Vacationing and Wine Tours in San Diego
When it comes to vacationing in San Diego, and the rest of the Golden State better known as California, there is plenty to do and see; California prides itself ‘on living life to the fullest’ according to California’s official tourist board website. Attractions range from the famous attractions of San Diego Zoo, to the kids' favorite Disney Land and the stunning Yosemite National Park, but tasting and experiencing world class wine has also become a must-do on a trip to California.
San Diego as a Wine region
The wine region of San Diego is able to grow the perfect grape due to its mild Mediterranean climate, resulting in the mild yet crisp California wine everyone knows. California actually ‘produces some 90% of US wine, although there are wineries in nearly every state of the USA’, according to Dennis Grimes from Wine Tasting San Diego. Although other areas of California are more associated with wineries, such as Temecula towards the north of San Diego, this allows for San Diego’s vineyards to be real hidden gems. San Diego’s wine region has plenty of events throughout the year too, teaching wine lovers how to pair certain wines with different foods. Many of the different regions have very different wines too, meaning visiting more than one is a good way to become a real wine connoisseur.
Where to visit
While in San Diego on vacation, don’t miss out on Old Town San Diego, better known as the birthplace of California. Take a look back through the past via the many museums and historical sites and discover the area’s beginning roots from 1769. The area is also busting with modern culture in the form of theaters, boutique shops, art galleries and excellent Mexican eateries.
There are also plenty of beaches to visit in this area. Head to La Jolla Cove and watch the sun set over the ocean, which is named as one of the best natural settings in the world. This is also a popular scuba diving area, as it offers some of the clearest waters in the whole of California. Mission Bay Park is also another place not to miss, people flock here to the wide open spaces famed for kite flying in the 4,600 acre park. A great way to see much of the coast and experience it at your own pace is by hiring a car and driving it yourself. There are also plenty of walking trails here covering more than 20 miles of scenic paths, perfect for relaxed walks. Of course, taking a wine tour is almost obligatory whilst in California – if you’re over 21 of course.
Why take a wine tour
Wine tours are a great way to really relax on holiday and of course, taste local wines where they are actually produced. Many wineries are family owned business, passed down through the family, and thus provide a really down to earth experience. There is no better way to enjoy wine than in the warm Mediterranean climate that California is so well known for, where it was made with views over the vineyards where it has come from. Many people choose to take a wine tour as a day trip in the many different stops of their cruise; as Iglu Cruise explain, expert wine tasters are on-hand to guide you through grape varieties and teach the art of wine tasting ’. This way, you get to learn much about the process of wine making and how different wines are made as tours are given by the experts of the business in the different regions visited on the cruise, expanding your wine knowledge.
When taking a wine tours, there are different types to consider, these are either private wine tours which consist of smaller more intimate and personal groups which can be organised at a time more convenient to you, or public wine tours within larger groups. Most of the best wineries in San Diego will be able to offer both of these options.
The best wineries in San Diego
California alone is 'home to more than an astonishing 3,500 wineries – and is the fourth leading wine producer in the world' according to visitcalifornia.com's website, so picking the best to visit whilst on vacation may seem a little overwhelming initially. The original wine region to find fame in California is Napa Valley; of course this region is great, but with that comes its huge popularity, meaning lots of people, if you don’t mind that and want to see where it all began, then head on over. If you want something a little more relaxed, then visit Fallbrook Winery, which is a family run winery. Lindsey Pomeroy from San Diego Magazine describes it as nestled ‘among the avocado orchards and stands of cypress trees’, offering excellent views whilst you relax with an excellent glass of BDX or Sangiovese which are highly recommended.
Mahogany Mountain View Vineyard and Winery is another family run vineyard not to miss. Located in Ramona, which is known as the Valley of the Sun, specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Muscat Canelli, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Syrah. The family owning the vineyard claim, their wine making techniques include ‘hand-picked and organically grown grapes, small bin fermentation, hand punch-down of caps, hand press and aging in small oak barrels’ to release the best possible flavors from the grapes. So when you are in California, or San Diego, don’t deny yourself the chance to experience such amazing wines from where it all comes from; it’s certainly the best way to enjoy wine as it was meant to be.