When most people think of California wine, they think of Napa and Sonoma Valley.
Just 100 years ago however, San Francisco was wine country. With over 100 wine cellars and production facilities throughout the city, the winemaking industry in California was born in San Francisco.
Unfortunately, the 1906 earthquake struck shortly followed by Prohibition, and the winemaking industry just never seemed to return. Instead it spread out of the cities and into the hills and valleys, as most wineries did during the prohibition-era.
Not many people know it, but in 2010 Bluxome Street Winery opened in a historic 1911 warehouse bringing the wine industry back to its roots in San Francisco.
With their commitment to quality, it’s no surprise that Bluxome Street Winery has received non-stop praise including “Best Winery” awards and the honor of the “Best Wine in SF” title. Plus, you’ll now find their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays on the wine lists of top SF restaurants.
Knowing all of that we decided it was a must to check out Bluxome while in San Francisco– especially since we weren’t heading out into modern wine country. After all, about six months prior to this trip I declared that I would learn to like wine or to at least educate myself on its different varieties.
The winery truly is a hidden gem located in SOMA. It’s amongst a bunch of other historic warehouses, and we barely spotted it as we walked down the street.
If you’re heading there at night I highly recommend taking a taxi– 1) because they’ll help you locate it and 2) because we didn’t, and we found ourselves walking through some slightly seedy areas after dark. Realizing our mistake we made sure to take a taxi back to our hotel!
Once inside the winery it was like we entered another world. The warehouse provided a really hip place for locals to come for a drink after work, and boy did they. Every table was filled.
We had the privilege of tasting seven different wines in total– six of their staple wines and one that they were currently experimenting with.
Three of the wines were Pinot Noirs, all sourced from different vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Bluxome has a long standing relationship with its growers and are very picky when it comes to harvesting the grapes that’ll be used in the wines.
My favorite of the three Pinots was the 2012 Pinot Noir sourced from four different vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Aged in a French oak, it had subtle scents of raspberry and violet. Out of the Pinots I felt that it had the most mellow and smooth taste– the other two had more of a tannin structure to them.
As I’m not really a big fan of red wines, I was glad to be moving onto their sampling of white wines!
We tried a Chardonnay, which is typically my least favorite type of white. This was a 2012 from Teac-Mor Vineyard and it was pretty medium-bodied. This Chardonnay was surprisingly better than most I’ve had and it went extremely well with the almonds that had given us to pair with it.
I was excited to try their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, from two vineyards within the Russian River Valley. This again was medium-bodied with bright hints of yuzu– and I love anything with yuzu. This wine was certainly my favorite so far as it had lots of depth.
We ended with a 2013 Rosé of Syrah from Saint Mark’s Vineyard. I loved the smell of strawberries and cream along with subtle hints of white peach. Taking a sip I knew I had found my true favorite. Although I tend to love all Rosés. There’s just something about this wine’s sparkling palate that reminds me of warm weather and sun!
Our last tasting was of a new wine they were experimenting with. Called “The Sweetness” I can’t think of a better fitting name. Like liquid candy this was some of the best wine I’d ever had. This was one of their strongest wines at 14%, but you’d never know it.
While this wine isn’t normally part of their stock, I hope they make it one! If you ever go to Bluxome Street Winery and get the chance to try it– do it!! (But only if you like sickeningly sweet wines like I do. Think Moscato, only sweeter)
Loving the wines we tried so much we ended up taking home a few bottles for later on. For now you can only buy bottles in their tasting room, but I do hope they’ll start to distribute their wines in retail someday. Especially outside of California so I can have some again!
If you love wine and are in San Francisco, definitely check out Bluxome Street Winery while you’re there. They offer a variety of different tasting and tour options along with some amazing epicurean experiences.
I know the next time I’m back in SF I’ll be heading to Bluxome to grab a few more bottles![divider]
Do you love California wines? Which ones should I check out??
Thanks to San Francisco Travel and Bluxome Street Winery for helping to host our visit in San Francisco!