Urban Wineries in the West

Wineries abound in cities across California, Oregon, Utah, and Idaho.

Bottles of wine, Donkey & Goat Winery, Berkeley, Calif., image

Sample a variety of wines at the Donkey & Goat Winery in Berkeley, Calif. 

These days the word wine pairs with more than just country as vintners across the West crush grapes in busy urban hubs. The result: lively tasting rooms serving great wine, none of them very far away from other city delights.

  • Before Prohibition, hundreds of wineries filled San Francisco’s SoMa district. Today there’s one, Bluxome Street Winery, known for pinot and chardonnay. Come for a tasting or the Meet Market, a gathering of farmers and craftspeople. (415) 543-5353, bluxomewinery.com.
  • Tracey and Jared Brandt, owners of Donkey & Goat Winery in Berkeley, Calif., take a natural approach, crushing grapes with their feet and using as little sulfite preservative as possible. Sample their spicy grenache noir and try your hand at bocce on the patio. (510) 868-9174, donkeyandgoat.com.
  • The Enso tasting room has become a celebrated Portland watering hole, serving local cheese, salami, and bread alongside owner Ryan Sharp’s dry rosés, as well as wines from other city producers and even draft beer. (503) 683-3676, ensowinery.com.
  • Kiler Grove Winegrowers, Utah’s first urban winery, grows and crushes its grapes in central California, then trucks them to Salt Lake City to produce several estate wines including Zinergy, a blend of fruity zinfandel with smooth petite sirah and grenache. (801) 746-0977, kilergrovewines.com.
  • In the loft-style tasting room of the Oregon Wine LAB in Eugene, Mark Nicholl serves wines from artisan Oregon producers along with crisp, dry riesling from his own William Rose Wines. Look for Nicholl behind the bar—or dropping records on the turntable. (458) 201-7413, oregonwinelab.com.
  • Sacramento’s Rail Bridge Cellars makes wine in a warehouse near the American River, but its nearby tasting lounge, on the 14th floor of the downtown Elks Tower, offers penthouse views and sips of rich petite sirah. (916) 769-0172, railbridgecellars.net.
  • Reopening July 10 in a new home at Oakland’s Jack London Square, Rosenblum Cellars houses barrels and a bar where visitors taste the juicy zinfandels it’s famous for. (877) 478-9467, rosenblumcellars.com.
  • Ten wineries share space at the Southeast Wine Collective just off Portland’s SE Division Street, making it the largest urban winery in Oregon. Highlights in the stylish tasting room include Helioterra Wines’ lemony pinot blanc and the pinot noir from Vincent Wines. (503) 208-2061, sewinecollective.com.
  • At 44th Street Wineries in Garden City, Idaho, Leslie Preston of Coiled Wines uses Snake River Valley grapes to produce Black Mamba, a red rich with dark fruit, licorice, and chocolate. Leave time to taste at Telaya Wine Co. and Cinder, which share this former produce warehouse. (707) 480-4919, coiledwines.com.

Photography by Tom Hood

This article was first published in July 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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