Back in the day, you’d only find a winery in the countryside. In 2016, however, you’ll find a winery in the heart of almost every American city. As you might expect, West Coast urban wineries are in abundance.
What is an urban winery?
It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a winery smack dab in the middle of a metropolitan area. Grapes are brought from the vineyards to urban wineries, where the winemaking process takes place. Some urban wineries have their own rural vineyards, whereas others buy the grapes from trusted partners. Urban wineries often have restaurants or food carts, live music and are a great place to spend an afternoon or evening tasting small-batch wines.
Here are some of our favorite West Coast urban wineries:
Bluxome Street Winery
Right in the heart of San Francisco, you will find this gem of an urban winery. The winemakers at Bluxome Street are also growers so they see the winemaking process from beginning to end. They use 100% organic grapes from their very own Balinard Vineyard to make their lovely wines.
Charles Smith Wine Jet City
The term “urban winery” normally conjures up thoughts of small, quaint “just around the corner” type of wine bars. Not the case with Charles Smith Wine Jet City. This 32,000 square foot building pumps out more than 45,000 cases a year. For a change of pace from the normal scene among west coast urban wineries, stop by Charles Smith Wine Jet City.
1136 S Albro Pl
Seattle, WA 98108, USA
Dashe Cellars is a no-frills winery in a warehouse a bit away from other watering holes and nightlife spots in Oakland. They serve a variety of top-notch wines, and if you like Zinfandels then you’ll find yourself in heaven at Dashe Cellar. Dashe Cellars has a lovely wine garden that’s open in the spring and summer where many magical nights of wine tasting take place.
Donkey and Goat Winery
Just a bit outside of SF is the city of Berkeley: home of Donkey and Goat Winery. Donkey and Goat focuses on “natural wines” – adhering to the European guidelines of natural winemaking which means less sulphur, and no stabilization, fining or filtration. Drink these natural wines in the tasting room or enjoy a drink while playing a game of bocce in their urban yard.
The name Dogpatch Wineworks may be after the historic neighborhood where its located, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love dogs too! If you love dogs and wine, then Dogpatch Wineworks is the place to be. Friendly dogs are welcome to lounge about this urban winery while their owners taste some great wines. Just make sure Fido keeps off the furniture and everyone will have a great time.
One man bought parched land and turned it into a vineyard. Soon after, his son took those grapes and made them into wine. The man’s daughter, a recent MBA grad, made it into a full-fledged business. Today, you can taste the fruits of their labor (couldn’t help the pun!) in the form of great wine at the tasting room in San Francisco.
Robert Ramsay Cellars
If you’re looking for genuinely good wine (which, we hope you are!) then Robert Ramsay Cellars is the urban winery for you. This upmarket urban winery excels at the craft of winemaking. While the wines are a bit more expensive than the other west coast urban wineries on this list, as the old saying goes: you get what you pay for, and in this case you get exquisite wine.
San Antonio Winery
Nope, this urban winery isn’t located in the Lone Star State—it’s in downtown Los Angeles. With 99 years of winemaking history, San Antonio Winery is rich in history that predates the prohibition! When it comes to west coast urban wineries, San Antonio Winery is an absolute must.
Southeast Wine Collective
Sure, people come to Southeast Wine Collective for the wines, but they also come for the food. Don’t get us wrong, the wine’s are amazing, but finding an urban winery with food that’s on par? Well, that’s something to celebrate. Another interesting thing: Southeast Wine Collective has wine on tap. Try 3 tap wines for just $10.
One of the most popular wineries in Dogpatch, Sutton Cellars has made a reputation for itself like no other. Known for its friendly and knowledgable staff, great wine, and fun ambiance, Sutton Cellars is definitely one of the best urban wineries on the west coast. When at Sutton Cellars, try their vermouth. It may come as a surprise to some, but vermouth is a fortified white wine, and Sutton Cellars is famous for their’s!