Wineries near Oakland
December 11, 2004 11:03 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for wineries for a daytrip from Oakland CA? [details inside]

I am looking for something that is not a tourist-focused attraction, but at the same time am constrained more by budget (grad student) than taste. Anyone have a favorite treasured Northern California winery?
posted by allan to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (8 answers total)
You might consider going to the Livermore area rather than the highly touristed Napa and Sonoma areas. It's actually pretty close (just down I-580). Wente Vineyards is the largest winery, and definitely worth a stop.
posted by WestCoaster at 11:33 AM on December 11, 2004

I always wanted to go to Ahlgren but it looks like they're only open from 12:00-4:00 on Saturdays and doesn't look like they do much in the way of tours. Incredible, small production wine though.
posted by leecifer at 1:00 PM on December 11, 2004

I highly recommend Harvest Moon if you are in the Santa Rosa area. We liked every wine we tasted there and the prices are very reasonable.
posted by harmfulray at 3:13 PM on December 11, 2004

My favorite places to visit up there are:

Viansa. It might be too touristy for you, but it's in such a beautiful location, and they sell all this really overpriced stuff like dipping oils and all, but in the store you can have unlimited free tastes of all the food items, and it's all really delicious. It's at the entry to the Sonoma valley, so you could even stop there just to take a break from the drive and sit at the outdoor picnic tables and just take in the beautiful view for a bit.

The other place I have enjoyed is Chateau St. Jean, but it's been a long time since I've been there, so I'm not sure that I can vouch for what it's like now. But I really enjoyed the wine and the place itself.
posted by jasper411 at 5:35 PM on December 11, 2004

Matanzas Creek is my favorite place up there- it's a little pricey if you're planning on buying bottles, but tasting is only $5-10. The people are nice, the wine is great, and the gardens are beautiful. Definitely not touristy.
posted by hwickline at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2004

Viansa is way touristy (fun, though), but I always just headed to Sonoma, then took side roads and asked around. Did it often in the early nineties, and because these smaller wineries were way off the map, I got treated to tours and non-commercial-based friendliness. And wine.

Wish I could tell you their names, but that same method may work for you.
posted by goofyfoot at 6:20 PM on December 11, 2004

There's a great little winery in Bonny Doon (just north of Santa Cruz). The drive from Oakland isn't so bad and if you come down the 1 the scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
posted by re.becca at 3:40 AM on December 12, 2004

Dry Creek Winery in Sonoma is nice, and their Regatta Red and Regatta White were tasty and affordable on a law student's budget.
posted by gokart4xmas at 5:28 AM on December 12, 2004

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