© Courtesy of Gary Saxe - Fotolia.com
California’s climate is perfectly suited for growing grapes and producing wine. The wineries located in the state of California, particularly the Napa Valley, are home to some of the best wines in the world. In fact, the state of California makes approximately 90% of the wine produced in the United States. Their vineyards have something for everyone, from sweet to dry and red to white, and visitors at these California wineries will find not just delicious wine but a friendly atmosphere, gorgeous facilities, and breathtaking scenery. Whether on a structured or spontaneous wine tour, or just looking to check out one or two spots, guests will find tastings, food, and events when they visit these wineries on their next visit to California.
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» Francis Ford Coppola Winery
© Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis Ford Coppola Winery sells their wines all over the world, and has been voted Winery of the Year by several international wine competitions. From the flagship Archimedes vintage to the Diamond Collection Claret in its distinctive bottle wrapped with gold wire, Francis Ford Coppola Winery has some beautiful and exquisite wines in its library, but that’s just half the fun. The winery has a beautiful tasting room, a restaurant, a weekly dining event called A Tavola, and even a poolside cafe for guests to enjoy. Games, a park, and some beautiful locations for events such as weddings or retreats round out the deal at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, as well as events sponsored by the venue, such as live music and even movie nights.
300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, CA 95441, Phone: 707-857-1471
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» Callaway Vineyard & Winery
© Callaway Vineyard & Winery
The gorgeous estates at Callaway Vineyard and Winery are huge, with rolling hills of vineyards under a blue and cloudless California sky. Guests at Callaway can take a tour of the property, which is offered daily at 11am and 1pm, for $10 per person, or $25 for a tour combined with a full wine tasting. The tour includes an exclusive behind the scenes look at Callaway’s inner workings -- their vineyards, their barrels and fermentation tanks, and more -- as well as a taste of wine straight from the barrel. The tour ends up at the tasting room, where guests can opt to try more of their delicious wines, and a full wine tasting at Callaway Vineyard and Winery includes tastings of six different types of wine.
32720 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591, Phone: 951-676-4001
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» Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
© Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery was founded by Samuele Sebastiani, who left his native Tuscany for California in 1895 and started his own winery in the hills of Sonoma less than a decade later. During Prohibition, Sebastiani Vineyards was the only winery in the region to continue making wines, albeit restricted to medicinal and religious purposes. The winery persevered through Prohibition and the Great Depression by becoming a community center for the population, with a skating rink, theater, hotel, and other services offered on site to keep it running. The winery remained in the family after Samuele’s death until 2008, when it came under new management, though it still carries on his tradition of a fine community and even finer wines.
389 Fourth Street East, Sonoma, CA 95476, Phone: 707-933-3200
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» Ram's Gate Winery
© Ram's Gate Winery
Ram's Gate Winery is a Certified Sustainable Vineyard in Sonoma that was opened in 2011, focusing on small-lot Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals. The winery strives to cultivate the best wines possible from the Sonoma Valley's prime viticultural conditions, with all wines expertly tasted and perfected by company chefs to bring out unique flavors and textures. Tastings are available at the company's tasting room by advance appointment, offered Thursdays through Mondays during the morning and afternoon hours. A variety of tasting experiences are offered regularly, including Gateway Tastings for new visitors, vineyard tour and tasting combination experiences, and exclusive chef's table tasting events, which pair fine culinary selections with wines.
28700 Arnold Dr, Sonoma, CA 95476, Phone: 707)-721-8700
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» Landmark Vineyards
© Landmark Vineyards
Landmark Vineyards is an elegant Kenwood winery originally founded in 1974 by a group of investors that included the great-great-granddaughter of famed American inventor John Deere. The vineyard produces a wide variety of high-quality white and red wines today throughout California's spectacular Sonoma and Russian River Valleys, including exclusive estate Chardonnay and pinot noir varietals. Guests can make reservations for private tastings and tours at both of the winery's facilities, highlighting the company's winemaking process and allowing visitors to taste a selection of the company's best small-production wines. Horse-drawn carriage vineyard tours are offered at the Sonoma Valley facility, with picnic opportunities provided at both locations.
