California Wolf Center was founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, specifically the history and behavior of the gray wolf. Located 50 miles east of San Diego, it houses 19 wolves—five Alaskan gray wolves and 14 of the approximately 358 Mexican gray wolves that exist worldwide. The wolves act as ambassadors for the wild, taking part in educational programs for the public. The center also participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, which aims to help the endangered species recover in the wild. At the facility, wolves live in off-exhibit enclosures that can help retain their natural behavior since some of them will eventually be released back into the wild.
Orfila Vineyards and Winery sits on a picturesque hill 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean. That means ocean breezes and morning fog, ideal conditions for growing wine grapes. Since 1994, the team has been harvesting fruit for an array of Rhone-style wines that has racked up more than 1,000 wine-competition medals and at least 3 deep nods of approval. Current vintages run the gamut from merlots to grapefruit-pink roses to summery whites.
Visitors can sample the wines at the winery's onsite tasting room?just outside San Diego, en route to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park?or stop by the second tasting room in the historic small town of Julian.
Cuisine Type: Estate-grown Bordeaux and Italian wines
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What is one of your most popular offerings? How is it prepared?
Our 2012 Sauvignon Blanc was named San Diego County's Best Wine at the 2012 Del Mar Fair state wine competition. The 2010 Barbera is a multiple gold medal winner including in national and international competitions. The Aleatico is a dessert port-style wine that is perfect for the holidays served with dark chocolate.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our tasting room is open for tastings Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm, and includes an extensive gift shop, estate grown olive oil, and views of the state of the art winery. We have a limited food menu but welcome you to bring a picnic.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery offers a wide selection of red and white varietal wines, all estate grown in Ramona, CA. The varietals grown are typically Bordeaux style like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc; or northern Italian style like Barbera, Sangiovese and Aleatico. The farming methods used are sustainable.
Tucked away in the sunny and picturesque Ramona Valley, Lenora Winery bottles beautiful wines in an equally beautiful setting. Amongst a wide range of varietals crafted from the eight types of grapes that flourish along the vineyard's sun-drenched hills, Lenora boasts a number of award-winners, including their 2012 Lenora Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Visitors can enjoy samples of the wines at the 22-seat tasting room, or drink in the views on the outdoor grape arbor with seating for 44 people. During tastings, guests sample white, rose, red and dessert wines as well as blends procured from several vintages. Winemakers lovingly hand-craft each elixir, with many bottled into fewer than 25 cases.
Sprawled across 20 acres on Sunshine Summit, La Serenissima produces premium, handcrafted wines. To develop its complex varietals, the Venetian estate winery follows traditional winemaking practices that have been passed from one generation to the next. Such a process begins with remarkable grape quality, which La Serenissima achieves through organic farming practices. The winery's process also includes meticulous harvesting, oak barrel fermentation, and aging timed by taste instead of pouring the wine into a giant hourglass. La Serenissima showcases this process during winery tours, during which visitors taste wines in different stages of aging straight from the barrels.
The impressive stone veranda at Vineyard Grant James allows visitors a view of the property in all its grandeur. Lush vines and grassy paths stretch across its 3 acres, just the beginning of a larger vineyard to come. But the vineyard is more than a breathtaking view; it's settled in the perfect climate for growing a wide variety of grapes. Elevations of up to 2,200 feet, decomposed granite soil, and an average temperature of 64 degrees contribute to the perfect atmosphere for cultivating syrah, merlot, sangiovese, orange muscat, greco, refosco, and nebbiolo grapes—which its winemakers mix into five smooth varietal blend wines.