September marks California Wine Month and the 15th annual celebration of the diverse vinification that is found across the Golden State’s 139 American Viticultural Areas or AVAs. Here are a few places San Diegans can join in the festivities of the flavorful juice, both locally and in nearby Temecula Valley Wine Country.
Bottaia Winery: 35601 Rancho California Road, Temecula. (951) 365-3388. bottaiawinery.com
- Wine Blending Lab: Be a winemaker for the day as you blend four separate red wines into three separate red blends using graduated cylinders and pipettes for exact measurements. Each guest will bottle, cork, capsule and take home their own blend that same day. 21 and up. $100 per person.
- Seated Tasting + Charcuterie: In this two-hour tasting, five preselected estate wines are paired with one of three charcuterie plates of your choosing (antipasto, Mediterranean vegetable or charcuterie board). 21 and up. $55 per person.
- Barrel Room Tasting: Taste six estate wines from the bottle and one from the barrel as you learn the effects of barrel -and bottle-age on Italian varietals. 21 and up. $25 per person.
Ponte Winery hosts its 17th annual Grape Stomp, an all-inclusive festival that features a gourmet dinner, wine, live music, dancing and a grape stomp competition. 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday. 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula. $125 per adult; $80 per child; children 3 and under are free. Tickets: pontewinery.com/visit/winery-events
Sit back and relax in the garden patio at Carruth Cellars Urban Winery in Little Italy, where you can sip wine by the glass or bottle. Accompany your drink with charcuterie offerings or wood-fired pizzas like the Santorini, made with with Kalamata olives, Hungarian goat horn peppers, roasted artichoke hearts, mozzarella and feta. Gluten-free and vegan options are available upon request. Pizza is served from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday. 2215 Kettner Blvd., San Diego. carruthcellars.com
Pali Wine Co in Little Italy offers Pali wine flights of pinot noir and chardonnay, which can be paired with wine-friendly dishes from the small plates menu. Each wine flight (five different wines) is $15. 2130 India St., San Diego. (619) 569-1300. paliwineco.com