101 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood, CA 95452, Phone: 707-833-0053
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» Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery
© Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery
Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery is a 56-acre estate-grown winery in Corralitos, helmed by married duo Mary Kay and Richard Alfaro since their 1997 acquisition of a former apple farm facility. The Santa Cruz-area winery has been acclaimed as the Corralitos region's best winery by regional publications such as Good Times Magazine and The Register-Pajaronian, bottling fine varietals of classic wines such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Chardonnay alongside its unique Gruner Veltliner wine. Visitors can taste wines at the company's intimate tasting room on weekends, with complimentary tastings offered to the company's Wine Club members. A spacious back patio space allows guests to bring picnic lunches and enjoy wines alongside family members of all ages. Wine club pick-up parties are also open to the public, showcasing live music performances.
420 Hames Road, Corralitos, CA 95076, Phone: 831-728-5172
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» Bernardo Winery
© Bernardo Winery
The Bernardo Winery of San Diego first opened its doors in 1889, making it the oldest operating winery in Southern California. Since 1927, Bernardo has been run by three generations of the Rizzo family, who have crafted and curated the winery’s product to near perfection. Bernardo Winery focuses primarily on Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, Syrah, Albarino, Merlot and Zinfandel varieties of wine, all of which grow particularly well in the region. Just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, visitors to bernardo Winery can bask in the historic atmosphere of the tasting room, original buildings, and gorgeous vineyards and olive tree groves. The winery even has a small village of shops which sell gifts, food, and other products.
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128, Phone: 858-487-1866
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» Boeger Winery
© Boeger Winery
During the gold rush, the land where Boeger Winery now sits was a homestead for would-be gold miners, who quickly discovered that making and selling wine and alcohol for the miners was much more lucrative than actually looking for gold. Much later, in 1972, Boeger Winery was born on this historic ground, and continues operating today in creating delicious wines. While most wineries tend to focus on three or four different varieties, Boeger’s level of excellency is made clear in their massive list of fifteen wine varietals. The climate and elevation at Boeger are perfect for growing different types of grape, especially the Spanish varieties they are best known for. Boeger’s flagship wines, the Barbera, has earned over 130 awards and medals in the winemaking community.
1709 Carson Road, Placerville, CA 95667, Phone: 530-622-8094
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» Burrell School Vineyard and Winery
© Burrell School Vineyard and Winery
The tasting room at Burrell School Vineyard and Winery is open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from 11am to 5pm, and during these times, visitors can come to the winery to try some of their fantastic product in the historic carriage house of the 19th century Burrell School where the winery is located. Burrell plays on this theme a lot, hosting ‘back to school’ wine tasting dinner events, and even offering a club membership to fans of their wines. Members of the Sippers’ Club get to taste every wine that Burrell makes, via quarterly shipments of bottles, with added benefits like complimentary tastings, members-only events like ‘sippers sessions’, and ongoing discounts on purchases.
24060 Summit Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033, Phone: 408-353-6290
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» Domenico Winery
© Domenico Winery
Domenico Winery, a family-run business, has been creating and selling spectacular wines for over two decades. Many of their vintages, such as their 2012 Nebbiolo, or the 2012 Super Tuscan Style red blend. Domenico makes over twenty types of wine right on their premises, and specializes in crafting complex and delicious wines that are wonderful on their own or paired with food. They grow two different types of grape on their estate - Syrah and Primitivo - and the rest of their grapes are sourced from other local growers and vineyards around California. Domenico Winery’s tasting room is open on weekends from 11am to 4pm, and on the third Sunday of every month, guests can enjoy live music with their wine.
1697 Industrial Rd, San Carlos, CA 94070, Phone: 650-593-2335
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» Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
© Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
Fess Parker Winery has an exquisite tasting room, with shelves packed with bottles of wine lining the walls, leather couches around a huge stone hearth, an open, sunny veranda alongside terraced raised garden beds, and a picture perfect view of the surrounding countryside. It’s a beautiful setting to enjoy a glass of wine with family or friends, and the wine itself is wonderful. Fess Parker wine tastings are offered daily from 10am to 4:45pm, and are led by a knowledgeable staff member who will lead visitors on their quest to find the perfect wine for them. The winery also offers tours of their facilities, for a behind the scenes look at how their wines are created.
6200 Foxen Canyon Rd, Los Olivos, CA 93441, Phone: 800-841-1104
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» Ledson Winery & Historic Castle Vineyards
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Ledson Winery offers several tasting experiences for guests, from the Classic option, where guests can choose from two specially curated tasting menus, to the Wine and Food Pairing, in which visitors can enjoy a full experience of Japanese food - served in four or six courses - paired of course with some of the delicious wines that Ledson offers. An experience at Ledson Winery is further embellished by their stunning venue, in a historic castle which began as a family home and grew into the business and winery it is today, with acre upon acre of merlot and other grapes that all contribute to Ledson’s fantastic wines.
