San Diego is known for its incredible weather and acclaimed beaches, but did you know that it is also a pretty incredible place to go wine tasting as well!
We have a few good friends in San Diego, and every time we back the drive from LA to SD, we make it a point to stop in Northern San Diego to go wine tasting. This area is home to some of my favorite San Diego wineries in the state, and it’s definitely an up-and-coming region producing incredible wine.
Are you a red wine lover, and are you headed to San Diego in the near future? Here are three wineries that should be on your radar!
Top 3 Northern San Diego Wineries
Getting There and Getting Around
To get to San Diego, before I moved to Southern California, I’d opt to fly into San Diego International Airport. My preferred airline of choice to fly into SAN is Southwest Airlines. They fly into Terminal 1 of the airport and have plenty of flight options to get you into town from all across the country.
Southwest Airlines just celebrated its 50th Anniversary, and they’re celebrating the freedom to travel with some fun giveaways, rewards, and surprises throughout the month. Make sure to give them a follow on social media for a surprise or two and to keep an eye out for their flight deals to San Diego (or any other destination you want to travel to!)
As far as getting around San Diego goes, I’d highly recommend arranging for transportation or renting a car and having a designated driver if you want to visit the wineries. The wineries in Northern San Diego are about 40-60 minutes outside of town, so you won’t be able to rely on Uber or Lyft to get you there.
The Best Wineries in Northern San Diego
While there are dozens of wineries in Temecula, these are some of the best options at the moment for red wine lovers. If you’re a white wine fan, leave a comment and let me know if you want to see more content with those varietals!
We loved Akash so much that we decided to become members. This Indian-owned winery is known for its bold, tannic reds and incredible atmosphere. You can get a great view of the vines, enjoy live music on the weekends, and even shop local vendors on select dates. I’d highly recommend their Zinfandel or either one of their rosés if it is hot out! Reservations are not accepted, but I would come early on a weekend if you want to guarantee a good seat.
If you’re a fan of Argentinian wines, this is the ideal spot for you. Doffo Winery was founded by Marcelo Doffo, who emigrated to the United States in the 1970s from Argentina. After a trip to Italy, he was inspired to create a wine of his own, and after winning a few awards for his wine, he purchased a ranch in Temecula in 1997 and began to expand his wine production. You can find Argentinian varietals like Malbec here and California classics like Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon as well. Reservations are recommended.
If you like French and Italian varietals, you’re in for a treat. The winemaker, Nicholas Palumbo, has Sicilian ancestry and grew up farming in Illinois, which makes him an exceptional winemaker. Palumbo Vineyard is a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard & Winery, and they have implemented many practices to lessen their eco-footprint. I’d highly recommend either their GSM or one of their Sangioveses.
Which of these San Diego wineries do you want to visit? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern