wine along the world’s busiest border


Julian grape stomp
AVA amnnual ~ Bernardo Winery

Wine bar

Callaway estate ~ 517 4th Ave #101 San Diego
3rd Corner late dining ~ 897 S. Coast Hwy ste F-104 Encinitas 92024, 2265 Bacon St. Ocean Beach 92107
Forgotten Barrel estate ~ 1120 W. 15th Ave Escondido 92025503
LJ Crafted wines ~ 5621 La Jolla Blvd Bird Rock
M Winehouse ~ 1918 India St Little Italy
Proprietor’s Reserve Wine Bar ~ 4711 34th St Normal Heights
Village Vino ~ 4095 Adams Ave, Kensington
Vin de Syrah ~ 901 5th Avenue, San Diego 92101
Vino Carta ~ 2161 India St Little Italy
The Wine Lover ~ Fifth Ave south of Washington, Hillcrest
The Wine Pub ~ 2907 Shelter Island Dr #108 Pt Loma
Wetstone ~ 1927 4th Avenue San Diego 92101
Urban wineries
Abnormal Wine Co. ~ 16990 Via Tazon ste 123 Rancho Bernardo
Negociant ~ 2419 El Cajon Blvd, North Park
2Plank Vineyards ~ 2379, La Mirada Dr. Vista 92081 6242 Ferris Sq, San Diego 92121
BK Cellars ~ 2225 Barham Dr ste D Escondido 92029
Carruth Cellars ~ 2727 State St #110 Carlsbad 92008; 118 S. Cedros Ave #C, Solana Beach 92075,
Charlie & Echo ( nee Vinavanti ) ~ 8680 Miralani Dr #113
Fruitcraft ~ 1477 University Ave San Diego
Gianni Buonomo Vintners ~ 4836 Newport Ave San Diego 92107
Koi Zen Cellars ~ 12225 World Trade Dr ste P San Diego 92128
San Pasqual Winery ~ 8140 Center Street La Mesa 91942; 8364 La Mesa Blvd La Mesa 91942; Kettner Blvd & Harbor Drive SE corner Seaport Village
Solterra Winery ~ 934 N. Coast Hwy 101 Encinitas 92023
Stehleon Vineyards ~ 298 Enterprise St ste D Escondido 92029
Vesper Vineyards ~ 298 Enterprise St ste D Escondido 92029
Witch Creek Winery ~ 2906 Carlsbad Blvd Carlsbad 92008
Bernardo Winery 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte Rancho Bernardo
Twin Oaks Valley Winery 1575 Mulberry Dr San Marcos ( East La Cienega Rd behind greenhouses) “ wines are not aged in oak barrels but in plastic Flex casks fitted with oakwood inserts that can be removed during the aging process”
Temecula winemakers sick of the haters 9.25.16 SD UT p58 (Business section) For mnay wine sophisticates, “Southern California wine” is an oxymoron. The criticisms of the wines, usually produced in Temecula, are vast. They’re too sweet, the aromas are funky, they lack the complexity and flavor found in wines from Napa or even Paso Robles. “When I tell Central Coast winemakers that I’m going south to explore Temecula wines, they say, “Well, that sucks. I’m so sorry.” said Wine Enthusiast magazine contributing editor Matt Kettmann who rates central and south coast wines for the publication. “But no one ever really tries the wine.” Now a core group of Temecula wnemakers is determined to challenge the longstanding belief that the region is only good for bachelorette limo tasting tours and subpar wine. Five wineries have joined forces to beat back the persistent jeers leveled at Temecula Valley’s 33,000 acre American Viticultural Area. The groud has invested in a machine to carefully analyze the wines’ chemistry, uprooted old grap-growing methods in favo of ones better suited for Temecula’s terrain and are pushing for well-known wine reviewers to come try their wines, setting aside whatever prejudices they might hold For many oenophiles, those preconcieved notions go way back.”Some of the Temecula wines became known for flavors that were not all that appealing’, said Wine Spectator senior editor James Laube. The late Terrence Clancy, prominent wine industry executive, “said they smelled like burning tires. A rotten vegetable cabbagey smell. They had problems with very high pHs.” Those high pH levels are caused by Temecula’s hotter climate and drier soil, which can cause spikes related to lower acid levels, although soil science is a debated topic, and elevated pH numbers can vex other regions. Optimal acidity levels lend wine a desired crisp, tart quality. “We weren’t getting balanced phenolic maturity to develop the flavors, so we had to hang out fruit out there much longer to get that ripeness,” said Temecula’s Palumbo Family Vineyards owner Nicholas Palumbo. “The wines in general were out of balance.” Curiously, it was an insect that began to turn the region’s fortunes around. The glassy-winged sharpshooter decimated nearly 40% of Temecula’s vineyards beginnng in the late 1990s. The clear-cut devastation seemed to dictate a choice: “Winemakers had to either get out of the game or get committed to changing it.” said Palumbo. Winemakers began to tame the pH problem with improved farming methods: canopy management, proper vine balance and better irrigation practices. They also began planting more Italian, Rhone and Spanish varietals suited to Temecula’s mediterranean climate. Creating “wine by the numbers” also helped. Last year, the Hart, Doffo, Vindemia and Palumbo wineries jouintly purchased a $58,000 Oenofoss machine that analyzes wine chemistry. The microwave size device lives at South Coast Winery & Spa where an oenologist keeps it calibrated. “With the Napa guys, the numbers may be perfect, and the wine then comes out perfect,” said Jim Hart, whose parents Joe and Nancy launched Hart Winery in 1980. “Here, we have to do more work.” That work might includ such post-harvest fixes as chaptalization (adding sugar) and acid adjustment, commonly done by winemakers. Wine drinkers said they have noticed an improvement. 