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ZCode Magazineʼs Wine & Spirits Guide 2018 |


ws_zcodewinelabelThereʼs one thing particular a few style of house, and in terms of wine and spirits, San Diego has one thing for each palate. From city craft distilleries to plentiful inexperienced vineyards, from an evening out with buddies to dinner with the household, our native wineries and distilleries have all of it. Learn on to study extra concerning the flavors flourishing in our backyards.


From the Vine

San Diegoʼs sun-kissed vines supply a style of historical past for connoisseurs and informal sippers alike. The world is residence to California,s first recorded vineyards, planted within the 1700s by Father Junipero Serra. At the moment, the county boasts over 115 wineries – and extra historical past to be savored with each glass.

Our lovely local weather is a key issue for the success of native vineyards, and numerous circumstances permit all kinds of grapes to flourish. Wine grapes are typically hardier and extra water-efficient than different crops, giving them a bonus throughout drier years. San Diego-grown wines embrace Albarino, Cabernet Franch, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grenache, Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Viognier – the listing goes on!

The Extra You Know

A hybrid is 2 grape varieties genetically crossed, whereas a mix combines two grape varieties after fermentation.

Terroir is the pure surroundings for a specific wine – together with soil, farming methods, and local weather.

A classic is a selected yr or harvest. A varietal is a wine produced from a specific grape sort.

ws_zcodespiritbarws_zcodespiritOn the Rocks

Whereas native wine and craft beer have made their mark on San Diego, the craft spirits scene is on the rise. With the whole lot from vodka and gin to whiskey and rum, San Diego,s 14+ craft distilleries are elevating a glass to giant producers, producing high-quality small-batch varieties with native elements and distinct taste.

Craft distilleries have been allowed to function tasting rooms solely since January of 2017, even additional increasing their native attain. Cease in to study extra concerning the distillation course of and get higher acquainted with whatʼs stepping into your cocktail.

The Extra You Know

Grapes arenʼt only for wine. Vodka could be comprised of any sugar or starch supply – wheat, corn, potatoes, or fruit.

Gin is actually flavored vodka, however should have a predominant taste of juniper.

Usually talking, whiskey (with an “e”) refers to American and Irish spirits, whereas whisky (no “e”) refers to spirits made in Scotland, Canada, Japan, or elsewhere.

Within the Unites States, proof refers to twice the alcohol by quantity (ABV) of a spirit. A 40% ABV whiskey, for instance, can be 80 proof.



ws_koizenlogo12225 World Commerce Dr., Suite P, San Diego, CA 92128
www.KoiZenCellars.com | [email protected] | 858-381-CORK (2675)
House owners Lisa and Darius Miller | Established 2014
Tasting Room: Tues. – Thurs.: 2 – eight p.m. | Fri.: 2 – 9 p.m., Sat.: 12 – 9 p.m., Solar.: 12 – 6 p.m.


by KELLEY GUSICH | pictures by Alex Williams Images

Even the identify says mellow rest and large deep breaths: Koi Zen Cellars. This craft city vineyard within the coronary heart of Carmel Mountain Ranch has a vibe in contrast to some other. Like getting into your greatest pal’s residence, Koi Zen Cellars is a particular place for patrons to ‘uncork, sip back, and relax.’ Proprietor and winemaker Darius Miller’s life was run by strain for a few years, to the purpose it virtually did him in with a stress-induced stroke. After honing his self-taught expertise, Darius turned his ardour for winemaking from a small-scale venture into a ravishing enterprise, permitting friends to reconnect, be within the second, and take time (and an amazing glass of wine) to themselves.


ws_koizen2Koi Zen Cellars’ welcoming and heat ambiance has turned it right into a group hangout for wine loving individuals. Co-owner Lisa Miller attends the Sonoma State Wine Enterprise program, whereas steward Jon is a Degree 1 sommelier en path to his Degree 2. Steward Cat comes from the hospitality business, and “Her infectious smile is loved by all,” Lisa confirmed. Koi Zen sources their grapes from growers all through California, “giving guests a unique taste experience from all the major wine regions in the state.” Koi Zen creates fruit-forward, approachable, energetic, and enjoyable full-bodied wines – Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rhone-style reds and purple blends among the many broad-spectrum record of decisions. Their hottest choices embrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, and Zinfandel.

