Explore Wine Country Without Leaving the City


The Raiders are moving out at the end of the current National Football League season, and there’s talk of the Major League Baseball A’s also looking for a new home.

But even as sports teams depart the California community of Oakland, wineries are moving in.

Dashe Cellars, which produces excellent Zinfandel-based wines in Sonoma County to the north, was among the first to open a tasting room in the area some 12 years ago.

Now, there’s a full-fledged “Oakland Urban Wine Trail,” providing wine lovers with an opportunity to sample dozens of exceptional wines without having to deal with the traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Just as container parks are redefining the retail experience, Oakland-based tasting rooms are redefining the “wine country” experience.

There, the wineries are not surrounded by rows of grapevines. Rather, they’re housed in repurposed warehouses. But the tasting experiences are similar, and visitors often are able to speak with the winemakers while they sample the current releases.

Just like in the “real” wine country, there are companies that provide tours (both standard and customized), and wine bars that feature many of the “local” elixirs.

Oakland also is home to a vibrant restaurant scene, so a day of tasting can be followed by an evening of dining before retiring for the night.

You can learn more about the Oakland Urban Wine Trail here. The next time you have only one day to spend in the San Francisco Bay Area, it makes a time-saving alternative to the valleys to the north.


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Posted in Our Wine Travel Log, Wine Buzz
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