Wineries in San Diego

Best 2 San Diego wineries

Inside of Carruth Cellars Winery

Carruth Cellars Winery

San Diego's winery started in 1781 with California's first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Since San Diego County’s wine industry. The first commercial winery in the region is credited to Asher Maxcy's vineyard in Valley Center founded around 1870. Since than, San Diego's wine industry has been booming.

Here is 2 of the best wineries in San Diego, ca

San Pasqual Winery

8364 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa | Visit website

Evocative of California’s early days, San Pasqual Winery makes simple yet elegant wines based on tradition originally established by grape growers at Mission San Diego de Alcala. Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Mike and Linda McWilliams, the duo has traversed a fast and steep learning curve after purchasing the boutique winery in 2009. As a new vintner, Linda has drawn on her natural enthusiasm and innovative willingness to experiment with different flavors and tastes – a characteristic not uncommon with early entrepreneurs.

The McWilliams incorporate their winemaking passion with other careers: Mike as an industrial psychologist contracted with the U.S. Navy; Linda as a Speech Pathologist in La Mesa, where together they have been longtime residents. In fact, their primary tasting room remains in La Mesa, with micro winery production operating in Pacific Beach. And while San Pasqual Winery has purchased grapes from the northern California region, they are quickly transitioning to the use of high-grade local grapes; one such supplier is in Rancho Santa Fe, along with other vineyards in Fallbrook and Escondido.  

When asked what her favorite wine was, Linda hesitated – but only for a second: “[A] local farmer, Crazy John from Escondido, suggested I try passion fruit. He then talked me into adding raspberry and hibiscus,” she says. “Then he suggested I add habanera peppers to another version. It has become our hottest seller and we’re doubling production.  I love the passion fruit with hibiscus and raspberry so much too,” she reinforces. “It has a bit of an apricot aroma, crisp and tangy, with a smooth finish. We’re [simply] having the time of our lives.”

Their business continues to grow with retail sales available through their tasting room in La Mesa, their Wine Club and retail outlets in San Diego county, the newest of which is Whole Foods.

Fine Magazine Staff Picks: 
Habanero “Hot Passion” fuses ‘Roselle’ Passion Fruit Wine with Habanero Pepper to fermentation which cuts the sweet, adding a zesty kick finish.
San Diego County 2009 Nebbiolo takes a great varietal from Italy with a bouquet of berries and violets, hints of raspberry and light vanilla to refine the finish.

Carruth Cellars

320 S Cedros Ave #400, Solana Beach | Visit website

North County native, Adam Carruth, began making home wines in the 1990s. By ‘98 he had moved to Sonoma, making his first barrel of wine. With a dozen years under his belt, Carruth has refined his immeasurable talent for high end wines to a fine art. Carruth Cellars is located in the premiere Cedros Design District of Solana Beach, the winemaker continues to refine his craft; with an already full selection of reds and whites in production, he is ambitiously adding a dozen new wines this year: three blended reds, seven straight varietals, and the rest, ports.

2011 saw Carruth Cellars win the Bronze Medal at the Orange County Fair for their Lake County Sauvignon Blanc, chocking up yet one more accolade in keeping with the numerous awards already received for the winery.

“We will also begin a new label of wine this year called Save the Ocean,” notes Carruth. “This allows us to do something important for the area. With each bottle sold, Carruth Cellars will donate $1 towards ocean clean-up; I’m passionate about giving back to the community.”

Having cut-his-teeth on winemaking in the valley, Carruth continues to purchase grapes from premium central California vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Monterrey, Paso Robles and Lake County. The winery sports a solid wine subscription members list of 450, who purchase a case of wine annually. Additionally, the tasting room in Solano Beach sells wine direct to the public, with Carruth’s near-term goal to begin selling wholesale soon.

And, in keeping with the Cedros Design District ambiance, Carruth Cellars hosts gallery showings featuring local artists who display their work; oils, watercolors, jewelry, and shirts all adorn the gallery space for special shows and the retail shop as well.  

Fine Magazine Staff Picks: 
2009 Lake County Sauvignon Blanc (Bronze Medal, Orange County Fair) starts with citrus melding passion fruit flavor, ending with a subtle combination of nectarine and tropical fruit flavors.
2007 Napa Valley Saint Helena Cabernet Sauvignon embodies rich cherry, oak and spice profiling the finest in Napa Valley cabernet traditions; ends with a silky smooth extended finish.

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