Wine Tasting in Los Angeles: 10 Places You Have to Try
While the city of Los Angeles itself may be more known for filmmaking than it is for fermenting grape juice, it is still in California, and that's a state renowned for its wine. You don't need to go much further than the edge of Downtown Los Angeles before you're in the Santa Monica Mountains, where there are some amazing wineries.
Make a short day trip along the coast, and you'll be in Santa Barbara wine country, but if you don't want to go outside of the city limits, you don't need to. You can do plenty of wine tasting in Los Angeles itself as there are lots of specialist wine shops that have their own wine tasting rooms as well as some great wine bars where you can try the local tipples. There are, in fact, so many places you can go wine tasting in Los Angeles you'll probably end up turning your visit there into a wine tasting weekend.
If you're a wine lover who needs a place to store your luggage or even the cases of wine you've purchased, check out the Bounce luggage storage facilities in Los Angeles, and you'll find they're exactly what you need. Bounce luggage lockers are large enough to take all of your belongings, plus they're security tagged and insured, so that will leave you with just one thing to worry about, and that's finding more wine to try.
Where To Go Wine Tasting In Los Angeles
If you think wine tasting is one of the things to do at night in Los Angeles, you might be surprised, and hopefully pleased, to discover you can do it during the day too. That's not a recommendation for having wine with your breakfast, but wine tasting at lunchtime is an entirely different matter.
Where are the best places to go wine tasting in Los Angeles? Read on to find out where you can slurp some of the best white wine varietals and better than good red wines produced near the Los Angeles area of California.
Unless it's the weekend, there's not much chance of sneaking in an early wine tasting at Bar Covell as they don't open until 4 pm on weekdays, but maybe that's not a bad thing. This cozy, old-fashioned pub-style wine bar is owned and run by a very serious wine aficionado who really knows a thing or two about wine. Think walking wine encyclopedia, and you'll be on the right track.
At Bar Covell, you can forget about playing potluck by choosing an unfamiliar wine from a wine list because they don't have one. The way it works at Bar Covell is the bartender will have a chat with you and then offer you three samples to taste before you need to commit to one. No need to go all out and purchase a full bottle either, as they serve wine by the glass.
4628 Hollywood Boulevard
The Blending Lab Winery
The Blending Lab Winery takes wine tasting to a whole new level as they have a tasting room and make and blend their own wines too. All of the grapes they use to make wine come from California, so you're guaranteed to be getting something that is one hundred percent from the sunshine state.
As well as regular wine tastings, The Blending Lab Winery offers a couple of unique wine experiences you may want to try. You can take an instructor-led workshop where you'll learn the basics of wine blending or just give it a go on your own by following an instruction sheet. Either way, it's great fun and teaches something about wine and blending techniques.
7948 West 3rd Street
San Antonio Winery
Housed in a beautiful hacienda-style building, the San Antonio Winery is LA's oldest established winery. The Spanish influence continues inside, where there's also a restaurant, a wine tasting room, and a bodega.
All the wine they make here is produced from grapes grown in their own vineyards. They offer a superb range of Cabernet Sauvignon, plus sparkling wines, reds, and roses, so you'll find something to suit all tastes at this winery.
The San Antonio Winery has several different tasting concepts, so you can join a small group tasting or spoil yourself with a private tasting. All tastings are presented by a wine steward, include a charcuterie board, and you get a San Antonio Winery wine glass to take home as a souvenir of your visit.
737 Lamar Street
Angeleno Wine Company
The brick building occupied by the Angeleno Wine Company might not look much from the outside, but inside it's a treasure trove of amazing wines. When you walk into this Los Angeles winery, you'll see the most recent productions on display in huge casks. Wander past those upcoming vintages, and you'll find yourself at the bar where the wine tastings take place.
The Angeleno Wine Company focuses on grapes grown in southern California, so you can expect to taste wines produced from varietals like Treixadura and Alicante Bouschet, among others. It's important to this winery that their wines are produced by growers who practice sustainable and organic viticulture and that they keep their wine completely vegan.
The Angeleno Wine Company only opens their tasting room on weekends. On Saturdays, you can go for a wine tasting between midday and 8 pm and on Sundays between midday and 6 pm. If you're considering a lengthy and relaxed tasting, it's best to book your table in advance.
1646 North Spring Street
Cobblestone Vineyards is a family concern that produces wine from its three small vineyards. One vineyard is on California's Central Coast, the other in Napa Valley, and the third in New Zealand.
