Oakland's industrial Jack London Square may be the last place you'd guess to find a decent cabernet. But bespoke urban wineries, housed in renovated warehouses that once catered to the shipping industry, are using California's bountiful grape varieties to produce some if the best wines in the Bay Area (Sonoma be damned). Curious? Follow this walkable trail for a full day of tasty vino and waterfront views.
Best wineries in Oakland
With a dreamy vineyard and farm in Hopland, Campovida's JLS location brings Mendocino County to the East Bay. Its sustainable, single-sourced vintages are beauties, whether you opt for the sparkling cuvée brut or full-bodied chardonnay. In the spacious, brick-walled tasting room (a former telephone-manufacturing company in the 1890s) you'll find a reclaimed-redwood bar and rustic wooden communal tables perfect for a happy hour with friends.
Husband-wife team Steve Shaffer (and engineer) and Marilee Shaffer (a former biologist) followed their passion for vino to open Urban Legend Cellars, and industrial-chic bar (think exposed wooden beams and machinery out in the open) that Steve built himself. Each food-friendly blend is meant to reflect a specific neighborhood in Oakland—a semi-bordeaux for the bold Uptown and a dark and spicy zinfandel and petit syrah blend for the gritty West Oakland. Bottles start at just $24.
Going strong for more than 40 years, Dashe Cellars—owned by husband-wife team Michael and Anne Dashe—is one of Oakland's largest and oldest wineries, producing single-vineyard zinfandels, red blends, chenin blanc, riesling and rosé in its JLS warehouse. It's also known for throwing a hell of a party on the sunny patio. Look for blending workshops, dance performances and the annual paella party tis November.
With the tagline "No vineyards, no limits," Brooklyn West (the name calls on Oakland's nickname as well as the owner's family roots) open-sources grapes from across California. The unpretentious tasting room, in a historic brick building, is the perfect place to lounge all day, and the wines, like a bold cabernet or the award-winning tempranillo, are made with mass appeal and sustainable farming practices in mind.