A proper wine is like an Everlasting Gobstopper—it gets better with time, and only Willy Wonka knows its secret recipe. Gift taste buds sophisticated flavors with today's Groupon: for $20, you get a wine tasting for two and a bottle of wine (a $39.95 value) at Hacienda de las Rosas Winery in Old Town.
In Hacienda de la Rosas' tasting room, flavor seekers can sip on a selection of wines from the winery's Ramona vineyard. Step up to the ornately carved pinewood bar to taste five vintages from a rotating roster of 10, formed of hand-harvested, locally grown, inherently gossipy grapes. Tongues can splash around in the spicy red 2006 Vistoso tempranillo, or the sweet and light 2008 Rosa Rosa white syrah, as well as a weekly featured guest wine from another San Diego winery. While sitting at a wine-barrel table, imbibers can take in views of the Fiesta de Reyes plaza, or imagine adding mustaches to the work of local artists in the tasting room's gallery. Fledgling sommeliers will leave with one bottle of wine of their selection to add to collections.
Hacienda de las Rosas Winery
After purchasing a stretch of property in Ramona in 1998, William Holzhauer and Tammy Rimes finally fulfilled their dream of owning a winery. Along with the equine facilities they built for their peruvian paso horses, the pair planted vineyards and erected a winery modeled after a 16th-century mission Spanish mission in California. That nostalgic theme continues in the tasting room, where staffers adorned in historical attire greet guests from behind a hand-carved pinewood bar. Once inside, both visitors and tasters for paranoid CEOs sample wines concocted from California grapes while milling among wine-barrel tables, a bubbling fountain flanked with planted bulbs, and windows overlooking the plaza. Along with its local wine-sampling soirees, the tasting room accommodates microbrew tastings and private events for up to 40 guests.