“Koi Zen is as good as it gets! Comfortable seating, which included couches and plush chairs, tables, a koi pond, and abundant room made for a perfect setting. Owners Darius and Lisa were wonderful and accommodated all our needs.” ~ Bunny Block

“My favorite neighborhood craft wine. I was here with my girlfriends sipping wine and catching up on the couch. The setting is homey and inviting. It,s family-friendly and wine is amazing!” ~ Pleasure Richmond


ws_koizen3The San Diego U-T readers’ ballot awarded Koi Zen the perfect native vineyard for 2 years operating, and their wines have gained awards in competitions from native to worldwide, incomes factors within the 90s. They provide again to native charities and faculties by internet hosting fundraisers. Koi Zen even acquired the Assume Native First championship in 2017 by the San Diego North Enterprise Chamber. Their fundraising efforts and Vacation Present Extravaganza, coupled with internet hosting native musicians on the weekends and lively memberships in native networking teams and the North San Diego Enterprise Chamber, spotlight the enterprise as concerned group members. Their tasting room and vineyard can double as a singular occasion area for company, personal, and vacation occasions.

At present Koi Zen has entered their Crush season, processing 96,000 lbs. of grapes – equal to three,000 instances of wine! They’ll be releasing a Petite Verdot and some others for the cooler winter months, together with a French-style Stainless Chardonnay.



ws_principelogo18425 Highland Valley Rd., Ramona, CA 92065
www.PineAndWine.com | [email protected] | 760-315-8872
Proprietor Alfredo Gallone | Established 2007


by LIZ ONUFER | pictures by Alex Williams Images

ws_principe2Since 2007, Principe di Tricase Vineyard has been making wine the normal means – no added components or sulfites. “We believe that grape juice should be the only ingredient in wine,” defined proprietor Alfredo Gallone. Alfredo is dedicated to creating the wine the “ancient way,” following within the footsteps of small-country wineries in Italy. Pairing the country, old-world type vineyard with Italian household atmosphere makes a tasting at Principe di Tricase an unforgettable expertise.

The vineyard presents a number of Italian wines, together with Aglianico, Nebbiolo, Aleatico, Barbera, Sangiovese, and Moscato. “Our Dark Rose Aglianico rosé style is very unique,” Alfredo defined. “Aglianico is one of the most ancient wine grapes with a special self-preserving capability that is transferred into the wine, giving it a very characteristic flavor.” Various their wines have been awarded medals from each nationwide and worldwide wine competitions.


ws_principe3Principe di Tricase enhances their Italian choice with numerous French wines. The wine listing consists of Petit Sirah, Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Cab Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Because the arrival from Italy of daughter Raffaella and son-in-law Alberto, wine tastings are hosted Thursdays via Sundays. It’s a household affair, and Alfredo, Alberto, and Raffaella are proud to personally host visitors. They’re joined by Joaco Sanz, a 25-year veteran of the wine business in Spain. Joaco might look acquainted to some as he has been on numerous TV exhibits about wine and wine pairings. “He was known as ‘El Professor Del Vino,’” Alfredo shared, “the wine professor.” Tasting flights begin at $10, however the tasting charge is waived with the acquisition of a bottle of wine. Balsamic vinegars and olive oils are additionally produced in home and obtainable for buy.

ws_principe9A singular pairing on the vineyard property is the Highland Valley Christmas Tree Farm. “Since we purchased the property, we have been selling Christmas trees, continuing a long tradition,” Alfredo stated. For a few years, households have been selecting and slicing their Christmas timber on the property. “The smile on the children’s and parents’ faces makes it worthwhile.”

Producing wonderful wines and sustaining their robust Italian household ambiance are priorities on the vineyard. “Principe di Tricase and our family are here for you,” Alfredo stated. “Please come and visit us and share in the love of excellent wines and an unforgettable experience.”



24067 E. Previous Julian Freeway, Ramona, CA 92064
www.CrystalHillVineyard.com | [email protected] | 760-440-5229
Tasting Room: Fri., Sat., & Solar. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.


ws_crystalhill3Breezy days filled with solar, cool nights, and rocky soils make Ramona an ideal place to develop wine grapes of outstanding high quality and why Ramona Valley is acknowledged as a delegated viticultural space by the federal authorities. With greater than 100 vineyards and over 35 wineries devoted to crafting distinctive small-batch wines, Ramona is turning into recognized around the globe as San Diego’s wine nation.

Crystal Hill Winery is among the newer property wineries to open its doorways. Based in 2014 with 4 acres of vines, they’ve already produced a number of award winners by specializing in high quality at each step of the winemaking course of.

