Category: Napa & Sonoma

SF’s Own Bluxome Street Winery – A Gem in SoMa!

SF’s Own Bluxome Street Winery – A Gem in SoMa!

Bluxome Street Winery: A Review
San Francisco isn’t far from Napa or Sonoma, which might be why wineries generally don’t bother to keep tasting room locations in the city. Sure, the wineries aren’t FAR, but they’re sure not convenient when you’re in the city and want a quick taste of something local—especially if you’re dependent upon mass transit! Bluxome Street Winery is rare in that they bring their fruit from Sonoma to SF where they make, age and serve their wine right there in the city.

When you’re done with the NFL Experience, Super Bowl City, Fan Energy Zone and everything NFL, don’t you want to sit back, relax and enjoy something authentically San Franciscan? Allow us to strongly suggest you visit Bluxome Street Winery.

Their grapes these days are grown in the Russian River Valley, and when we visited the two SF tasting rooms their flights were heavy on Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their Ghirardelli location sells a Cab by the bottle, but we were so pleasantly surprised with the Pinot, we couldn’t resist spending some quality time with a bottle of that instead. We will be back to enjoy that bottle of Cab!

Bluxome Street Winery: A Review
Their Original Tasting Room on Bluxome Street in Soma

The winery has two tasting rooms in SF: the original location in Soma on Bluxome Street where the wine is made (closed Mondays, but a short 5-10 minute walk from Moscone Center, AT&T Park and Caltrain) and a larger tasting room further north at Ghiradelli Square (open daily). We loved both locations, so choose either one depending on where your day takes you.

Bluxome Street Winery: A Review
Bluxome Street Winery’s Tasting Room at Ghiradelli Square

Something to note about the Soma room on Bluxome Street is their original, pre-1906 earthquake location! Many wineries were based in the area before the Prohibition movement in 1920. The quake destroyed virtually every structure and Prohibition killed the wine industry and business in the 7×7. Bluxome Street Winery was one of the only—if not the only—winery to successfully rebuild after the quake, wait out Prohibition and then resume business.

We loved both tasting rooms. The original location at 53 Bluxome had so much character, but what sealed the deal for me was a screen with a running loop of footage from a random film crew dispatched to Market Street in April 1906, mere weeks before the devastating earthquake. It’s fascinating and makes a great conversation piece. On the other hand, their Ghirardelli location is more spacious, offers an outdoor deck to enjoy the sunshine (or the fog, depending on the day) and has a view of the Golden Gate bridge and the San Francisco Bay. You can’t beat it!

Overall this is an interesting winery offering a better than average wine tasting experience and we can’t wait to go back. What else do you need to know? Just get there!

#WineWednesday Splurge: Napa Valley’s Tournesol

I’ve had $50 bottles of wine that taste like $20 bottles of wine.  (Don’t you hate that?)

I’ve had $10 bottles of wine that taste like $40 bottles of wine. (Don’t you love that?)

So to finally drink a $100 bottle of wine which tastes like a $150 bottle of wine tasted amazingly indulgent!  Moving from the peninsula to San Francisco was the special occasion and Tournesol found itself in the celebration–it could not have been smoother, fruitier, more compact or more satisfying.

Tournesol is a small, organic winery near Napa which farms sustainably. I bought this one from Vintner’s Collective near downtown Napa a few months ago. If you too are a fan of Napa Cabs, you can still buy this 2010 selection here, but I tasted all their varietals and found them all to be remarkable and delicious.

As a side note, not only was the Vintner’s Collective building formerly the site of a brothel it was also one of several Napa Valley structures affected by the 2014 quake in American Canyon–they just reopened at the end of 2014, and still with significant ongoing repairs happening. This place is absolutely worth stopping in for a flight if you find yourself in Napa anyway, but especially now while they continue their rebuilding efforts!

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Napa’s Tank Garage Winery: Never Dream Alone

You won’t find Tank Garage wines anywhere except their tasting room (and online, naturally), but put this one on your list to check out when you visit Napa. “Never dream alone” is their mantra, and could make a great tattoo if you’re so inclined.

Located in Calistoga (~20 minutes drive north from downtown Napa up highway 29), the fine folks at the Tank Garage repurposed a vacant gas station into a simultaneously nostalgic and hipster-ish (in a good way) wine tasting experience.

In addition to some great wine with some of the most awesome wine labels we’ve ever seen, the tasting room also sells oil can guitars, harmonicas, and t-shirts so soft they must be made of cornsilk and angel hair, strategically distressed with the tears of cherubs. The decor has a retro “filling station” feel, with a vintage “Lubrication” mechanic’s sign at front and center.

It’s one of the most unique experiences in Napa County.  Go visit them. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  You won’t be sorry.

 

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