Because of the restricted size of the annual crop, this winery only produces around 3,000 bottles a year, but they're of exceptionally high quality. Here you'll be able to taste their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
1500 Cotner Avenue
Mignon Wine Bar
If you're in Downtown LA and feel the need for fortification in the form of a swift wine tasting, then drop into the Mignon Wine Bar. This LA wine bar has a real ooh la la factor as they serve small plates of French food that are an ideal accompaniment to a wine-tasting session.
Inside, the bar has a definite Mediterranean atmosphere, so a wine tasting here is never going to be a rushed affair. Go for a sample of Pinot Noir, followed by a bottle chilled to the perfect temperature with half a dozen oysters or some homemade pate with a crusty baguette, and you'll be in a wine-tasting heaven that you'll be reluctant to leave.
128 East 6th Street
Pali Wine Company
When you like wine tasting rooms with a touch of rustic class, you'll want to go for a wine tasting at the Pali Wine Company in Downtown Los Angeles. Here you'll be presented with a tasting flight of three or four different wines. Some are produced by the company and others by various different vintners from the California Central Coast wine-growing area and the Los Angeles County region.
The tasting rooms of the Pali Wine Company are open at 4 pm during the week and at midday on weekends. Wines to try here are the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir, both of which are made with grapes from the Pali vineyard.
Unit 1A, 811 Traction Avenue
Sometimes it's good to get away from the hype of LA and head into the hills for a day out, doing some wine tastings as you go. There are so many fantastic places you can go on wine tours to from Los Angeles that it makes choosing a singular destination really difficult. You won't want to miss some of the next ones, though.
Malibu Wine Safari & Hike
A Malibu Wine Safari is the ideal day out if you want to sneak in some wine tasting when you're traveling with kids. This winery is set on 1,000 acres where they don't just grow grapes but let wild animals loose to graze. If the zebras, camels, giraffes, and bison don't keep the kids amused, then nothing will.
Those animals also produce an amazing amount of natural fertilizer full of organic nutrients, which feeds the vines that produce Malibu wines. It's no wonder the wine from this Malibu winery is so appreciated by discerning palates and constantly gets rave reviews.
The animals might not be native, but here the emphasis is, of course, on Malibu wines. After a two-hour ride in an open-top jeep through their scenic vineyard and animal enclosures, you'll be treated to a wine tasting experience and a tour around Camp Cabernet, a trailer park, where there is definitely no Sauvignon blanc. That's in the Malibu Wines tasting room. Don't skip this place because Malibu Wines Safari is definitely a wine tour you can take, with a difference, in the best wine region in California.
32111 Mulholland Highway
Malibu Hikes With Wine Tasting
Some truly amazing trails lead through Malibu wine country and the Santa Monica mountains just outside of Los Angeles. Not going hiking there is almost as big a sin as not trying California wine while you're in Los Angeles.
If you decide you'd like to get your hiking shoes on when you're in Los Angeles and go wine tasting at the same time, forget about wine tasting rooms and check out the tours offered by Malibu Wine Hikes instead. This company has a hiking itinerary that will take you not just on some of the best trails in southern California but through some of the best vineyards too.
These wine hikes are all about getting back to nature, and there's really nothing more natural than grapes on the vine. If you're not the hiking kind, don't worry, you can also take a tour through the vineyards of Saddleback Ranch on horseback. You can also do it in a converted Volkswagen bus, complete with music from the 80s, just to add some extra atmosphere. What could possibly be better than California wine and music from the Beach Boys? The only other thing you could possibly want is some surf to go with it.
If you have any common sense, you'll do the hikes through the Santa Monica Mountains before you start on the wine tasting because sometimes doing it the other way around can have undesired effects.
32111 Mulholland Highway
Santa Barbara Wine Tasting Tours
Any wine aficionado staying in Los Angeles should have a wine tasting tour to Santa Barbara wine country somewhere on their agenda. Most tours setting out from LA to Santa Barbara wine country make a full day of it, so expect to be away from your accommodation for around nine hours at least.
There are many first-class wineries in Santa Barbara, but the most popular ones are located in the Santa Ynez Valley. These wine tours are scenic days out from the word go, so make sure you take your camera as you'll be driving along the Pacific Coast Highway and pass beautiful spots like Lake Cachuma and the Los Padres National Forest.
Most wine tours of this type usually stop at two wineries where you can take a wander through the vineyards and sample some of the wine they produce. You can take these tours by joining a small group or as a private wine tasting. Whichever way you do it, the wine and the scenery are just as good.
Various tour companies offer wine tasting tours to Santa Barbara wine country, and they all include pickup from your accommodation.
There is so much good wine produced in this region of the United States that to make the most of it, you really need three days in Los Angeles to do wine tasting justice. It's an amazing wine region and one you'll want to continue visiting time and time again if you can.