang out at the winery. Ruff.
Orfila Vineyards is a 70-acre estate that grows 40 acres of premium wine grapes in the San Pasqual Valley. It is located within a 10,000-acre agricultural preserve owned by the City of San Diego. Grapes have been grown and wine has been produced at the vineyard since 1973.
The views from just outside the tasting room are spectacular. There is a picnic area along with a grape arbor that provides a perfect spot to sit and sip your wine. You can also purchase snacks from the tasting room to enjoy with your wine.
The tasting room is inside a large warehouse type structure. The tasting counter is set up to handle large crowds with serving areas on four sides.
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