Cloudless blue skies and endless days of sun and surf may be what comes to mind when you picture a Southern California stay, but this laidback region of west coast cool also boasts an impressive wine region.
When exploring Southern California, don’t miss the chance to visit some of the best wineries the country has to offer. The West Coast of the United States is home to some of the most breathtaking beach destinations. But if you want to take a break from beach trips, you won’t regret visiting some of the best wineries in Southern California.
From Temecula Wine Country’s dozens of vineyards and wineries to Ramona Valley’s rich history of wine making and equally impressive vineyards, follow along as we share some of the must-visit grape farms and estates in Southern California.
10 of the Best Wineries in Southern California
1. Lorimar Vineyards and Winery
Fans of Cabernet Sauvignon, the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape, won’t want to miss a trip to Lorimar Vineyards and Winery Southern California.
This Tuscan-style winery sits on a 22-acre estate vineyard and offers samples of award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Malbec wines. Lounge at the winery’s inviting patio as you take in captivating views of the Temecula Valley.
2. Malibu Wine Safari
Out of all the Southern California wineries, a wine tour at Malibu Wine Safari is one of the most remarkable experiences you’ll ever have.
Within 30 minutes from Los Angeles, you’ll arrive at Malibu Wine Safari, a 1,000-acre Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard that is home to rescued exotic animals. The experience includes riding on a custom-built, open-air safari jeep and going around the winery for wine tastings and animal interactions. Make friends with zebras, camels, alpacas, giraffes, and more gentle giants.
3. Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate
If you appreciate a beautiful ocean view while sipping on a glass of freshly-opened wine, you will agree that Rosenthal - The Malibu Estate is by far the best winery in Southern California.
Located across from the ocean on the Pacific Coast Highway, this beautiful winery pairs your love for ocean views and great wine. Enjoy the full lineup of Rosenthal wines, including grapes like cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and petit verdot, all grown in a unique microclimate four miles inland at 1,450 feet above sea level and then bottled to be enjoyed in a refreshing Malibu beach location.
4. Maurice Car'rie Vineyard
This Southern California Winery and Vineyard proudly welcomes visitors to one of the first vineyards planted in the Temecula Region.
Today, Maurice Car’rie Vineyard has more than 70 acres of vines and features an impressive Victorian-style farmhouse where wine tastings of award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurtztraminer are available. The experience includes outdoor live music and the winery’s famous baked brie in garlic sourdough bread.
5. Robert Renzoni Vineyards
Our list of best Temecula Valley wines and “best wineries Southern California” is not complete without Robert Renzoni Vineyards.
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Known for its long-standing family history of Italy-based winemaking, Robert Renzoni Vineyards has made a name for itself as an expert in serving wines from the Italian varieties that grow so well in the Temecula region. Sip on expertly-crafted pinot grigio, Montepulciano, and Vermentino wines with a natural pairing of food from the on-site Mama Rosa’s Trattoria.
6. Volcan Mountain Winery
Who said wine is only from grapes? Family-owned Volcan Mountain Winery sits on eight acres of apple trees, which grow over a dozen varieties of apples that are then used to produce apple wines. There are three kinds of apple wines to choose from, all of which guests are invited to taste.
Classic grape-based wines are also available at Volcan Mountain Winery. Although Volcan is known for estate-grown pinot gris and pinot noir, they also sour grapes from the San Diego and Temecula Valley regions. Enjoy your choice of grape and apple wines over breathtaking views of the Cuyamaca Mountains.
7. La Finquita Winery and Vineyard
La Finquita (“the little farm”) is an eight-acre property owned by the youngest winery owners and vintners in Ramona, husband-and-wife team Charlie and Jess Koehler.
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The stunning wine cave built into the side of the hill beneath the winery’s tasting room makes La Finquita one of the most remarkable wineries in San Diego’s Ramona Valley. It features a medieval chandelier, wine racks, and the pleasant aroma of wine as it ages.
Take a tour of the wine cave and sip on hand-crafted wine made exclusively from San Diego County grapes. Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Grenache, and other Mediterranean varieties are also available.
8. Churon Winery
Over at Temecula Wine Country, you’ll find a Tuscany-inspired B&B winery perched atop 11 acres of estate vineyards.
Wine tasting is a must, but if you stay the night you will also be treated to a complimentary breakfast while watching hot air balloons float high above the Chateau and surrounding vineyards.
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Included in your experience, enjoy a glass of wine as you lounge in a jacuzzi tub for two, then warm up for the night in front of an inviting fireplace whilst surrounded by the aroma of aging wine.
9. Carter Estate Winery
Not everyone is a fan of sparkling wine, but if you pay a visit to Carter Estate Winery you might just change your mind.
Award winning winemakers Jon McPherson and Javier Flores will ignite your love for sparkling wine. Make with Temecula Valley grapes, sip on the winery’s selection of premium sparkling and still wines in a tasting room that is right next to the production facility.
There is a glass wall separating the two rooms so guests can enjoy witnessing the process of production while enjoying a glass of wine.
10. Milagro Winery
Milagro Winery is arguably one of the most beautiful wineries in Ramona Valley, so much so that it has become a popular outdoor wedding venue. The farm features rustic designs over a 110-acre estate that grows more than 10,000 vines.
Aside from basking in the naturally beautiful setting of Milagro Winery, enjoy wines crafted with 100 percent estate grown grapes. Milagro’s winemaker hails from wine-haven Bordeaux. A highly sought-after winemaker in Mexico, so you already know from his credentials that you won’t regret paying a visit.
Plan an Unforgettable Southern California Adventure
Lazy days spent by the beach. Sipping wines and touring the most beautiful vineyards and wineries. And exploring world-class famous attractions. You can have all this and more with a Southern California Adventure.
Whether you want to visit Los Angeles, San Diego, or Anaheim, there are dozens of attractions to build around your Southern California vacation. Book the Vino! Vino! Little Italy Wine Tour or combine it with another attraction or a hotel of your choice. The choice is yours!
Check out vacation packages on Tripster for more travel inspiration.
Which Southern California Winery is Your Favorite?
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