The founders, Scott and Miki Warner, take a holistic strategy to winery administration and manufacturing. They use solely natural fertilizers and handle the land in the direction of pure sustainability. “We make the wine in the vineyard,” stated Scott. “In other words, what you taste in the bottle is the flavor of that soil enhanced by the story of the season – its challenges and its triumphs.”


ws_crystalhill4Crystal Hill options nice views from its spacious outside patio and enormous porch. There’s additionally an indoor tasting room with an artwork gallery and restroom. The service is first-class and the vibe is enjoyable. Additionally they supply a free tour of the vineyards and cellar with a information that explains their strategy to winemaking and the way each bit of vineyard gear is used.

They presently supply a Chardonnay, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Syrah, and two Merlots. Every of the wines features a description of the way it was made and from the tour you’ll study concerning the particular care that goes into each bottle they produce. For meals, they supply some munchies with a wine tasting and in addition supply a cheese plate for $12. You possibly can even convey your personal meals and make it a picnic! A wine tasting is $10 or free if you buy a number of bottles of wine.

Crystal Hill is dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and has ample parking. There’s area for teams as much as 40 – simply name forward to order your seating and guide your free tour.




13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128
858-487-1866 | www.BernardoWinery.com

ws_bernardowinery1ws_bernardowinery4Bernardo Vineyard is a bit of San Diego historical past, producing San Diego-grown wine for 3 generations. Benefit from the ambiance of previous California and rustic allure. The Kitchen, a Sicilian-California type restaurant, provides distinctive recent hand-made pasta and brick-oven pizzas, recipes impressed by the Rizzo household. Discover the vineyard, gardens, and village of distinctive outlets within the vineyard courtyard. Bernardo Vineyard can also be the right backdrop for weddings, particular occasions, the weekly farmers market, and common reside music.

ws_bernardowinery2“At Bernardo Winery, our winemakers Ross Rizzo and Matty Ward strive to produce wines that best suit the San Diego terroir, wines that love our soil and our sunshine,” shared Samantha Nawrocki, Director of Advertising. “It allows them to play with some interesting varietals that thrive in a Mediterranean, warm climate.” Bernardo Vineyard produces lovely silky, full-bodied reds just like the Syrah, in addition to whites like Albarino and Viognier that burst out taste notes of citrus and creamy vanilla. Regulars on the tasting menu embrace Syrah and Petite Sirah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Merlot, Malbec, and Sangiovese for the reds. For whites, Albarino, Viognier, Chardonnay and Muscat are desperate to dig their roots in and name San Diego house. San Diego was, in any case, the primary place that grapes have been planted in California, they usually thrive properly right here from the vine to the bottle. “We still, at Bernardo Winery, after 130 years, make our wines in the same traditional ways,” Samantha stated, “while utilizing new technology and viticulture practices to produce wines that truly represent the region today.”





2332 La Mirada Dr., Ste. 800, Vista, CA 92081
www.117WestSpirits.com | 760-597-8985


Lower than one yr previous and tucked away within the nook of a Vista enterprise park, 117° West Spirits goals to supply “big ideas in small batches.” A visit to the tasting room will afford you the chance to be served by one of many house owners and native academics, Justin McCabe and Archie Kasten. They are going to be joyful to share the story behind the spirits when you take pleasure in a refreshing gimlet, a mighty high-quality quaint, or a whiskey flight. Whether or not it’s the Citra-hopped Genever-style Gin distilled from malted grain or the West Coast Whiskey, which takes its inspiration from stout beer, head distiller Justin McCabe is weaving collectively quite a lot of merchandise that draw from his 20 years of homebrewing expertise and a information of chemistry earned whereas a graduate scholar at College of California San Diego. Once you go to, remember to ask for a tour of the again to see the one-of-a-kind nonetheless that, in accordance with the house owners, is vital to the often-noted “smooth” taste profile of all their spirits. For extra info go to www.117WestSpirits.com.




16990 By way of Tazon #123, San Diego, CA 92127
www.TheCorkandCraft.com | 858-618-2463
Mon.: closed | Tues. – Thurs.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Fri.: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sat.: three p.m. – 10 p.m. | Solar.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

ws_abnormalIrregular Wine Co. began six years in the past as a small city vineyard devoted to the craft of making distinctive wines from all over the world. They took a craft beer strategy to wine, creating wines that might be duplicated yr after yr, even utilizing adjuncts to create new flavors and wines that depart from conventional wine tradition. Irregular has since grown to embody an open-kitchen restaurant, The Cork and Craft, and a craft brewery, Irregular Beer Co., to finish a very distinctive expertise for his or her visitors.

