From its wineries on the edge of Southern California suburbs to vineyards in the Gold Country foothills, California offers growing conditions uniquely suited to a wide assortment of grape varietals. Taste at one of these under-the-radar destinations, where chances are high that you’ll get to meet winemakers who will no doubt introduce you to their favorites.

Stop one: Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery

Thirty miles north of San Diego in Escondido, this award-winning winery carries on San Diego County’s proud winemaking tradition, which dates back to the 18th century. Distance to next stop: 42 miles

 

Stop two: Robert Renzoni Vineyards

Along Temecula Valley’s De Portola Wine Trail in southern Riverside County, Robert Renzoni Vineyards brings the flavors of Italy to the region, thanks to its trattoria and acclaimed Montepulciano. Next stop: 63 miles

Stop three: Joseph Filippi Winery & Vineyards

Learn about winemaking while touring this Rancho Cucamonga facility, a fifth-generation family operation. The wine here inspired the Grateful Dead’s “Pride of Cucamonga.” Next stop: 128 miles

 

Stop four: Triassic Vineyards

In spring, enjoy views of poppies blooming in the Cummings Valley, 45 minutes from Bakersfield in Tehachapi. Triassic is celebrated for its Zinfandel and Syrah. The winery also hosts fun events such as goat yoga, painting with wine classes, and a Wine & Dine series with live music. Next stop: 136 miles

Stop five: Ramos Torres Winery

With Rhône varietals produced from its foothills estate vineyard 23 minutes south of Fresno, this is a surprising destination for wine lovers in Kingsburg. Next stop: 68 miles

Stop six: Idle Hour Winery

Follow the Madera Wine Trail as it climbs to such foothills winemakers as Idle Hour, the first winery in Oakhurst, located 14 miles from Yosemite’s south entrance. Next stop: 98 miles

 

Stop seven: Tasting rooms in Murphys

Wind into the Gold Country to visit this historic mining town. With more than 20 tasting rooms, Murphys is the hub of Calaveras County’s thriving wine scene. Next stop: 48 miles

Stop eight: Scott Harvey Wines

Famous for its 19th-century buildings with balconies overlooking Main Street, Sutter Creek is a classic town one hour southeast of Sacramento. The Zinfandels here embody the Amador County style.