65yo retired asset manager Sue Simmons in downtown L.A. recalled her reaction when friends gave her some Temecula wines some 5 years ago. “Are you joking, why are you pushing this on me ?”. She had tasted Temecula’s offerings in the late 1980s and found the wines “thin” with “no depth of flavor; they were not attractive.” This time around, the wines “were just as good as anything I’ve had from Europe or Northern California,” she said Despite the past stigma, Temecula Valley’s terroir is generally well suited for growing grapes. Its high angled sun is largely saved by cool coastal air drawn through mountainous gaps by low pressure systems. The setup creates a generous temperature shift, chilling hot grapse at night. Vines are rooted in granitic, well drained soils. Temecula winemakers saie the region now hits a consistent quality mark, given numerous and varied awards. Boosters most often tout South Coast Winery’s “California Winery of the Year” four time win, spanning 2008 to 2016m bestowed by the California State Fair. South Coast is Temecula Valley’s second largest producer at 65,000 cases a year. But Laube said he is not convinced that state fair awards bestow significant legitimacy. “The question is, does everybody get a medal? Does it mean much in Napa or in the broader wine world ? I don’t think so,” he said. Temecula Valley wines have been rated, most often by Wine Enthusiast. The publication has reviewed 80 Temecula wines in the last two years with nearly half the wines receiving scores of 90 points or higher, “which is a decent showing.” Kettman said. In years further back, Temecula wines received “some pretty dismal scores.” he added. Laube, who tastes about 5000 wines a year, has not visited the region to rate the wines, which has some Temecula winemakers fuming. He said the omission was “not deliberate” and that he would visit the region soon. “Temecula wines are mostly a local phenomenon, but the region is moving in a positive direction,” he said. “Its moment is coming.” Even Napa wasn’t always the heralded wine region it is today. It had its own moment in 1976 during the so-called Judgment of Paris, when its wines were blind tasted against French wines and, to the shock of wine snobs everywhere, bested them. Before then Napa was largely mocked as a cheap jug wine region. California’s $114 billion wine industry harbors an inherent pecking order among its 138 American Vinicultural Areas. Stellar central coast regions (Paso Robles, Santa Barbara) were underdogs 35 years ago. “Napa used to rip on Paso Robles,” Kettman said. “But now Paso Robles rips on other regions. It’s a funny game. Actually, everyone still rips on everyone.” Temecula’s formidable wine tourism engine seems especially susceptible to mockery. Serious drinkers said they abhor weekend visits to Temecula, with its jammed roads and packed tasting rooms. Leave Temecula to the middlebrow folks, some sniff, to quaff their “fruit bombs”. The region hosts 2.7 million annual visitors who spend $696 million, most of it on wine related activities according to Visit Temecula Valley. Although there isn’t a breakout of how much total revenue the wineries pull in, the group says that the overall tourism figure has consistently risen during the last six years. The region saw its first winery open in 1974, though wine grapes were first planted in Temecula Valley in 1820. Today there are 42 wineries. more than a third of which opened in the last decade. And there’s still room to grow. A master plan allows for 105 wineries. Events, concerts and a revitalized Old Town augment the scene, along with golf, hot air ballooning, weddings and Pechanga’s titanic casino. Twenty wineries have on-site restaurants, which are effectively banned in many popular California wine regions. Together, that means Temecula has been a big draw for Southern California tourists. “Temecula is hitting on all cylinders,” said Wine Business Institute executive director Ray Johnson. “And what’s wrong with giving people what they want? It’s just some of the cognoscenti who criticize the sucess of wine tourism.” All of these factors help make Temecula a standout when it comes to direct wine sales in California. Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery produces 18,000 cases of wine each year. Renzoni said he sells 300 cases a week out the tasting room door. “When I talk numbers with winemakers from up north, their jaws hit the floor,” he said. That’s great for the bottom line, but means that Temecula wines remain undiscovered for meny oenophiles. “Everyone bags on Temecula, but no one ever tries their wine,” Kettman said, “because a lot of it never leaves Temecula.” As for his expert opinion, “Temecula is pretty hit and miss. Some wines are solid, some are as bad as you’ll find in any region.”


