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If you live in Los Angeles, you don’t have to take a trip to Napa Valley to visit some of California’s best wineries. Rustic gems like San Antonio Winery offer visitors a traditional experience, while venues like The Blending Lab are more modern. Read below for our guide to the best wineries near Los Angeles.
Napa Valley Is Closer Than You Think
Santa Barbara, Malibu, and Temecula are all closer alternatives to Napa for L.A. wine lovers. In addition to wineries, this list also includes wine tours for those who want to make an entire day out of wine tasting. Whether you’re looking for a day trip, or an afternoon adventure, our guide to the seven best wineries in L.A. features the most popular venues in the city.
1. San Antonio Winery
Established in 1917, San Antonio Winery is the oldest and largest winery in Los Angeles. With 100 years of wine-making experience, the venue is a cultural and historical icon of the city. The winery is so well-known that The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board designated the winery as “Cultural Monument #42.” San Antonio sits on its original location on Lamar Street, but is has expanded to other locations in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley. Famous, award-winning wines from the winery include Stella Rosa, Opaque, Three Pines and many others. In addition to wine tasting, the venue also offers tours of the facilities.
2. The Blending Lab
The Blending Lab offers a modern spin on the traditional winery experience. Located on West 3rd St. in the heart of West Hollywood, the venue features wine produced in L.A. from locally sourced grapes. If you’re new to wine tasting or want to hone your tasting skills, The Blending Lab offers tasting technique classes for every level. Mixing classes (complete with beaker sets) are also offered where patrons are free to create unique combinations of merlot, zinfandel, and petite sarah. If you’d rather leave the blending to the professionals, regular wine tasting sessions are also available. Try a single varietal like a 2013 Zinfandel from Paso Robles, or a 2012 Estrella Syrah from Santa Rita Hills, or a 2013 Chardonnay from Paso Robles. After your visit, make sure to pick up a bottle of one of The Blending Lab’s own unique creations for your next dinner party.
3. Deep Sea Tasting Rooms
Based in Santa Barbara, the Deep Sea Tasting Rooms feature some of the best wines in the area. Their “Deep Sea” and “Conway” labels are famous for their even balance of sugar, acidity, and maturity of flavor. The “Deep Sea” label is ideal for modern wine drinkers. These wines are sourced from coastal vineyards that “reflect the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean.” The “Conway” Label wine are sourced from the very best of Santa Barbara vineyards. These wines are created from the highest quality barrels, lots, and vineyard sources in the area. The winery features organic wine that utilizes environmentally conscious production methods. Their sustainable farming practices include avoiding heavy pesticides and fertilizers. Instead, their farmers opt for cover crops to add nutrients to the earth. Additionally, the vineyards are dry-farmed—a technique that avoids heavy irrigation.
4. Grassini Family Vineyards
The Grassini Family Vineyards are another venue to visit in Santa Barbara. Located in Happy Valley near the edge of the Santa Ynez Valley, the vineyard has a unique atmosphere: During the day, the air is extremely warm while at night it is extremely cold. The combination of the vineyard’s extreme temperatures allows the grapes to ripen to perfection. However, there is more allure to the vineyards than just the wine. The vineyard’s architecture utilizes reclaimed antique fir milled from timbers found in the Columbia River. The timber was used in the 1800s to move materials down river to lumberjack camps. The venue is also extremely ecologically conscious in its operations. The entire winery is solar-powered and its irrigation system is from the estate’s lake. Their eco-friendly philosophy says it all: “With a constant eye for sustainability, both history and future will be preserved."
5. Silver Lake Wine
Located next to the Silver Lake Reservoir, Silver Lake Wine features wine, microbrews, and sake. The venue specializes in wines from local vendors as well as international ones. Silver Lake Wine acquires most of their bottles from family-run wineries, and many of the wines are organic and biodynamic. The establishment’s three owners George Cosette, Randy Clement, and April Langford all hail from the food and wine industry with more than 80 years of experience among them. In addition to private tastings and special events, the winery also hosts monthly tasting events like “Sundays at Three,’ “Thursday Night Flights,” and “Blue Mondays.” Events with other renowned winemakers like “Tracy Brandt, Ryan Roark, and Jody Brix Towe are also featured. Silver Lake Winery recently opened another location in DTLA.
6. Malibu Discovery Wine Tour
Find out more via their website.
A Los Angeles winery list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the city’s most popular wine excursion: Malibu Discovery Wine Tour. Enjoy a day of wine, food, and breathtaking Californian scenery while you trek through some of Malibu’s most exclusive wineries. There is no meeting place for the tour--a luxury vehicle will pick up you and your party from a nearby location to begin the tour. During the tour, lunch at one of Malibu’s best restaurants like Sunset Restaurant or Duke’s Malibu is a perfect addition to a day of exploring and tasting.
7. Four Brix Wine
Four Brix Wine sits at the heart of Ventura County and is a favorite among locals. In addition to wine tasting, the winery also offers blending classes, wine and cheese parties, and its “pizza and wine” mainstay. Their signature wines include self-titled creations like “Smitten,” “Zeductive,” “Temptress,” “Rhondezvous,” and “Scosso.” The winery’s bottles hail from vineyards such as Cani Amante in Ojai, McGourty in Paso Robles, and Camp 4 in Santa Ynez.
Daytrip? Wine Not?
Spring and Summer are the best seasons for wine tasting, so why not make an entire day trip out of wine tasting? If taking a trip all the way to Napa isn’t feasible, these wineries are not more than two hours away from Los Angeles.