Here at Nook, we have a passion for people, places and properties. There is a reason that we say people first, for what makes a neighborhood special if not the people who live there? Welcome to #TastemakerTuesday, where we’ll feature the visionaries in our favorite nooks who are dedicated to building a better community through their talents.
Today we take the word “Tastemaker” quite literally. In honor of California Winery Month -- and thank you to the California Wine Institute and Visit California for creating this month -- so we’ll highlight some key tastes coming out of California grapes. The San Diego County Vintners Association says that San Diego is “where wine began,” so why not start there?
I admit that I clicked on The Accidental Wine Company because of the name. Who doesn’t want to read that origin story? Their journey has such fantastical markings that I’m surprised Oompa Loompas aren’t involved. Micah and David had the pleasure in 2005 to enjoy random wine from around the world with a local eccentric candy-maker. When he suddenly disappeared then reappeared, they joined business forces with Janice and Kelly to create a one stop shop for wine lovers to discover new tastes. Their blog discusses weather conditions and other factors to consider when shopping for wine, allowing even a total newbie to feel like they have some idea of what they’re buying.
Charlie and Echo sound like people with whom I’d love to share a bottle or two. Besides her travels, Charlie claims to be “the most interesting woman in the world while Echo, a physics grad school dropout, states “He used to be smart. Now he makes wine.” Clearly, something in that combination works, because their full scale winery brings individual tastes, urban innovation and a creative touch to every taste. Their instagram account draws you behind the scenes of every part of the process from grapes to a fire extinguisher with a mind of its own, showing not only their personality, but also the caring touch they put into the craft of their business.
If you like the urban winery scene but want to sip from small lots with full views of water, canyons and Mexico, then you should really try Vino Urbano. The winner of 3 medals at the Toast of the Coast Wine Competition and Festival in 2016, they offer pairing suggestions right on their Orders page, so you can see if right away if Vino Urbano has what you need for that special celebration after moving in to your dream San Diego home. Their tasting room just opened last summer; you can be one of the first to sample this new addition to the winery scene.
If lush citrus groves and picnic areas are more your speed, you want to try Belle Marie Winery and Chateau Dragoo. Located on the Escondido Wine and Culinary Campus and just a few minutes from downtown San Diego, you’ll feel as though you stepped into a winery wonderland. With over 30 varieties to choose from at any time, daily wine tastings and behind the scenes tours, Belle Marie WInery is the perfect choice for a unique day outing with friends or colleagues.
It’s hard to narrow down all the delicious wine choices in San Diego; tell us your favorite below. And if September is too busy a time for you, never fear: here’s a calendar of all the official wine celebration days here, thanks to Wine Folly.
(Photo courtesy: Charlie & Echo)