7335 Highway 12, Kenwood, CA 95409, Phone: 707-537-3810
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» Lodi Wine & Visitor Center
© Lodi Wine & Visitor Center
Napa might get all the credit, but the Lodi region was voted wine region of the year during 2015. The mild climate, with warm days and cool evenings, is perfectly suited for many different varietals of grape, so wineries in Lodi can maintain a full, rich, and complex flavor in their wines. Visitors looking for a wine tour should look no further than Lodi, as there are an abundance of great wineries in the region and the wine trail, provided by Lodi Wines of California, features a wide variety of vineyards. They run a number of events throughout the year involving the local wineries of the area, so visitors should check out their website for any upcoming festivities.
2545 West Turner Road, Lodi, CA 95242, Phone: 209-367-4727
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» Miramonte Winery
© Miramonte Winery
Miramonte Winery, in the Temecula Valley, has been producing wine for almost two decades, and their wines focus on varietals originally sourced from Spain, Portugal, and Southern France. These grapes are expertly crafted by Miramonte’s team into a number of great vintages, such as their Albarino, Touriga Nacional, and Rose. Miramonte WInery also sells red and white sangria, perfect for fun summer days and parties with friends. Guests can book a VIP Winemaker’s TOur at Miramonte, which will take them through the process of creating wine from growing the grapes through fermentation all the way to sipping a glass in the tasting room with some delicious food pairings.
33410 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591, Phone: 951-506-5500
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» MJA Vineyards
© MJA Vineyards
MJA Vineyards is named after its creator, Marin John Artukovich, whose family has long produced fine wines in Croatia. At MJA Vineyards, they continue this Croatian tradition, as well as the Hawaiian tradition that Artukovich picked up while growing fine Kona coffee in Hawaii. These two cultures blend together seamlessly in MJA’s Aloha wines, which feature fun and quirky names like ‘Wipe Out’ and ‘Happily Ever After’. MJA Vineyards infuses a sense of fun into their craft, from the colorful labels, unique names, and attitude of the staff. They also make and sell coffee, which can be purchased at their vineyard or online.
24900 Highland Way Los Gatos, CA 95033, Phone: 408-353-6000
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» Navarro Vineyards & Winery
© Navarro Vineyards & Winery
Navarro Vineyards and Winery is a small company, so visitors might not recognize this name or find it on the shelves of any major wine shops across the country. But their wine is no less delicious for their size, and in fact this way the small winery is able to devote all its energy to producing its wines. Those looking to try Navarro Vineyards’ wines will have to head to their tasting room in Philo, California for a glass or a bottle. Navarro offers tours of their facilities twice a day at 10:30am and 2pm, and reservations can be made online or by calling ahead. After the tour, visitors are welcome to bring a packed lunch or buy some cheese and meat from Navarro’s deli to enjoy with a glass of wine on the grounds of the vineyard.
5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466, Phone: 800-537-9463
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» Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery
© Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery
Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery is a quirky and fun place that is widely regarded as one of the best kept secrets in the area. At Newport Beach Vineyards, there are over twelve hundred vines on the property, which are harvested, fermented, and blended each year into the winery’s award winning Meritage blend. They use primarily Bordeaux red grapes like Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and each Meritage has up to five varietals in it. Tours and tastings at the Vineyard are available by appointment only for groups of 8 or more, and each experience lasts approximately two hours.
2128 MESA DRIVE, NEWPORT BEACH, CA, 92660, Phone: 949-645-2200
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» Orfila Vineyards and Winery
© Orfila Vineyards and Winery
Every day at noon, visitors to Orfila Vineyards and Winery are invited to join the experts on a free tour of the facilities, where they will learn about the process of winemaking as they explore the vineyards, the cellars, and eventually the tasting room. After the tour, for $15 per person, guests can enjoy tastings of six of Orfila’s wines. Orfila Vineyards and Winery is located on a 70 acre estate where they produce small batch estate wines and create other blends from vineyards throughout the California wine region. Located near San Diego, Orfila is a great spot to hang out with a glass of wine, buy a bottle, or enjoy one of the events the winery hosts, such as weekly food trucks, live music during their Tunes on the Terrace events, or a Grape Stomp.
