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12 Best Wineries Near San Diego

by: Welk Resorts | June 3, 2019

Southern California isn’t typically the first place that comes to mind when people think of wine country. For a while now, the region has been almost entirely off most wine lovers’ radar. Luckily, thanks to incredible local vintners and their top notch sips, wineries near San Diego are quickly putting the region on the map as a go-to place for tours and tastings.

If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to raise a glass around San Diego, you’ll find an array of vineyards ranging from sprawling countryside estates to urban industrial establishments—all of which easily rival their northern counterparts.

So, grab a glass of something tasty and let’s dive in!

2Plank Vineyards

Wineries near San Diego: 2Plank Vineyards Wine

Photo by 2Plank Vineyards

Jason Wimp and David Bridgeman have incorporated their love of skiing into their vineyard, which is named after a skiing slang term, and located on a steep mountain in Fallbrook. From their love for the sport and their passion for artisan winemaking, comes 2Plank Vineyards.

The mountaintop’s rich and dark volcanic soils and maritime breezes are ideal conditions for growing the best winemaking grapes possible. Since working the land with machines is infeasible (because of the large percentages of volcanic rock), the growers do all the farming by hand—extreme farming, as they call it.

Wine connoisseurs say you can taste the earth in the amazing small-batch wines that are produced from this vineyard. The tasting room is open to the public Thursday to Sunday, so bring a friend or two, pack a bag of treats, and enjoy the wines.

Gershon Bachus Vintners

Wineries near San Diego: Gershon Bachus Vintners

Photo by Gershon Bachus Vintners

In a spectacular hillside location, Temecula meets Tuscany at Gershon Bachus Vintners. An homage to owner Ken’s grandfather—an agricultural enthusiast with a dream to make wine in California—this winery is rooted in the tradition of family winemaking.

Ken and his wife Christina, alongside their winemaking team, age all their varietals in Hungarian Oak or French Oak barrels. What they strive to create with their incredible wine and beautiful atmosphere, is an unforgettable and uncomplicated experience. Visit for a weekend tour or rent GBV for an intimate, private party. The best wineries near San Diego are the ones that feel like home and this most certainly does.

Orfila Vineyards and Winery

When on the hunt for delicious San Diego wines, you’ll find a picturesque 70-acre estate in Escondido owned by Alejandro Orfila, former Argentinian Ambassador to the United States. Orfila grows everything from Sangiovese grapes with their notes of tart cherries to floral Viognier, a white varietal from France’s Rhone Valley.

Stop by the winery for a picnic on your way to the San Diego Safari Park or make an entire day of the experience. Free tours are offered daily at the Escondido tasting room or you can choose venture to the other tasting room in Oceanside, too (a recently opened location complete with charcuterie and artisanal cheese boards).

 

Wilson Creek Winery

Temecula Wineries: Wilson Creek Winery

Photo by Wilson Creek

Wilson Creek Winery is a family-owned winery in the heart of Temecula Valley known for their warm staff and sensational wines. They’ve built a community around sharing wine from the valley far and wide and offer everything from romantic weddings to exclusive retreats. They also host concerts, dinner and movie nights, and special events like Mother’s Day Bubble Brunch.

There’s a vineyard-view restaurant onsite, Creekside Grill, so you can dine amongst the lush 30-year old Cabernet vines. The menu serves to complement the wines and changes seasonally based on the bounty from the local Temecula Valley Farms.

Whether it’s a sunny afternoon or a celebration that brings you to Wilson Creek, rest assured, you’ll want to sit back, relax, and stay a while—with a filled glass in hand, of course. When it comes to wineries near San Diego, this one’s a gem.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards

Robert Renzoni’s family began creating wines more than 100 years ago along the coast of Northern Italy. Today, the vineyard is made up of 12 acres in the Temecula Valley, ten of which reflect classic Bordeaux and Italian grape varieties.

