Wine educators guide guests through tastings of red and white wines paired with local chocolates
39% Off Wine-and-Chocolate Pairing
39% Off Wine Tasting
Saratoga Wine & Beer Garden
Outdoor patio and garden harbors guests who sip on flights of wine and nibble complementary cheeses
Up to 53% Off Wine Tasting at Heller Estate Organic Vineyards
Heller Estate Organic Vineyards
Carmel Valley Village
Sample award-winning wines aged in French oak barrels and made from grapes grown in the vineyards that make the property so picturesque
$11 for a Wine Tasting for Two at Joyce Vineyards
Sample 7 wines, including the Black Mountain chardonnay with notes of pear, quince and pineapple, or the bold Pedregal cabernet sauvignon
50% Off Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Clos LaChance Wines
Clos LaChance Wines
Duos sample five decadent chocolates along with five premium Clos LaChance wines after staff member explains pairing and winery
Up to 43% Off a Microbrewery Tour
Duos or groups of up to 12 ride a refurbished vintage school bus to local microbreweries, where they sample beers and tour the facilities
Up to 58% Off Wine Tasting with Three Wineries in One Location
Watsonville Winemakers Studios
At boutique-winery cooperative, staffers pour one-ounce tastings of multiple varietals from three wineries
Half Off Wine Tastings at Scott Harvey Wines Tasting Room
Scott Harvey Wines Tasting Room
Sip on reserve wines crafted by master winemaker Scott Harvey before taking home a bottle of zinfandel, barbera, or syrah
Up to 58% Off Wine-Tasting Membership
Napa Valley Passport
Access free tastings, discounts, and special promotions at Napa Valley wineries
Up to 55% Off Wine Tasting and Bocce Ball
Sol Rouge Winery
Sample French-inspired wines and play leisurely games of bocce ball at Sol Rouge's winery tasting room on Treasure Island
78% Off In-Home Wine-Tasting Party with 6 Bottles
Wines For Humanity San Francisco
Six bottles of wine are delivered to your doorstep, and a professional wine advisor walks you and up to 15 guests through a wine tasting
Up to Half Off Wine Tasting with Take-Home Bottles
Ramon Rios Vineyard & Winery
Visitors sample a number of vintages, including a chilled rosé, an aromatic majenas, and a fruity malvasia bianca
Up to 51% Off Wine Tasting
Windmill Ridge Winery
Husband and wife team pour samples of their favorites wines at their beautiful 3.8-acre vineyard
Up to 68% Off Tasting at Leal Vineyards
Palates are introduced to subtle notes of varietals including chardonnay, malbec, and mourvèdre in tasting room on 50-acre estate
Up to 57% Off Tasting and Tour or Bottles of Wine
Pietra Santa Winery
Tours explore winery, concluding with sampling of wines; wine options provide 6 or 12 bottles of 2009 Block H Pinot Noir
Up to 64% Off a Wine Tasting
Vineyard and winery that uses sustainable practices, including dry farming of vines that are more than 150 years old
$5 Buys You a Coupon for 10% Off Six Bottles of Reserve Wine
For $5, receive a coupon for 10% off six bottles of wine from the reserve selection.
Up to 53% Off Wine Tasting at Carmel Ridge Winery
Carmel Ridge Winery
Guests sample wines made from grapes grown with a minimum of human intervention and fermented in small lots of French oak barrels
38% Off Wine Tasting
Dawn's Dream Winery
Taste flights featuring several different wines at a charming tasting room in the picturesque town of Carmel-by-the-Sea on the Central Coast
Up to 38% Off at Galante Vineyards Tasting Room
Galante Vineyards Tasting Room
700-acre winery produces a broad range of red and white varietals that couples or quartets can sample before selecting take-home bottles
Up to 72% Off Wine Tasting & Bottles
Mountain View Winery
In a brand-new tasting room, guests leisurely sample a selection of wines, learn about the winery, and take home a bottle of wine each
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.
Though one could also call it a store, The Wine Club’s name speaks to its staff members’ passion for fine wines. Their passion and commitment to quality spirits at fair prices fostered the growth of the first singular club in 1985 into a trio of neighborhood wine and spirits stores by 1996. Shelves and display cases at each store are crowded by varietals from all over the world. During Friday happy hours and informal Saturday afternoon tastings, guests gather to discuss flavor profiles with fellow tasters, certified sommeliers, or vacationing extraterrestrials. The store also curates a variety of wine clubs for customers hoping to expand their palates.