The vineyard has grown a barrel program, together with growing older wines in spirits barrels, working with native distillery Malahat Spirits and Newtopia Cider to forge really Irregular partnerships. These collaborations allow Irregular to deliver really distinctive merchandise to the market that can’t be discovered anyplace else on the planet.




2919 Hill Valley Dr., Escondido, CA 92029
760-690-6617 | www.ChevalWinery.com
Thurs. four – 7 p.m., Fri. 5 – 9 p.m., Sat. 1 – 9 p.m., Solar. 1 – 7 p.m.


ws_cheval2Cheval Vineyard’s journey started with the origin of its identify, Cheval, which interprets to “horse” in French. Founders Dr. Randy and Donna Kaufman have been initially in search of a property for his or her champion present horses, once they found this breathtaking location tucked away in Eden Valley. With a burning ardour for loving individuals, high-quality wine, good occasions, Donna (AKA Bubba) is the guts of Cheval Vineyard. Grand Champion Consulting Winemaker Duncan Williams is thrilled to have just lately joined the herd and convey their luxurious wines to their highest potential. With reside music each weekend and frequent occasions corresponding to line dancing, you’ll need to make this your go-to spot. Lasso a glass on the Tipsy Barrel Tasting Room then trot right down to The Stompin’ Grounds to see their champion present horses that the varietals are named after. Cheval Vineyard strives to place an edgy, trendy spin on wine tasting, so giddy up and expertise the perfect in present!



1120 W. 15th Ave., Escondido, CA 92025
www.forgottenbarrel.com | [email protected] | 888-620-VINO (8466)
Thurs. & Fri.: three – 7 p.m. | Sat.: 12 – 7 p.m. | Solar.: 12 – 6 p.m.


Although the Forgotten Barrel tasting room in Escondido opened in 2017, the property itself is steeped in historical past. Forgotten Barrel Vineyard occupies a historic vineyard, which was established in 1886 as one of many first vineyards in San Diego County and Southern California. It was then bought by George Ferrara in 1928 and re-opened in 1932 with the passage of the 21st Modification ending prohibition. Throughout the next 75 years, Ferrara Vineyard grew to prominence within the California wine business, and was designated a California historic focal point within the late 1970s and a historic website by the Metropolis of Escondido in 1989. It was operated by three generations of the Ferrara household till 2010.

ws_forgottenbarrel2Forgotten Barrel Proprietor Rodger Grove bought the vineyard in 2016, working arduous to revive this historic property whereas persevering with to inform the story of the Ferrara household. The vineyard now gives wines produced on location in Escondido in addition to wines produced at its Napa Valley vineyard. Forgotten Barrel’s winemaker sources grapes from Napa, Sonoma, Central California, and San Diego County. The property’s rustic appeal offers a one-of-a-kind setting for weddings, birthday events, or company occasions, both within the barrel room or in certainly one of its outside venues.


Forgotten Barrel is proud to be a part of the historical past of the Escondido and San Diego County wine business. For extra info go to www.ForgottenBarrel.com.




18351 Woods Hill Lane, Ramona, CA 92065
760-789-5555 | www.TurtleRockRidge.com
Wine Tour: 2nd Sat. of the month 2 and four p.m.


ws_turtlerock2Positive wine is a ardour, and Turtle Rock Ridge Winery Vineyard needs to share that zeal with you. The vineyard is family-owned and operated by Laurie Wagner and Ian Vaux. The imaginative and prescient of Turtle Rock Ridge Winery Vineyard started in 1998. “We had always dreamed of growing grapes and making wine from this amazing property,” Laurie shared. “Our heart and soul fill each bottle, and our focus is on crafting the best wine possible.”

Annually, the Turtle Rock Ridge household anticipates the grapes which are crafted into the annual classic mom nature offers. “As a wine-making family, we embrace the intimate relationship between our land, the grapes, and the production process,” Laurie defined. “We invite our guests to share in our experience at our home here in Ramona Valley.”

Turtle Rock Ridge Winery Vineyard has been voted #1 within the Ramona Sentinel Readers Ballot for Greatest Wine for six consecutive years and Greatest Tasting Room for 5. It’s situated 25 miles northeast of San Diego. Uncover extra at www.TurtleRockRidge.com.


Wine & Spirits Listing

117° West Spirits
2332 La Mirada Dr., Ste. 800
Vista, CA 92081
117° West Spirits is a small batch distillery in Vista, CA producing high-quality, hand-crafted spirits together with rum, spiced rum, genever gin, bourbon, rye, and whiskey.

