Visit These Wonderful Urban Wineries in San Francisco, Oakland, NYC and Portland
DogPatch WineWorks in SF
As city dwellers, we often have good intentions of visiting the beautiful wine country that surrounds our great cities but may get caught up in a cup of Stumptown, Four Barrel or the ever so addictive Pumpkin Spice latte. But thanks to urban wineries putting down roots in major cities around the country, accessing wineries may be closer than we think. San Francisco, Oakland, New York City and Portland, Oregon have seen a large expansive of wine being produced within city limits. This time of year is an especially intoxicating time to visit as harvest is underway and the smell of wine being made will draw you away from that expensive cup of joe.
Here are a number of wineries worth checking out in your backyard regardless of means or motivation levels:
San Francisco Urban Wineries to Visit
Bluxome Street Winery. Prior to the 1906 Earthquake, there were a dozen wineries operating in SOMA but those who were able to rebuild were soon closed due to prohibition. Bluxome Street Winery has brought winemaking back to SOMA and is open 6 days a week for tastings and host many events throughout the year. Not to mention their wines are killer. If you are a big fan of Sonoma, specifically the Russian River, then this is your home away from home.
DogPatch WineWorks. Located off the T-train on 3rd street in the DogPatch neighborhood, WineWorks is a custom crush facility where anyone able to invest can make wine. WineWorks also produces their own label with their tasting room open Thursday through Sunday including evenings which is great for after work. Individual tastings start at $3 so you can spend as little or as much as you can drink.
Sutton Cellars. Also located in the DogPatch neighborhood, about a block from the WineWorks. Owner and winemaker, Carl Sutton is known for being the quirky wine guy around town. His creative genius comes through in his wines which are unfiltered and pushing the limits on traditional winemaking. Open Saturday and Sunday, $7 gets your four wines. If you get a chance to taste his vermouth too it will also change how you make your next cocktail.
Treasure Island. Yup, that random mass of land which supports our beloved Bay Bridge is also home to a number of wineries including Winery SF, Fat Grape Winery, Treasure Island Winery, Sol Rouge Winery,Bodega Wine Estates, Sottomarino Winery (a submarine like experience…seriously), and Vie Winery which has Bocce Ball courts. Game on.
Oakland Urban Wineries to Visit
Rock Wal Wines
Rock Wall Wines. Ok ok, this is technically located in Alameda in the former Naval Air Base but it hands down has one of the best views of the Bay and the city of San Francisco. Not to mention this winery has a wine for everyone. Pair that with outdoor couches, cornhole and great food, there may not be any reason to leave.
Dashe Cellars. Well you gotta visit this winery because, well, the label has a monkey riding a whale on it. Really. Open Thursday through Sunday from 12-5pm located off 4th street in Oakland. This is a Zinfandel lover’s mecca.
Broc cellars. Making some of the best fermented juice you can get your hands on especially for the price, this is a great place to learn the meaning of “Terroir.” Their tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 pm.
New York City and Brooklyn Urban Wineries to Visit
City Winery. If live music is your scene this winery is in the heart of NYC pairs music with winemaking. Head to a class or tasting, grab a bite and stay for the live music after. A night on the town has never been so fun.
Brooklyn Winery. This winery makes wine from grapes grown in both New York and California states, this is a unique opportunity to taste the wines side by side, take a wine class or just hangout in the 1200 square foot wine bar. If you need a taste of California while in Brooklyn, look no further.
Portland, Oregon Urban Wineries to Visit
Much like San Francisco, Portland is a hop skip and jump away from wine country. These urban wineries get my vote for most organized due to their informative website and maps showcases all the urban wineries, must be all those months locked in doors from the rain. Wineries of note include Seven Bridges Winery, S.E. Winery Collective and ENSO winery.
So take break from the coffee scene and stylish mustaches to cleanse your palate with wine accessible by public transport or by bike.
Charlotte Chipperfield is the Founder of The Wine Key, a wine education and consulting business based in San Francisco, on a mission to make wine less intimidating.