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Unique Wine Experiences in California

Saturday, Nov 02, 2022 0


As the fourth largest wine producer in the world, California is synonymous with wine travel in the United States. From the well-known areas of Napa Valley and Sonoma to less discovered areas like El Dorado County and San Diego, the Golden State is a mecca for oenophiles. Here are some of our favorite wine experiences throughout the state.


Classic Wine Country Experiences


Yorkville Cellars


From the Medoc to Mendocino, Yorkville Cellars is the only winery outside of Bordeaux to produce wine from all eight major Bordeaux grapes. Opt for the Oakview Tasting to experience an intimate tasting amidst the organic vineyard.


Historic Boeger Winery


Boeger Winery – the birthplace of wine in El Dorado County –offers a tasting of six wines in its enchanting garden. Celebrating its 50th anniversary as a winery, visitors can sip wine and tour the historic winery, grounds and vineyards for a behind-the-scenes look. The winery produces a portfolio of reds, whites, rosé and dessert wines.


Food & Wine


With so many wine producers in the Napa Valley, one way that wineries are setting their experience apart is with elevated food and wine paired tastings. The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Joseph Phelps is a gourmet feast pairing nine seasonal dishes with single-vineyard wines and its famous Insignia Cabernet. At Trefethen Family Vineyard, bites crafted from their home-grown produce are paired with wines in the Taste the Estate flight. The Clif Family Winery offers the fun Clif Family Bruschetteria food truck for guests to pair their favorite dishes with the vineyard’s wines.


Cellar Tours


Serious oenophiles will enjoy the many cellar tours offered by some of Paso Robles 300 wineries. Eberle is one of the pioneering wineries of the region and offers complimentary tours of its 16,000 square feet of underground caves. Taste the award-winning wines of Robert Hall and explore their caverns on a cave and barrel-tasting tour.


Lompoc Ghetto


The name might be lowbrow, but the wine inside is anything but. The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is a group of small urban wineries and tasting rooms housed in an industrial park complex. The Lompoc Ghetto represents the largest concentration of world-class, small-production tasting rooms in Santa Barbara County.


Jalama Wines Tasting Room


Jalama Wines is known for some of the coolest climate Pinot Noir produced in California, but its tasting room is in the desert heat of Palm Springs. As the only winery tasting room in Palm Springs, Jalama is a must-see hotspot for wine lovers.


Pali Wine Co.


Trade Pluto for Pinot at Pali Wine Co. in Anaheim. Head to Pali Wine Co. to taste top Central Coast Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on tap. The spacious outdoor patio is pet-friendly and offers full service from the bar and kitchen.


Natural Wines


While it just opened in summer 2022 in San Diego’s hip North Park neighborhood, Little Thief is already stealing wine lovers’ hearts with its lineup of natural wine from independent producers. The wine bar offers 20 wines by the glass and 50 by the bottle. The bar has a European feel and serves up tapas to perfectly pair with the wine.

Unique Experiences


Water into Wine


The New Clairvaux Vineyard in Redding is a collaboration between the Trappist-Cistercian monks who call it home and fifth-generation winemaker Aimee Sunseri. Visitors can taste the award-winning wines, as well as tour the Abbey.


LOLA Wines


It’s hard to beat wine and caviar for sheer decadence. At LOLA Wines, founder and winemaker Seth Cripe is also one of the world’s only producers of bottarga, a caviar delicacy usually only found on the menus in top restaurants in the world.


Wine & Design


Stay at the boutique MacArthur Place in Sonoma and book the Wine + Design package which takes wine lovers on a day trip exploring the area’s most design-forward wineries. Guests will enjoy wine tastings and a gourmet lunch and receive a copy of The New Architecture of Wine book.


Art & Wine


Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills just a stone’s throw from Yosemite National Park, Casto Oaks winery serves up its Zinfandels and Bordeaux varietals in a tasting room that doubles as an art gallery. Here you’ll find the blending of fine art and fine wine in historic downtown Mariposa.


Cause and Effect


Wine geeks can do a truly original tasting at the fifth-generation, family-owned Lange Twins Winery in Acampo. Appropriately named Cause and Effect, guests will taste a variety of wines stored in different conditions to see how it impacts the look, aroma and taste of the wines.


Guitars and Grapes


Wine and music are a perfect pairing, and at Solvang’s Cali Love Wine, guests are treated to an authentic sensory experience with a pink tasting room and the first-ever guitar museum housed within it.


Malibu Discovery Wine Tour


Did you know a wine region is hidden behind the Santa Monica Mountains? With Malibu Discovery, you can choose from four tours to explore this secret wine area. Tours include wine room tastings and either brunch, lunch or dinner.


Winemaker for a Day


Test your skills at crafting wine at the Blending Lab at the BOTTAIA Winery in Temecula Valley. Guests will barrel taste a variety of wines to create three red blends. Once you pick your favorite creation, the staff will bottle, cork and capsule it for you to take home.

Learn more about Visit California


Geoff Ceasar

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