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Southern California Vineyards: A Guide To The Best Local Wine

(credit: Santa Barbara Winery)

With the near year round perfect and gorgeous weather, it is no wonder that Southern California is home to some of the best wineries in the country. One may have a natural tendency to think about Napa Valley first, however, there are quality and award winning wineries throughout Los Angeles as well as in the Inland Empire and San Diego. We've rounded up the best wineries for the best wine tasting experiences.

malibu family wines
(credit: Malibu Family Wines)

Malibu Family Wines
32111 Mulholland Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
(818) 889-0120

Located in the heart of wine country, Malibu Family wines newest tasting room features Semier and Saddlerock wines. The Malibu Family vineyards consist of approximately 60k vines on 65 acres and with the high altitude and separation from the coast and an ideal blend of weather conditions with rich and rocky soil, it's the perfect environment for growing premium wine grapes. The Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard has amazing views of the Conejo Valley and also offers oak trees, grazing horses, cattle and llamas as well as vineyard covered slopes and white fences. The winery also offers a tasting lawn where you and your friends can enjoy a day out in the sun sipping on Malibu's finest.

(credit: Santa Barbara Winery)

Santa Barbara Winery
202 Anacapa St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 963-3633

Opened in 1962 by Pierre Lafond, Santa Barbara Winery continues to create delicious wine today and is the oldest winery in the county. Winemaker Bruce McGuire believes the quality and integrity of the wine is extricable linked to what happens in the field, from pruning in winter, to the harvest in autumn. The Santa Barbara Winery specializes in Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay. The winery is open every day from 10am to 5pm.

Bel Vino Winery
(credit: Bel Vino Winery)

Bel Vino Winery
33515 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 676-6414

Formerly Stuart Cellars, Bel Vino has aptly named itself "the friendliest winery in Southern California Wine Country". This winery is diverse, as it produces Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandel. Bel Vino offers year round special events for a memorable wine tasting experience. In addition, you can join their wine club for free wines and great times. Choose from different memberships offering red and white bottles hand selected by the winemaker as well as other benefits.

(credit: Bernardo Winery)

Bernardo Winery
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 487-1866

The Bernardo Winery is the oldest family owned and operated winery in Southern California. Established in 1889, and family owned since 1927, the Bernardo Winery is only 25 miles north of downtown San Diego and is nestled inside a the quiet and picturesque town of Rancho Bernardo. Producing a large variety of wines and products, the winery focuses on making the best wine in the region. From reds with bold tastes to whites with fruity flavors, the Bernardo Winery has the right touch.

(credit: Thornton Winery)

Thornton Winery
32575 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92589
(951) 699-0099

Nestled in the heart of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Thornton Winery opened in 1988 and combines old world style with new world taste to create award-winning and premium varietal wines. The Thornton Winery specializes in sparkling wine/champagne. This winery also offers a wine club where you can select from monthly packages delivering great wines.

(credit: Ferrari Carano Vineyards)

Ferrara Winery
1120 West 15th Ave.
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 745-7632

Since 1985, Ferrari-Carano has been a leading producer of world class, nationally acclaimed wines. Vintage after vintage, the wines exhibit a remarkable consistency of style and elegance. The Ferrera Winery specializes in a variety of varietals and also produces dessert wines, specialty wines and juices.

(credit: Churon Winery)

Churon Winery
33233 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 694-9070

Leave your passports at home and experience a bit of France among the rolling vineyard hills in Temecula Wine Country. Guests who spend the night at the Chateau can enjoy a complimentary breakfast while watching hot air balloons wafting over the 11-acre French-style estate.

(credit: Falkner Winery)

Falkner Winery
40620 Calle Contento
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 676-8231

The Falkner Winery advertises itself as producing great blended wines that have won a number of prestigious awards. Home of the infamous Pinnacle restaurant, visitors can enjoy dynamic Temecula wine country views while dining on the finest cuisine and sipping on the finest wine.

(credit: South Coast Winery Resort and Spa)

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa
34843 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 587-9463

Located in the heart of the Temecula Wine Country, the award winning South Coast Winery Resort and Spa offers a large variety of gourmet wines in a truly spectacular setting. The resort offers hotel rooms and hotel villas amongst the vineyards for a one in a lifetime vacation with a free bottle of wine with every room.

(credit: San Antonio Winery)

San Antonio Winery
737 Lamar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031
(323) 223-1401

The San Antonio Winery has been family owned and operated for 4 generations. With 3 locations within Southern California: Los Angeles, Paso Robles and Ontario the San Antonia Winery offers complimentary tastings 7 days a week.

Desiree Eaglin is a Southern California explorer-she loves to go and see and do all that So Cal has to offer. She blogs at The Funny Mom Blog. You can follow her daily adventures on Twitter too.
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