The 21 varietals have received numerous awards and have been talked about in dozens of publications. So to say you’re in for a treat when you sip this wine is an understatement. The taste, in combination with the view, makes it a must-stop on your Temecula wine tasting bucket list. Stop by the restaurant, Mama Rosa’s Trattoria, to pair your wines with Napoletana pizza, linguini and clam sauce, and maybe even a slice of limoncello cake.

Ponte Winery

Wineries near San Diego: Ponte Winery

Photo by Ponte Winery

Charm-filled grounds among views of rolling hills, plus a selection of small-batch boutique wines, make Ponte Winery one of our favorite wineries near San Diego. Because their production is small, the team concentrates on quality over quantity and dedicates themselves to sustainable farming practices.

If you love the wine (as we know you will) and decide to join the Wine Club, you’ll be granted weekend access to the Reserve Room, a beautiful space with views of the vineyards and a separate tasting counter. You can dine among the gardens and vineyards at Ponte Restaurant, too, which was named a Top 100 Restaurant for Al Fresco Dining in the United States by TripAdvisor and OpenTable. Go for the wine country salad, the pan seared diver scallops with cauliflower couscous, or the green pig pizza complete with tomatillo cream sauce. Whatever you choose, just don’t forget the wine!

Milagro Farm Vineyards and Winery

Spend a day exploring this beautiful winery in Ramona. On top of boasting exquisite estate-grown wines, the property is also an orchard and organic farm. Enjoy the tasting room, live music, and food. Or take a bottle of wine out to the picturesque grounds and play bocce ball, go horseback riding, or stroll through the scenic hills.

Perhaps the best part? This winery is pet-friendly. Play with your pups while you sip on a glass of sparkling rosé or chardonnay with its hints of lemon curd and honey. Make sure to try the estate grown olive oil, too!

Monte De Oro

Monte De Oro is a sprawling estate where old world charm meets new world sophistication. With a goal to produce the best possible wine from grapes grown in Temecula Valley, they craft their wines to reflect the fruit-forward terroir of the area. Visit the tasting room 7 days a week from 10am–5pm for a warm, inviting environment and elegant ambiance. As a stunning added bonus, the tasting room has a glass floor, so you can view the Barrel Cellar below (it might be one of the only wineries near San Diego offering this wildly unique feature).

If you opt for the outdoor patio, there are also sensational panoramic views of Temecula wine country. Make sure to stop by the bistro for an enriching tasting experience, complete with everything from empanadas and meatballs to cedar-planked salmon with a cabernet sauvignon reduction sauce.

Vesper Vineyards

Chris Broomell and Alysha Stehly, founders of Vesper Vineyards, grew up in San Diego’s backyard and have a passion for the area. Their one simple goal? Show that San Diego County can be included among the great wine growing regions of California. The duo only works with local growers who are dedicated to the production of quality grapes and their wine is entirely the stunning result of that attention to detail.

From rosés to whites to reds, there’s a variety here for everyone—including the “tie-dye lollipop” a unique red blend only available to wine club members. Make sure to stop by the urban tasting room in Escondido as well to sample flights, taste wines by the glass, or fill up your growlers with one of their delicious wines on tap.

Hawk Watch Winery

Wineries near San Diego: Hawk Watch Winery

Photo by Hawk Watch Winery

Hawk Watch Winery in Warner Springs offers an intimate experience of hand-crafted wines made utilizing old-world techniques. This mountain winery offers full-bodied red wines and delicate, fruity whites along with vivid views of the valley below. The entire wine-making process is hands-on from start to finish, with each bottle representing enthusiasm (and as the owners say, obsession) for the grape-growing process and viticulture.

The Warner Springs tasting room is open from Friday to Sunday and the winery hosts fun events throughout the year, like wine club parties and dollar hot dog days. If you’re looking for wineries near San Diego that are fun and cozy, add this one to your list to check out!

Leoness Cellars

Temecula Wineries: Leoness Cellars

Photo by Leoness Cellars

Tour, taste, and enjoy small bites on the terrace at Leoness Cellars, located in the rolling hills of Temecula Valley. The word Leoness, meaning “village of dreams,” is the inspiration behind this team’s lifelong quest to create world-class wines from Temecula. Co-founder Gary Winder began growing citrus and avocados on the land in the 1970s, and, by the 1990s, vineyard operations had begun. The winery opened in 2002 and now offers tastings, incredible views, and the charming architecture of the winery’s famed brick tower.

