For the sip-and-see crowd, new wine trails in Oakland, Madera and San Luis Obispo
Not every wine trail leads to Napa or Sonoma. Many wine-growing parts of California proudly push their own places where you should stop, sip and see.
Here are three wine trails to try that might not be on your radar.
Oakland is the latest California city to launch a wine trail. You heard right, the East Bay city claims 10 wineries in renovated warehouses within its city limits.
The Oakland Urban Wine Trail includes places such as Brooklyn West Winery in Jack London Square, which won a gold medal for its 2011 Zinfandel, Grand Reserve from the San Francisco Chronicle's Wine Competition. It has an Iberian connection and a Brooklyn connection too, according to its website.
You can do the roughly 10-mile trail on foot or with public transit.
You'll find an online map and list of wineries at the Oakland Urban Wine Trail website.
2. Pacific Coast
The Pacific Coast Wine Trail features 10 wineries "from the Rock to the Castle," meaning a 28-mile coastal route between Morro Bay and San Simeon.
The focus here is on small, handcrafted wines like Cayucos Cellars run by the Selkirk family in the small coastal town and Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon. The "trail" offers a great excuse to stop awhile along your trip on Highway 1 too.
Info (online map and list of wineries): Pacific Coast Wine Trail website.
Between Freno and Merced is the town of Madera, which sounds more like a port town than a wine town, if you get my drift.
The Madera Wine Trail has 11 wineries and tasting rooms in and around the city, including the Idle Hour Winery in nearby Oakhurst and Sumner Peck Ranch Winery in Friant.
The trail will host a Holiday Spirit Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. With a $25 ticket, you get a passport wine glass and free tastings both days at wineries.
Info: Madera Wine Trail
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