Top Wineries of North County

Bringing You the Top 3 Wineries in North County San Diego

North County Wine

With so many different features of San Diego to explore, it’s no secret that tourism is alive and thriving in our bustling city, primarily in the southern region of the county. But what about North County draws in visitors and makes its own name despite the popularity of the lower region? To begin, North County is home to gorgeous costal views and unparalleled beaches. The natural beauty of the region also draws in visitors with countless unforgettable hiking and outdoor spots to be discovered. Along with these rugged areas and costal views are ideal scenes for wineries to flourish, far removed from big cities. To help you explore some of the best wineries North County has to offer, we’re listing our top three establishments you have to visit on your next trip up north.

Bernardo Winery

Bernardo Winery is the perfect combination of rustic charm as well as rich history with its long dedication to wine. With beginnings stretching back to 1889, it’s southern California’s oldest operating winery. Located 25 miles north of San Diego, the winery is nestled in the hills in the quiet area of Rancho Bernardo. With gardens, an array of shops and views of the countryside, there’s more to explore and enjoy than just wine tasting. The village shops are a fun way to incorporate the worlds of shopping and wine. Café Merlot is one of the featured eateries with a grand location in the middle of the courtyard. 

With an extensive 2,500 grape vines, you can find vines of red and white Concord, Barbera, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Muscat, Mission, Tokay and Grenache on the expansive property. It’s easy to get a sample of these at the tasting room, where you can relax in the beautiful courtyard and sip on a robust wine (open every day from 10 am–6 pm and starting at just $12). The grounds of the winery grow more than just grapes, with olive, fig and guava trees, to name just a few. On Friday mornings, a farmer’s market springs to life in the winery parking lot, bringing fresh local produce to eager visitors. As if all that Bernardo Winery has to offer wasn’t enough, lively events are always scheduled, beckoning locals and tourists alike to the winery. If you’re planning a big event, look no further than to this winery to add that unique touch to your event with its incredible views.

Orfila Winery

Located in the San Pasqual Valley, Orfila Winery is in a romantically scenic area full of cascading hills and sloping mountainsides. Orfila Vineyards & Winery features an ultra-premium boutique winery with decadent wine tastings and picturesque views perfect for event planning. Their second location is closer to the Pacific at a hillside estate where they grow grapes specially for the Rhone-style of wine, a wine which you can taste at one of two tasting rooms. The onsite Escondido room at the winery is a beautiful way to enjoy award-winning wines whilst soaking in the numerous views surrounding the San Pasqual Valley location. The second location off of Main St. in Julian is aptly named the Julian tasting room. For just $10 you can enjoy 6 wines of your choice with their specialty logo glass. Each year the winery hosts the Grape Stomp, a lovely evening of food and wine during which they introduce new wines and the public gathers to enjoy the festivities.

To get your hands on a bottle of their wine, you must belong to the Orfila Wine Lovers Club or visit certain retailers in the area that feature their wine. Becoming a member of their wine club is not only a great idea to immerse yourself in their offerings, it also pays off with 20% retail prices and no cost to join! A fairly young winery, Orfila has been serving up fine wine for 22 years, but it made a name for itself early on. With over 1,300 medals since its opening, the winery has achieved excellence and recognition time and time again, both nationally and internationally. At an impressive 70 acre estate, Orfila Vineyards grows grapes that produce some of the best wine around. 

Witch Creek Winery

Unlike bigger wineries, Witch Creek uses its smaller size to its advantage, creating an opportunity to perfect traditional methods of winemaking and to ensure the best quality in every bottle. Near the gorgeous coastline, the winery has made its home in Carlsbad, where it boasts some unbelievably beautiful views as San Diego’s very first beachside winery. Witch Creek is an urban winery, with growers from all over California supplying some of the greatest fruit around. Although they have a passion for the traditional, winemakers are also proud to have unique varietals such as Nebbiolo, Teroldego, Aglianico and Montepulciano that you might not find at other wineries. Get a taste of bold flavors at either wine tasting rooms, located onsite in Carlsbad or in the Julian location east of San Diego.

There are a lot of unique aspects of Witch Creek Winery thanks to its smaller size. Having a lower demand than most allows the room for their winemakers to experiment and give each batch of grapes the attention it deserves. Monthly releases of new wines will have you itching to sign up for the Cellar Club, their club for connoisseurs to stay current with their wines and winery events. Visiting the winery is perfect for a day trip to the ocean, as the Pacific Ocean is just one short block from the winery itself! You won’t be able to get enough of the coastal views and the elegant wines when you visit Witch Creek Winery.

Comment below and tell us what your favorite North County Winery is. 

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