13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido, CA 92025, Phone: 760-738-6500
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» San Antonio Winery - Ontario Wine Tasting, Gift Shop & Event Center
© San Antonio Winery - Ontario Wine Tasting, Gift Shop & Event Center
The year 2017 marked one hundred years in the books for San Antonio Winery, a massive vineyard with estates located in Monterey County, Napa Valley, and other locations. The Ontario tasting room has been in operation for over 40 years, serving delicious wines to guests, both San Antonio wines and also vintages from other guest and partner wineries in their wine store. For $15 per person, guests can try a variety of four wines from the San Antonio Winery’s cellar, as well as other wines on sale by the glass. Their wines vary from bold reds to smooth whites, with just about everything in between, so there’s something for everyone in the San Antonio family of wines.
2802 S. Milliken Avenue, Ontario, CA 91761, Phone: 909-947-3995
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» Scheid Vineyards - Winery & Tasting Room
© Scheid Vineyards - Winery & Tasting Room
Scheid Vineyards boasts two tasting rooms, one in Carmel, and another in Greenfield, California, but no matter which one you choose, there’s bound to be delicious wine there. Scheid Vineyards has been producing grapes in the Monterey region for almost fifty years, where they began as a vineyard that sold grapes to other wineries and finally moved into creating their own wines much later. Today, many of Scheid’s grapes, grown on 11 vineyards stretched over a staggering 70 miles of land, are sold to other wineries, but many of them are also used to create Scheid’s signature wines, including their fantastic Pinot Noir, Claret, and Cab Sauvignon.
SAN CARLOS & 7TH, CARMEL, CA 93923, Phone: 831-626-9463
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» Seal Beach Winery
© Courtesy of dmitrimaruta - Fotolia.com
Michael Dawson, the owner and proprietor of Seal Beach Winery, really knows wine, which one should expect from a winemaker, but he really knows it on another level. Dawson intimately studies and understands the chemistry and biology of grapes and the process of fermenting them into wine, and with that understanding comes the fantastic product that he and his staff create at Seal Beach Winery. Guests who stop by their tasting room in Los Alamitos will find it open Wednesdays through Sundays from 4pm to 9pm, with a full tasting menu that includes glasses, bottles, tasting flights, growlers, and even charcuterie boards to pair with their wine choices.
3387 CERRITOS AVE, LOS ALAMITOS, CA 90720, Phone: 562-594-5800
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» Solis Winery
© Courtesy of zonch - Fotolia.com
Visitors to San Francisco and the Bay area will enjoy Solis Winery, which is located just a short drive away in Gilroy. Solis Winery’s vineyard is over a century old, and throughout its storied history has been the source of delicious and fine wines that are still being made today. The tasting room at Solis Winery is open seven days a week, excluding some holidays, from 12pm to 5pm, and there, visitors can sample and taste some of the amazing product the winery has to offer, including their Gold Medal winning Baciami, Cab Sauv, Merlot, and Sangiovese. Solis Winery is a small company, and their wines are difficult to find outside the tasting room, so guests should take the opportunity to purchase wine from their tasting room on the premises.
3920 Hecker Pass Hwy., Gilroy, CA 95020, Phone: 408-847-6306
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» South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
© South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
South Coast Winery is not just a vineyard, it’s also a resort and spa, so guests can relax with a glass of wine on the beautiful premises without worrying how they’re going to get home, and the experience will be punctuated by massages and spa treatments along the way. With 63 acres of vineyards, South Coast sets the scene for an amazing stay with rolling hills, beautiful facilities, and a top notch staff. Guests can relax by the pool with a glass of wine, take a tour of the grounds and winemaking facilities, or enjoy happy hour specials in the Vineyard Rose, the restaurant and bar on the premises.
34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula, California 92591, Phone: 951-587-9463
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» Storrs Winery
© Courtesy of Kristen - Fotolia.com
Storrs Winery has been growing grapes and producing wine since the late 1980s, but in the summer of 2018, they opened their new winery facilities in Corralitos in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This beautiful place is brand new, state of the art, and the perfect spot to enjoy some of Storr’s great products, like their Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnays, or Wildcat Ridge Pinot Noir. Lovers of Storrs Wine can even join their wine club, which guarantees the delivery of four bottles of wine, shipped four times a year, for a total of sixteen bottles. Members of the wine club get special discounts, sneak peeks at new wines, and even complimentary tastings at Storrs Winery’s tasting rooms.