From November 23 through January 6, inside California’s Great America theme park will be transformed into a Global Winter Wonderland complete with twinkling displays of rainbow Christmas trees, snowmen, and Santa Town. A highlight of the seasonal event, the Holiday Lantern Festival sets the night aglow with eco-friendly LED and fluorescent lanterns, some of which stand more than 50 feet tall. Joining the lanterns—which have graced international sites including the Statue of Liberty, the London Bridge, and an Egyptian pyramid—are laser light shows, martial-arts displays, and acrobatic performances, all of which enhance the festive atmosphere of the holiday celebration.
At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.
Sherman Cellars serves as the exclusive tasting room for the red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines from Creekview Vineyards, a small-production winery. Many of these wines emerged with gold, silver, bronze, and best-in-class awards in 2011 at such events as the San Francisco International Wine Competition, Monterey Wine Competition, and Grand Cru Wine Competition. The Cellars' wine educators exhibit their detailed knowledge of the wines as they provide guided tastings of each varietal's flavor and bouquet in an intimate atmosphere, and also point out historical facts such as which grapes descended from dinosaurs. The wines they pour at each tasting draw their styles from a range of global regions, but have all been crafted from local grapes. Many staffers are also pairing aficionados, and channel their passion into regular tasting pairings, which introduce chocolates and wine-infused truffles from local chocolatiers in Napa and Saratoga.
Coterie Cellars believes part of wine's beauty is tasting the fruits of a tiny parcel of land captured at a certain moment. To that end, they aim to interfere as little as possible in the grape-to-bottle process. In their California vineyards, they harvest and sort clusters by hand and ferment their wines in small batches—red wine in small lots, white wine in individual barrels. They punch the grapes down by hand, using gravity to move wine through the system with as little fining and filtering as possible. The result: bottles of wine named for the vineyards where all of the grapes are grown.
Crepes in San Francisco. Butter chicken in Toronto. The organizers behind Dishcrawl connect people with the local dining scenes of cities across the United States and Canada. They do this in two ways?first, through Dishcrawls, which are self-guided tours to an array of restaurants. Dishcrawl's second method highlights single restaurants through special dinners, giving chefs a chance to dazzle visits with their favourite dishes.
Drinking wine often makes people believe they’re funnier, smarter, and two feet taller than they were when they first saw Matthew McConaughey star in Scorpion King. Heighten up with today’s Groupon: a three-wine flight of your choosing for $9 at Unwined Wine Bar (worth up to $22). Surround yourself with live music and 50 different wines while you learn about the lives and times of society's treasured squashed grapes.
The young crew behind ONEHOPE Wine believes wine can do more than dance with flavor and stain frocks fashioned from fine white camel hair. Each bottle has been instilled with a rich taste and beauty to complement its selflessness. One ONEHOPE box yields one bottle each of California merlot, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc, and an exclusive summer white ($18.99 each). The 2008 merlot uses grapes grown in the Lodi and Paso Robles regions, where a cool Pacific fog maintains grape acidity, creating a full flavor that complements its black cherries, plums and figs.
The wine bar's wine, cheese, and small-plate menu rotates two to three times a month, so locals can get a comprehensive understanding of various wines. While the menu may change by the time you visit The Grapevine, the sort of fare you'll be in store for runs the gamut from gourmet grilled cheese sliders ($5 for three) to savory olé flatbread with basil, prosciutto, a balsamic reduction, and shaved Manchego cheese ($5), as well as the sweet marriage of imported brie and homemade fig sauce ($6).
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.
Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a boutique winery located in a highland valley at the southern border of Monterey County, but its wines have the robust characteristics of those from the Iberian Peninsula. That's because the family that operates the vineyard specializes in Spanish and Portuguese varietals. They use careful growing methods and fermentation techniques to craft a wide range of limited-run wines. Each and every one of their yearly production of 2,000 cases is grown on the estate. While lesser-known varieties such as touriga, tempranillo, and albari?o are emphasized, more familiar grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel are represented as well. Previous vintages have included their 2010 albari?o that was awarded Best in Show at the Central Coast Wine Competition and a 2007 petite sirah that was declared Best in California at the California State Fair Wine Competition.
Flowers and ornamental vines surround the winery's tasting room, which occupies a cozy bungalow near the coast of Monterey Bay. Servers jot the day's wine offerings on a chalkboard and fill glasses behind a wooden bar. In addition to wine tastings, visitors can stop by for live music or open-house events.