Here’s Where You Should Be ‘Wining’ Down
Written By: Brea Mitchell
Photography Provided By: Rancho Capistrano Winery Orange County Wineries
Regardless of the occasion, day, mood or time, there is always a reason to wine. Whether you’re out with the girls, kicking it with the guys, or celebrating with family, there is no better place to be with loved ones than at your favorite winery. Where do we drink our favorite reds and whites, you might ask? Here are seven of the best Orange County wineries that are well worth your days.
1 | Honey, You’re Home! Orange County Wineries
Must-Try Wine: Ortega Red or Amorette Rosé
Rancho Capistrano Winery is Orange County’s largest winery in both customer volume and the number of different wines offered, so chances are you’ll find a favorite sip. Between the beautiful and spacious outdoor patio, the live music (four nights a week), and the fact that owner and operator Kyle Franson knows just about every regular customer by name, it’s hard for it to not feel like home. Franson is also proud of the full entrée menu they offer. “Chef Adrian De La Torre is our classically trained French chef who has been with us for almost five years, and he’s largely responsible for the fact that we were awarded Best Entrée at the Annual Taste of San Juan,” he says. It is not common that a boundless wine selection and award-winning menu are offered at the same establishment, so we deem Rancho Capistrano Winery a gem. By joining the wine club, not only do you get a complimentary glass of wine each time you visit, but you also receive admission to the Members Only Party each month.
Rancho Capistrano Winery
26755 Verdugo St, Ste 100
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
2 | Lights, Camera, Action! Orange County Wineries™
Must-Try Wine: Orange Bubbly
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering Orange Coast Winery is the chic twinkling lights that hover above. The space is charming and cozy, and there’s a photo-op nearly everywhere you turn. General Manager Peter Swanson takes pride in the fact that Orange Coast Winery is a welcoming space, whether you’re an avid wine connoisseur or new to the scene and want to learn more about the craft. “My favorite thing is when people come in with this preconception about how to do things or how to act when you come into a winery,” Swanson says. “I like letting them know that there is no right or wrong way to be; this is a place that you can come to and be completely relaxed and be yourself because there really is something here for everybody.” Plus, if you are usually one to be fickle about your beverage order, don’t fret! Their wine flight offers you five different tastings of your choice so you can sample as you please!
Orange Coast Winery
860 W 16th St
Newport Beach, CA 92663
3 | It’s Rockin’ Orange County Wineries
Must-Try Wine: 2016 Oakville Sauvignon Blanc
The Huber brothers have been following their dream since 1993. Using only premium grapes from Napa and Sonoma Valleys, each wine that they offer at Laguna Canyon Winery is a unique and special blend that bursts with smooth flavor. This spot is ideal for mingling with friends or meeting new faces in it’s communal tasting room—featuring standing tables and a cozy, rustic interior. There is also a bottling station where you can watch the filling machine and corker prepare your favorite blends to take home. Be sure to check out one of the three different tasting experiences that they offer: traditional tasting, barrel tasting and even build your own bottle!
Laguna Canyon Winery
2133 Laguna Canyon Rd
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
4 | Giddy on Up!
Must-Try Wine: Buttero Barbera
Vino with a side of nature! Enjoy your favorite wines amongst beautiful greenery and fresh air, music from the property’s surround-sound speakers and lots of open outdoor space. Surrounded by giant oak trees and horse stables, Cowboy Canyon Winery is the perfect place to take advantage of the Southern California weather. Co-Owners Donna and Michael Cipolla, and Chad and Linda Kearns are known for full-throttle entertainment at all times. The four love to keep a party going. The name speaks for itself—it is country western themed, so bring your cowboy hat! You can also make it a family affair by playing cornhole with the kids, learning how to square dance or even petting the horses on the property.
Cowboy Canyon Winery
16162 Jackson Ranch Rd
Silverado, CA 92676
Must-Try Wine: Grenache 2015
Winemaker Michael Dawson, M.D., has always had a passion for collecting and studying wines. But wine isn’t the only thing he studied! Dawson, who has a medical degree from USC as a radiologist, decided he could chase more than one dream, so Seal Beach Winery was established in 2007. Dawson understands the biology and chemistry of winemaking, which ultimately sets him apart from many other winemakers. His winery features a wide selection of yummy cheeses that pair perfectly with their wines. The customer-favorite is the P’tit Basque. Also, be sure to check out the gift shop that is filled with tons of adorable wine accessories!
Seal Beach Winery
3387 Cerritos Ave
Los Alamitos, CA 90720
6 | We Are Family
Must-Try Wine: 2017 Pinot Noir, Vieux Chene
The Bellante Family Winery has been crafting wines with Santa Barbara County fruit since 2000. The space exudes a homey atmosphere as soon as you walk in—leather furniture, open space and owner and winemaker Chuck Bellante circulating the premises, pouring glasses with a smile. The small, but open space standing room is ideal for mingling and socializing, and it has a vibrant setting that naturally feels more upbeat and festive. The sense of warmth and comradery is what makes the Bellante Family Winery special.
Bellante Family Winery
23854 Via Fabricante, Ste D-2
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Must-Try Wine: White Sapphire
In Old Town Yorba Linda lies the family-owned and operated Winery At Main Street, which is sure to sweep you off your feet. The co-owning mother and son duo, Patricia and Jeff Heel, share a genuine passion for creating a welcoming space for everybody, regardless of their level of wine knowledge. “By the time anybody leaves this place, they feel like they have visited somebody’s home. Everybody just embraces everybody here. Most of our wine club members have been members from when we first opened almost ten years ago. They help decorate, they bring décor and signs for us to hang up, it’s a true family,” says Patricia Heel.
Create your own custom batch of vino or go for the classic wine tasting experience with the many diverse and unique wines that Jeff Heel, the in-house winemaker, has to offer. You can also enjoy the cozy outdoor fire pit with your family and friends.
Winery at Main Street
4861 Main St
Yorba Linda, CA 92886