After immigrating to America early in the 20th century, Emilio Guglielmo saved up for years before he was able buy a plot of land for his winery in 1925. In the years since, three generations of his family have run the vineyard and kept its Old World style alive. Large wooden beams, stone walls, and terracotta tiles surround guests in the tasting room, where they can sample carefully selected vintages. Each year, the winery produces nearly 40,000 cases, including the award-winning 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Petite Sirah, each of which took home gold medals in San Francisco’s International Wine Competition.
On bike tours with Gears and Grapes Getaways, groups cycle through the iconic Napa Valley, internationally recognized as one of the nine Great Wine Capitals in the world, and the slightly-more-indie Sonoma Valley, home to nearly every type of grape grown in California.
Groups typically stop at four boutique wineries during the tours, pausing at midday for a gourmet picnic lunch. Those who get tired of pedaling or who want to pretend they're on a stakeout can hop on the shuttle that follows close behind at any time. Guides also take visitors on tours of wineries and breweries in San Francisco proper.
Housed within the heart of Golden Gate Park, Park Chalet Garden Restaurant manages to simultaneously embrace its natural surroundings and its contemporary, urban setting. Glass walls and ceilings completely surround the diners, affording them pastoral views of Queen Wilhelmina's windmill and the dutch-tulip garden without sacrificing the comfort of an indoor environment. During warm, sunny days, natural light floods the space and the retractable glass doors slide open to admit warm breezes. The dining room's pendant lamps and immense stone fireplace become invaluable at night, keeping the restaurant brightly lit and the temperatures toasty throughout the evening.
To complement this elegantly cozy ambiance, Executive Chef Matthew Urban and his team devised a menu of familiar comfort foods with subtly refined touches. Smoked paprika oil adds an unfamiliar yet welcome burst of savory flavor to the fried chicken, and cornmeal-crusted trout arrives at tables with an aromatic saffron aioli. Occasionally, the chefs look for inspiration in other cuisines and fuse those flavors with Californian ingredients. Crushed avocados add to the ahi tuna tartare's richness, but the dish's ginger-sesame vinaigrette balances those flavors with a hint of zesty spice.
However, the chefs aren't the only culinary talent at Park Chalet Garden Restaurant. The staff also brews a variety of beers in-house, crafting everything from smoky, German-style märzens to refreshingly hoppy IPAs. As diners enjoy one of these brews with their meal, they can take in the views and applaud the local bands and extraterrestrial magicians that perform every Tuesday evening.
Bluxome Street Winery is a celebration of California winemaking history. More than a century ago, SOMA—then called South of the Slot—was the center of new-world wineries. To pay homage to that legendary time, Bluxome draws upon rustic decor and old-school practices, such as sourcing high-quality fruit from small, meticulously farmed vineyards.
Bluxome also extends its reach to a Balinard vineyard in Russian River. There, three acres of pinot noir clones grow in an organic environment, producing the fruit that composes Bluxome’s aromatic, smooth, and electric wines that linger on the palate and pair perfectly with steak.
The last Saturday of every month sees the winery explode into a community-focused farmers market filled with artisan food vendors. Pinot in hand, visitors are free to roam among vendors such as Sinful Salt and Crescent Farm, tasting the honey of Gerard’Z Honeybees and the jam of Grandma’s Homemade. This eclectic gathering is perhaps a reason readers of the San Fransisco Bay Guardian named Bluxome one of the Best Wineries in 2013.
The Twisted Roots Wine company began producing its own label of wines and its signature wine, Petite Sirah in 2005. Winemaking joined grape-growing as an integral part of the family business, and in 2010 the family incorporated Twisted Roots as a separate family business. As production continued to increase, varietals expanded to include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and "1918" Old Vine Zinfandel made from the family's oldest vineyard planted in 1918.
Above all else, Twisted Roots Wine strives to create wines that capture the essence of California's Lodi appellation. The Twisted Roots family embraces sustainable farming practices throughout the entire process and they almost exclusively age their wines in neutral French oak barrels, which allow the grapes' natural fruit flavors and pronounced acidity to shine. This style is evident throughout the winery's lineup of current releases. A bright and crisp chardonnay features just a hint of rounded oak flavor for the sake of balance, and the signature zinfandel—made from the vines originally planted in 1918—coats palates with its bold, yet supple notes of dark fruits and spices.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: Wine Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Sip organically grown wine while enjoying the sculpture garden and shopping our gift boutique.
Has your business won any awards?
Yes. We received Small Business of the Year in 2011 from the state of California as well as a number of awards for our wines.
Tell us about your business.
We are the oldest winery in the Carmel Valley Appellation and pioneered the grape-growing area in 1968. We produce estate grown, estate bottled, 100% certified organically grown wine. We have a sculpture garden and an art gallery on the premises. Guests may browse through our gift boutique for gourmet sauces, olive oils and wine related items.