303 Potrero Street no. 35, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, Phone: 831-458-5030
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» Ackerman Family Vineyards at the Aviary
© Ackerman Family Vineyards at the Aviary
Ackerman Family Vineyards works hard to capture the true spirit of each grape in their wines, from their spectacular Bordeaux blend to their delightful Cabernet Sauvignon. At Ackerman Family Vineyards at the Aviary, there are over eleven thousand acres of land used for growing grapes, and its location on an extinct volcano means that the volcanic soil beneath the vineyards is rich with nutrients that give Ackerman Family Vineyards’ wine its amazing and unique taste. They farm sustainably and are a CCOF (California Certified Organic Farm) so there are no pesticides used in any of their products, and they use innovative techniques like hawks on their properties to manage pests, and cover crops like vegetables and poppies to enhance their soil.
608 Randolph St, Napa, CA 94559, Phone: 855-238-9463
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25 Best Wineries in California
- Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Photo: Francis Ford Coppola Winery
- Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Photo: Callaway Vineyard & Winery
- Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, Photo: Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery
- Ram's Gate Winery, Photo: Ram's Gate Winery
- Landmark Vineyards, Photo: Landmark Vineyards
- Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery
- Bernardo Winery, Photo: Bernardo Winery
- Boeger Winery, Photo: Boeger Winery
- Burrell School Vineyard and Winery, Photo: Burrell School Vineyard and Winery
- Domenico Winery, Photo: Domenico Winery
- Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Photo: Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard
- Ledson Winery & Historic Castle Vineyards, Photo: Courtesy of Nathan Chor - Fotolia.com
- Lodi Wine & Visitor Center, Photo: Lodi Wine & Visitor Center
- Miramonte Winery, Photo: Miramonte Winery
- MJA Vineyards, Photo: MJA Vineyards
- Navarro Vineyards & Winery, Photo: Navarro Vineyards & Winery
- Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery, Photo: Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery
- Orfila Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Orfila Vineyards and Winery
- San Antonio Winery - Ontario Wine Tasting, Gift Shop & Event Center, Photo: San Antonio Winery - Ontario Wine Tasting, Gift Shop & Event Center
- Scheid Vineyards - Winery & Tasting Room, Photo: Scheid Vineyards - Winery & Tasting Room
- Seal Beach Winery, Photo: Courtesy of dmitrimaruta - Fotolia.com
- Solis Winery, Photo: Courtesy of zonch - Fotolia.com
- South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Photo: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
- Storrs Winery, Photo: Courtesy of Kristen - Fotolia.com
- Ackerman Family Vineyards at the Aviary, Photo: Ackerman Family Vineyards at the Aviary
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Gary Saxe - Fotolia.com
Sunstone Vineyards & Winery
At Sunstone Winery, the tasting room is open every day, excluding major holidays, from 11am until 5pm. Here, at this beautiful place right out of a storybook, covered in grapevines and blanketed in sunshine, guests can sample and taste some of Sunstone Vineyards’ amazing wines. They offer several options for guests, including private tastings for groups of eight or more people, intimate experiences with full dinners and expert wine pairings, or even a stay in one of the suites of the Sunstone Villa, a gorgeous venue reminiscent of a small and quaint French village.
125 Refugio Road • Santa Ynez, CA 93460, Phone: 800-313-9463 or 805-688-9463
Bargetto Winery of Cannery Row
Bargetto Winery has been producing wine since 1933 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Their beautiful vineyard, up in the mountain climate, produces low-yield grapes that are known for their intense flavors and rich varieties. La Vita, their signature red blend, is hand punched, aged in wooden casks, and then blended together for the best taste. Bargetto Winter has two tasting rooms, one in Monterey and one in Santa Cruz. Both are open to visitors who want to try some of their amazing wines that they have to offer. The Santa Cruz location is open every day from 12:00 until 5:00, and the Monterey tasting room is open from Sunday to Thursday from 11:00 to 6:30, and Fridays and Saturdays until 7:00pm.
700-G Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, Phone: 831-373-4053
Syrah, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Viognier are just some of the grapes that grow on Berghold Vineyard’s 85 acres of land, which are harvested, fermented, aged, and then seamlessly blended together to create the winery’s signature tastes and vintages. The tasting room at Berghold Vineyard is practically a museum, full of the antiques from the 18th and 19th century that the Berghold family has collected for generations. A visit to Berghold Vineyard’s tasting room not only provides an opportunity to taste some spectacular wines, it also allows visitors to relax in this stunning and perfectly curated atmosphere, among beautiful antiques and a tastefully decorated interior.
17343 Cherry Rd, Lodi, CA 95240, Phone: 209-333-9291