Bernardo Vineyard
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte
San Diego, CA 92128
The historic, third generation-owned Bernardo Vineyard has been crafting artisan wines from San Diego vineyards for 130 years. From the roomy tasting room to the Sicilian Previous California-inspired Kitchen restaurant and distinctive purchasing village, it,s really a vacation spot tucked away in Rancho Bernardo, simply minutes off the I-15 Freeway. Wine tasting every day, common reside music, farmers market Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Particular occasion venues.

Blue Door City Vineyard
4060 Morena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117

Carruth Cellars
118 S. Cedros Ave.
Solana Seashore, CA 92075

Cheval Vineyard
2919 Hill Valley Dr.
Escondido, CA 92029
Cheval Vineyard is an unique, trendy vineyard with champion present horses on property at 2919 Hill Valley Dr., Escondido. Cheval Vineyard offers a luxurious expertise overlooking the breathtaking winery you gained’t need to miss!

Copper Collar Distillery
8733 N. Magnolia Ave., Ste. 126
Santee, CA 92071

Crystal Hill Winery
24067 E. Previous Julian Freeway
Ramona, CA 92065
Take pleasure in award-winning artisan wines from our expansive patio with sweeping valley views or from our cozy indoor tasting room with artwork gallery. Free excursions of vineyards and vineyard. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to six p.m.

Forgotten Barrel
1120 W. 15th Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
Go to Forgotten Barrelʼs registered historic website and style premium wines produced on the vineyard in Escondido in addition to their Napa vineyard. Tour the gorgeous grounds and expertise a bit of California historical past. Out there for weddings, occasions, and personal dinners.

Fruitcraft Tasting Room & Kitchen (Distillery & Wine Tasting)
1477 College Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103

Hatfield Creek Vineyard
1625 California 78
Ramona, CA 92065

Hungry Hawk Vineyards
3255 Summit Dr.
Escondido, CA 92025

Koi Zen
12225 World Commerce Dr., Ste. P
San Diego, CA 92128
Uncork, sip again, and loosen up with San Diegoʼs first licensed craft vineyard. Awarded greatest native vineyard for 2 years operating, Koi Zen provides friends a singular style expertise from all the main wine areas within the state.

La Finquita Vineyard
23123 Vista Ramona Rd.
Ramona, CA 92065

Malahat Spirits
8706 Manufacturing Ave.
San Diego, CA 92121

Menghini Vineyard
1150 Julian Orchards Dr.
Julian, CA 92036

Previous Harbor Distilling Co.
270 17th St.
San Diego, CA 92101

Principe di Tricase Vineyard
18425 Highland Valley Rd.
Ramona, CA 92065
Sip award-winning flavors of Italy, Greece, and sunny California on the Principe di Tricase tasting room, or be a part of the household with month-to-month Wine Membership choices to go well with all palates. Open Thursday via Sunday, midday to sundown. Wine tasting beginning at $10, Wine Membership at $35. Salute!

San Diego Sunshine Craft Spirits Co.
432 Maple St., Suite 6
Ramona, CA 92065
San Diego Sunshine is a family-owned and operated distillery situated in Ramona. Within the tasting room you’ll be able to pattern rye whiskey, brandy, and a few specialty spirits, together with some scrumptious craft cocktails.

Shadow Mountain Vineyards & Vineyard
34680 CA-79
Warner Springs, CA 92086

Solterra Vineyard & Kitchen
934 N. Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, CA 92024

Speckle Rock Vineyards
16138 Highland Valley Rd.
Escondido, CA 92025

The Cork and Craft
16990 By way of Tazon #123
San Diego, CA 92127
Irregular Wine Co.ʼs craft strategy to wine creates distinctive wines and a singular expertise for visitors. A collaborative barrel program, open-kitchen restaurant, and craft brewery add to the Irregular prospects.

Turtle Rock Ridge Winery Vineyard
18351 Woods Hill Lane
Ramona, CA 92065
Turtle Rock Ridge is a family-owned vineyard situated in Ramona, California. Their wines are constructed from the perfect grapes grown inside the Ramona and California wine areas.

Winery Grant James
25260 Previous Julian Hwy.
Ramona, CA 92065
Voted the number-two small vineyard within the US by Journey & Leisure Journal. Winemaker Susanne Sapier invitations you to expertise her award-winning wines whereas overlooking her picturesque winery.

You & Yours Distilling Co.
1495 G St.
San Diego, CA 92101