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7 Great Spots for Beer Fans and Wine Lovers

7 Great Spots for Beer Fans and Wine Lovers

From San Diego to Crescent City—and pretty much everywhere in between—California delivers exceptional beer and wine experiences

Posted 6 years agoby John Godfrey

1. Raise a glass at Ballast Point

Celebrated for its West Coast–style Double IPAs, San Diego is consistently ranked as one of America’s top craft beer cities. Order up a flight and taste your way through some of the city’s best brews at Ballast Point’s Little Italy brewery, tasting room, and restaurant. Make a reservation in The Kettle Room, where the prix fixe menu features dishes perfectly paired with Ballast Point beers.


2. Visit a dramatic, contemporary winery


Strikingly modern with a V-shaped roofline, Presqu’ile Winery is as surprising as its distinctive name (pronounced press-KEEL, it’s Creole for “almost an island”). Visit this breezy spot overlooking the Santa Maria Valley and you can sample the winery’s celebrated Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in a light-filled tasting room constructed of beautiful woods with walls of handlaid local stone. Check the winery’s events calendar and sip a Syrah while watching a live outdoor concert.

3. Taste at the historic Testarossa Winery


Built in the 19th century by Jesuit Brothers, the Novitiate Winery in Los Gatos is one of the oldest in California. Its stunning cellars are now the home of Testarossa, where you can enjoy wine tastings, cheese pairings, and live music Thursday through Sunday.

4. Explore Lodi's surprising wine country


Everyone knows about the premium wines of Napa and Sonoma, but many are surprised to discover the outstanding wines produced in Lodi wine country. Named the 2015 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine, the area is most famous for its Zinfandel but also grows more than 100 grape varieties.

5. Four awesome resorts in wine country


Ready for some “me time” amid beautiful scenery and decadent lodging? Reserve your spot at one of these spectacular wine country resorts, where you are surrounded by vineyards and tasting rooms while living in the lap of luxury.


6. Take in Amador wine country


Sip Rhone varietals in the barn-style tasting room at Plymouth’s Helwig Winery, then take in the hilltop views, tour the wine caves, or attend a summer concert at the outdoor amphitheater.

7. Sample local suds in Crescent City


You can’t go wrong with brick-oven pizzas, cheese curds, and well-brewed craft beer. Dogs and kids are welcome at Seaquake Brewing’s on-site brewery and tap room, where specialties include a complex blonde ale, a coastal pale ale, and an IPA.

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