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Harvest Time for Area Vineyards

Fall is the magical time of year when plump grapes are picked and transformed into delicious wine.


The southern San Diego Backcountry is fast becoming California's next great wine-growing region. Home to an increasing number of vineyards, we took a tour to find out what draws connoisseurs and amateur enthusiasts alike to sample our vintages.


Granite Lion Cellars

Abundant, beautiful, and joyful, the vineyard expresses an idea that the best things in life are simple and honest. If there is truth in wine, it comes from the plain transition of fruit and soil and sun into a blend of art and fate. Granite Lion Cellars begins with the best vine stock and cherishes the distinctive characteristics that make every variety unique because they understand that all we take through life is ourselves.


A fast-growing winery, Granite Lion Cellars recently broke ground on the new Wine Cave and Tasting Room. The new Wine Cave is being built into the hillside and will blend seamlessly into the rolling landscape.


Visitors to the vineyard can do more than enjoy a glass or two. At Granite Lion Cellars there is a access to a private 2 mile trail with beautiful views available for hiking, picnics, trail riding (horses and un-motorized vehicles only per appointment).


Granite Lion Cellars is encouraged about this year’s harvest. "It may be a late season as a result of the cool springtime temperatures," says Miriam Valdez, GLC's Tasting Room Manager. "But the harvest is sure to be spectacular."


Granite Lion Cellars offers an membership in their exclusive Wine Club. Members receive 3 bottles four times a year, they are always the first to taste new wines, are invited to free wine tastings, exclusive events, and receive 20% off on all purchases year round.


Just 14 miles from the ocean, Granite Lion Cellars is an easy drive from the city. They are open every day of the week from 11am – 5pm.


Granite Lion Cellars

2801 Jamul Highlands Rd

Jamul, CA 91935

(619) 669-2982

granitelioncellars.com


Dulzura Vineyard & Winery

The Dulzura Vineyard and Winery is located on the pioneer-era Clark Ranch, established in 1885. Today the ranch is still family owned. The buildings are among the very few surviving structures from that era.


Their Estate Vineyard produces eightselect grape varietals. The have planted their vines on a gently sloped hillside above the winery. The vines recieve ample sun and a gentle breeze on most days. The proximity to the ocean provides a nightly cooling off which allows the vineyard to produce fruit of exceptional quality. "The Dulzura Vineyard and Winery is blessed with the right combination of soil, water, and climate conditions allowing us to make full-bodied reds and delicate, aromatic whites with minimal intervention."


The Dulzura Vineyard and Winery tasting room is open year-round from 11AM to 6PM on Saturdays and Sundays.


Dulzura Vineyard & Winery

17323 Highway 94

Dulzura, CA 91917

(619) 433- 9896

dulzurawinery.com



Campo Creek Vineyards

Campo Creek Vineyards and Winery is located in the beautiful mountains of East San Diego County, where the Clarke family herd their cattle on a 400-acre ranch first established in 1888.


The boutique vineyard, first planted in 2003, has since grown to approximately 10,000 grape vines, making it one of the largest vineyards in San Diego’s mountain region where the wine grapes thrive in the long, warm days of Southern California.


The handcrafted wines produced at Campo Creek reflect the friendly and rustic environment of the ranch, as well as the dedication and hard work of the Clarke family. This no-nonsense cowboy charm extends to a friendly price point and exceptional value on the small batch wines, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Viognier, from the estate, and Zinfandel sourced from Potrero.


Visitors are welcome to taste the wines Saturday and Sunday at the Ranch, and Wednesday through Sunday in the tasting room in Poway.


Campo Creek Vineyards

29556 Highway 94

Campo, CA 91906

(619) 933-1706

campocreekvineyards.com


(Tasting Room)

13538 Poway Rd

Poway, CA 92064


Casi Cielo Winery at Maness Vineyards

Casi Cielo Winery is the home of the Maness Family. The name "Casi Cielo" was originally given to the property by Paul and Marie Vesco when they built the home and planted the initial vineyards in the 1980s.


Casi Cielo Winery is a sprawling mountain-top estate built in the Adobe Mission Architecture style overlooking the 4 acre farm, vineyards and beautiful San Diego vistas. They are a family owned and operated farm and winery that specializes in unique handcrafted products including traditional red, white and rose wines and the newest addition, Kickass Fruit wines.


At the tasting room, guests can order a local favorite, the Heavenly Flight. This spread allows you to taste each available wine and it includes crackers, Fresh Crush Vineyard Jelly, Baby Bell cheese and Ghiradelli chocolate to complement your palette.


They also offer gourmet grape and fruit jellies, hand crafted quilts, and unique gifts including barrel stave crosses, cork items, and vineyard paintings.


The tasting room is open on both Saturday and Sunday from 12-6.


Casi Cielo Winery

3044 Colina Verde Lane Jamul, CA 91935

(619) 403-9089

casicielowinery.com



Westfall Winery

For years Richard Westfall has been building a reputation for crafting stunning wines from fruit produced on his Estate vineyards here in East County.


Wines produced from the Westfall Vineyards are a nice cross section of varietals primarily found in the warmer climes of southern Europe. These include Anglianico, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, and Primitivo. They also make wines from Syrah, Zinfandel, Grenache, Orange Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc.


The main vineyard is located in Campo. At an elevation of 2,800 feet the climate is suitable for most of the Mediterranean varietals found in south France, Italy, and Spain. Warm days and cool nights prove ideal for the vines planted in this 10 acre block. A few miles away and at a lower elevation (1,500 feet) is the Dulzura vineyard block. Here they grow Orange Muscat, Zinfandel, Grenache, Sangiovese, and Anglianico.


Wine made at Westfall Winery is done in the traditional fashion utilizing both old and new technology. "The driving philosophy here is to use the absolute minimum intervention during winemaking, allowing the wine to be what it is and will become in the course of time," says Westfall.


The tasting room is currently available by appoitment only, but the friendly folks at Westfall Winery are happy to make accommodations for guests!


Westfall Winery

1910 Buckman Springs Rd

Campo, CA 91906

(619) 454-1711

westfallvineyards.com


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(619) 445-2722

1620 Alpine Blvd #208, Alpine, CA 91901, USA

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