After grabbing somefriends
winery scene, sippers will be sold on this
June/July 2018 99
and checking out the South Bay’s urban
hyper-local “wine country.”
They source their grapes from small parcels and make tiny lots of
a surprisingly large number of varietals. Try the pinot noir from
Napa’s Carneros region or the fragrant albariño, a citrus-scented
Spanish grape, along with the snacks provided. www.oldcountycellars.
com; open (usually) Saturday–Sunday, 1:30–5:30 p.m. Tasting
Russian Ridge Winery has an attractive little tasting room
with a curved bar and some delicious cabernet sauvignon and
zinfandel, great accompaniments to the crackers and cheese provided.
Like its neighbors, this is a micro-winery making teensy
lots of varietals single-sourced from individual vineyards. Guests
who are into wine will likely be served by the congenial winemaker,
who is equal parts entertaining and informative. www.
russianridgewinery.com; open Friday, 5–9 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday,
noon–5 p.m. Tasting fee: $10.
Nearby in the San Carlos industrial area that’s become home
to so many itty bitty wineries is Flying Suitcase Wines, whose
owner is a Denmark-born biotech executive who was so inspired
by California’s wine industry that he decided to stake his claim,
albeit on a tiny scale. The spacious, attractive tasting room has
many fans, as do the well-made wines, which include whites,
roses, reds and Italian varietals. Don’t miss the sangiovese and
syrah. www.flyingsuitcasewines.com; open Friday, 4–7 p.m.; Saturday–
Sunday, 1–5 p.m. Tasting fee: $10.
Food-friendly wines are the goal of Waxwing Wine Cellars,
whose elegant vintages have received praise from wine critics. The
name comes from the handsome songbird that often flies over
California vineyards and might swoop in for an occasional snack.
The owner/winemaker is a trained professional and sources his
grapes from cool vineyards near the coast. Be sure to try the pinot
noirs as well as a complex syrah. www.waxwingwines.com; open
Friday, 6–9 p.m.; Tasting fee: $10.
The objective at Cuvée Wine Cellars is to craft lovely Bordeaux
style wines with rich California fruit. Try a couple of cabs
made from vineyards in different regions to experience the subtle
differences that terroir imparts, accompanied by appetizers offered
that that complement the liquid offerings. Besides these big
reds, the operation crafts syrahs and other medal-winning wines.
www.civeewinecallars.com; open the first and third Saturdays of each
month, 1–4 p.m. Tasting fee: $10. n
THE FRONT PATIO OF BIG
FROM TOP: COURTESY OF J. LOHR VINEYARDS; COURTESY OF BIG BASIN VINEYARDS;
OPPOSITE: COURTESY OF SONES CELLARS