In the past years, the number of urban warehouse wineries has grown exponentially. As the cost of countryside property and vineyard land has increased, determined winemakers have found a cost effective solution—renting warehouse space and converting it into a winery.
I’ve heard these wineries referred to as garagista wineries, or micro-production wineries. True garagista wineries produce their wine in garages or garage-like settings, and the production is under 300 cases. Most of the wineries in urban warehouses have outgrown the micro-production classification.
These urban warehouse wineries often add tasting rooms in the front of the building, but in some cases, you taste among the barrels and winemaking equipment.
Why explore these urban warehouse tasting rooms when they don’t offer the stunning vineyard views or bucolic settings? Because these determined winemakers make some stellar wines worth seeking out.
Santa Rosa Urban Warehouse Wineries
In an earlier blog about Santa Rosa, five urban warehouse wineries were briefly mentioned, but warrant repeating. Each winery on this list offers something unique.
Four of the Santa Rosa wineries are in a warehouse area called Pine Creek Business Park:
Carol Shelton Wines, where Carol has been “Mastering the Zen of Zin since 1978.”
Desmond Wines offers estate grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Inspiration Vineyards produces food-friendly wines at an affordable price from Sonoma County appellations.
Premonition Cellars has limited production, hand crafted wines from the Russian River Valley.
The fifth warehouse winery is just a few minutes away in another industrial complex—Siduri Warehouse Winery even uses warehouse in their name. Siduri specializes in Pinot Noirs from regions throughout California and Oregon.
Windsor Urban Warehouse Winery
As you travel up Highway 101, consider a stop at the Artisan Alley Beverage District and visit Colagrossi Wines. Owner and winemaker Craig Colagrossi produces and pours wines that reflect his Italian heritage, particularly Sangiovese and Zinfandel, along with a few other gems. And, Craig is often the one pouring the wine.
Healdsburg Urban Warehouse Wineries
Healdsburg offers a number of warehouse wineries as well, each with their own special charm. This list includes:
Blanchard Family Wines has very limited production Bordeaux and Rhone varietals, plus Zinfandel and a red blend.
Davis Family Vineyards specializes in Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals mostly from the Russian River Valley.
Kobler Estate Winery currently offers Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and three Rosés, all from Russian River Valley grapes.
Longboard Vineyards’ tagline is Wines, Waves & Soul. Enjoy sipping on whites, reds and sparkling wines amid the eclectic surfing décor.
Malm Cellars has so many wines it is hard to pick and choose among them. They currently are redoing their website, so I can’t direct you it, but I can recommend you check out this by-appointment winery. It isn’t often you find a Tempranillo at a Sonoma County winery.
Manzanita Creek offers multiple Zinfandels from several Sonoma County appellations, along with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and a couple of red blends. They are open by appointment in their Healdsburg location, but I have it on good authority that someone is there most days.
Next time you’re wine tasting in the Santa Rosa, Windsor or Healdsburg area, consider visiting a few of these urban tasting rooms and discover these gems for yourself.
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