San Diego’s Bernardo Winery
I had a chance to do some wine tasting this afternoon so I drove out to the Bernardo Winery in the hills above the city. The winery is pretty old and the suburbs have encroached upon this winery. I had to drive past a couple of elementary schools and tons of ranch-style homes to get there. And California? How about putting highway markers showing wineries at certain exits from the highway?
Most of their wines are made from grapes from elsewhere in the state, mostly because their acreage is so small. As such, the Chardonnay was simply standard-issue. Unremarkable with a hint of oak. Likewise, their Merlot was so heavy and rich in tannins it felt like my teeth were being stripped with a solvent. Pretty harsh stuff. But they did grow a Syrah on the property and they bottled it as their Estate Reserve. It had wonderful tastes of citrus and sage, but it was way overpriced at 42 dollars per bottle.
They did have a Burgundy on hand. I don’t get many, if any Burgundies back home in Virginia, and theirs was very light, crisp and smooth, like a great table wine. Probably the best pick of the bunch for the price.
Most remarkable about the Winery is the way they created an artist’s village around their tasting room. They had handcrafted jewelry, wedding gowns, custom purses, a couple of restaurants, and more. Quite the little tourist trap!
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