Casa Veramendi km 117.5 Carretera Libre east of Tecate
Valle de las Palmas
Valle de Guadalupe norte
Encuentro ecotourist cabins
Bodegas del Valle km 82.5
northwest off CF3 @ Calle 14
Monte Xanic Calle Francisco Zarco Colonia Valle de Guadalupe
Vinicola Torres Alegre Calle Sin Calle – Parcela 52, Ejido El Porvenir
Adobe Guadalupe Parcela A-1 Rusa de Guadalupe
Vinos Emevé @ Cam. a San José de la Zorra, Parcela 67, Ejido El Porvenir
The Hippest Winery In Mexico Is Made Of Recycled Boats 3.28.14
A lot of artists say they find inspiration in unlikely places. Architects Alejandro D’Acosta and Claudia Turrent, designers based in Ensenada, Mexico, most often find theirs digging through dumpsters and junkyards. Their work, however, isn’t remotely trashy. One of their latest creations, the Vena Cava winery in Baja’s Guadalupe Valley, is sleek and totally modern. It’s one of a growing number of wineries that’s designed to give visitors a memorable visual experience — not just a taste of fine wine. The vaulted ceilings of Vena Cava are made out of salvaged discarded boats from a nearby port. Some of the walls are decorated with discarded lenses from a local eyeglass factory. In addition to these distinctive emblems of place, the winery incorporates the shapes and colors of the region’s natural landscape so that it almost blends in. With their passion for reclaimed materials, the husband and wife team have secured a niche designing stunning, upscale wineries and other buildings in Baja. They’ve designed five wineries to date, and have two more in the works. The Mexican wine industry has been flourishing lately, prompting The Economist to call the Guadalupe Valley the “Napa of Mexico.” D’Acosta says he and Turrent are in the right place to experiment with winery design, at the right time.
Designing a winery is a lot like designing a factory, D’Acosta says. The structures have to accommodate a lot of specialized equipment to process the grapes and filter the wine. Even small details like the distance between the fermenting equipment and the storage barrels can affect how the wine tastes. But, he says, “the wineries are also a social project.” They’re a big tourist attraction in Baja, so they have to be both beautiful and functional. He and Turrent specialize in achieving a balance between the two. They’re committed to minimizing their impact on the Earth, and they have recycling down to a science and an art. They collect materials from everywhere — local factories, junkyards and demolition sites. And then they brainstorm and test them out. “You have to think about [an object’s] original use,” D’Acosta tells The Salt. What are its strengths? And how might an architect use those strengths to his advantage? Old glass bottles, for example, are great for insulation, D’Acosta says. A corked glass bottle isn’t too different from a double-paned window — air trapped inside glass reduces the amount of heat that’s transferred from one side to the other, he says.
Tires are very strong, and versatile, they’ve discovered. For the remodeled Bodegas de Santo Thomas, Mexico’s oldest winery, D’Acosta and Turrent used 22,000 tires to build the retention walls. And since boats are designed to be weatherproof and water-resistant, they make for very durable ceilings. But it’s not just about functionality. “When you recycle a boat, or when you reuse an object, part of the original soul of the object is still there,” D’Acosta says. A lot of trash and scrap from the U.S. tends to end up in Mexico, D’Acosta says. He figures he might as well put it to good use. “I have seven brothers and my father has 10 brothers,” D’Acosta says. Which meant he ended up with a lot of hand-me-downs. “I don’t think I never had new clothes — maybe once!” he laughs. The idea of reusing things became very natural, he says. “And it’s not about being rich or poor,” he says. It’s about getting the most out of what you already have.
CF3 east pf El Porvenir
Quail & Rabbit after Revolucion, before Lucio Blanco, east side CF3
Museo de la Vid y el Vino km 81.337 CF3
Hacienda Guadalupe km 81.5 CF3
Bodegas del Valle km 82.5 CF3 big central place that sells by the glass from multiple producers
Vinícola Xecue km 89 +100 CF3 ( San Marcos )
south of El Porvenir on CF3 @ San Antonio de las Minas
Viña de Liceaga km93 CF3 bought distillate here in 2009, had to ask for it.
Casa de Piedra Vinicola km 93.5 CF3
Ojos Negros
south of Ensenada
Todos Santos
Baja Wine Country: Popular tasting tours depart from San Diego 5.13.16
The Secret of Valle de Guadalupe’s Wine (R)evolution 4.26.16
Is Baja California the next Napa? 4.21.16
Baja is making a lot more great wine than you might think 12.18.15
Where To Eat, Sleep, and Drink Wine in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico 10.29.15
Baja Wine USA 7742 Herschel Ave., Suite G La Jolla
Lena Craft Mexican 909 Prospect St, Ste 290 La Jolla
Cueva Bar 2123 Adams Ave, San Diego
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