From Viognier, to Cabernet Franc, the vineyard produces grapes with complexity and depth. After a taste and a tour, stop by the restaurant to dine on what’s been rated the #1 Winery Restaurant by USA Today and Best Restaurant of the Inland Empire for four consecutive years. Come for the lunch, tea, or dinner menu and relish in California French cuisine made from scratch.

Lorimar Vineyards and Winery

The goal of Lorimar Vineyards is to provide an experience that creates a lasting memory and engages all the senses. If you enjoy sipping wine while appreciating local art, listening to live music, and indulging in gourmet food, you’ll adore this this award-winning winery in Temecula. Tour the Tuscan-style grounds and bask on the outdoor patio or get cozy by the stone fireplace, where you can take in the sunset as you relax with an exciting blend in hand.

Don’t miss Pairings, their custom and gourmet mobile kitchen, presented by Chef Jorge Avarado, with a menu that serves as an ode to Lorimar’s wines. The Sunday Brunch Buffet, in particular, includes a mimosa or glass of beer and runs from 11am–3pm on Sundays.

Belle Marie Winery

Nestled in three and a half acres in an unsuspecting but exquisite area in Escondido, many who had discovered Belle Marie Winery by curiosity have become raving fans of not only their fine wines, but also of their excellent customer service, educational sessions, and stunning grounds. Dotted with flourishing citrus groves, it’s the perfect atmosphere for a nice, relaxing picnic or nature walk.

In addition to the lavish gardens, wine tastings are held in a charming French-style chateau castle that features an underground cave inspired by ancient Bordeaux wine caves, creating an adventurous rendezvous!

The family-owned boutique winery who values building relationships with the community is also pet-friendly, so bring Fido and the crew for a fun day of exploring. Belle Marie offers a variety of both red and white blends, and with 25 different wines to choose from, you are bound to find a favorite!

The Vineyard at Welk Resorts

Friends enjoy wine tasting at The Vineyard at Welk Resorts San Diego.

Friends enjoy wine made from grapes grown right from our vineyard!

We may not be a winery, but who said a resort can’t join in on the wine-making fun? In 2015, our very own Welk Resorts San Diego decided the climate and location was perfect for us to grow our own grapes.  We partnered with Jeff Lazenby, the owner and winemaker of Belle Marie, who had suggested the types of varietals we should grow — which turned out to be chardonnay, petite sirah, sangiovese, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon. Together, these varietals produce a delicious red field blend that is served both at our resort and at Belle Marie. The Vineyards at Welk Resorts also make for a charming atmosphere for your intimate events such as private parties and receptions.


What better way to warm up a chilly winter’s day or cool off during a summer heatwave than with a glass of wine? The wide variety of wineries near San Diego make it easy to enjoy grapes year-round, in any weather! Wherever you decide to venture, make the luxuriously spacious—and conveniently located—villas at Welk Resorts San Diego your wine-tasting hub!

Don’t forget to talk to our Concierge about how to get Temecula wine tasting tickets at no additional cost! Jump on it today and create a weekend filled with meaningful memories and wonderful sips.

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2 Responses

  1. Robert Lazenby says:

    You didn’t mention the Belle Marie Winery in Escondido right across I-15 from the Welk Resort. Do you realize that Belle Marie Winery produces the Welk wine from the grape vines that are grown on the Fountain Golf Course on the left hillside of Hole #14 right across the street from your main building. I don’t understand why you didn’t mention the Belle Marie Winery and advertise that Welk produces it’s own brand of wine.

    • Welk Resorts says:

      Thank you for your suggestion, Robert! We’re so thrilled to hear that you enjoy visiting Belle Marie Winery and their pours using our resort vineyard’s grapes. We’d be happy to include a section in our blog post educating guests about this beautiful winery. We truly appreciate the feedback and hope to see you at our resort soon!

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