One of the most unique and tantalizing aspects of living in the East Bay is enjoying the abundance of regional, seasonal and artisanal cuisine and the WINE that so easily pairs with this bounty of creativity from local chefs. Although, not Napa Valley or even the up and coming Livermore Valley, you don’t need to travel very far to enjoy world-class wines from the area-especially during the warm summer months.
The Berkeley/Oakland/Alameda region offers a bevy of wineries even if due to their urban location, it’s impractical for these places to grow their own grapes. Instead, they purchase them from vineyards in the surrounding growing regions of Northern California. The grapes are then transformed into wonderful – often award-winning – wines in warehouses or other urban spaces.
Many wineries in the inner East Bay offer tasting by appointment only, but quite a few others have regular tasting hours. These include in Berkeley, Rosenblum Cellars and Rock Wall Wine Company in Alameda, and Irish Monkey Cellars and JC Cellars (among several others) in Oakland.
Below we grouped together wineries within walking distance of each other near the historic Jack London Square in Oakland and in the up and coming Gilman District in Berkeley. Grab your friends for some fun!
Jack London Square Wineries in Oakland:
Address: 200 2nd St, Ste 1, Oakland, b/t Jackson St & Alice St
|Thu||3 pm – 8 pm|
|Fri||3 pm – 8 pm|
|Sat||12 pm – 8 pm|
|Sun||12 pm – 6 pm|
A small boutique winery specializing in true food wines. The tasting room is child and dog friendly. The owners stated, “When we wanted to drink wines that were perfect complements to our local food—diverse flavors, honest ingredients, a sophisticated yet approachable style—we said: “We’ll have to make them ourselves; we’ll make them where the food is created—in the city; and we’ll do it together!” It’s not a traditional strategy—just a very American one. Today, we hand craft more than a dozen Urban Legend wines that each, uniquely, salutes the varied flavors of California and our home: Oakland, America’s most diverse city.
Urban Legend Cellars produces Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Rose, Pinot Noir, Grenache, Mourvedre, and more!
Address: 201 3rd St, Oakland
|Tue||5 pm – 9 pm|
|Wed||5 pm – 9pm|
|Thu||5 pm – 9 pm|
|Fri||3 pm – 9 pm|
|Sat||12 pm – 9 pm|
|Sun||12pm – 6 pm|
Brooklyn West Winery is an award-winning winery and tasting lounge in Jack London Square. The wines are carefully tended and hand-crafted by their award-winning winemaking team. The wines are artisanal, small batches that are uniquely expressive of place and individual style. The owners want you to experience a seriously unpretentious place to hang out and savor wine, to indulge your senses, and to give learning and experiencing more about wine and the winemaking process a swirl.
Address: 100 Webster St, Ste 100, Oakland
Sat: 1 pm – 6 pm
Sun: 1 pm – 6 pm
This burgeoning Jack London Square location holds considerable significance to the Tudal Family as it is just around the corner from the century-old Produce Market in Oakland (still in operation) where grandfather “Baci”, father Arnold, and I brought harvests for commercial sale dating back to 1932. Come for a visit and view our many growing and winemaking relics from the past along with our current award winning wines. Cerruti Cellars is also directly across the street from the soon-to-open Water Street Market, which will house artisanal food and wine purveyors.
Perk: Dog-friendly winery in Oakland near the ferry drop-off.
West Berkeley/Gilman District Area in Berkeley
Address: 805 Camelia St, Berkeley
b/t 6th St & 5th St
Saturday: 1 pm- 5pm
Sunday: 2 pm-5 pm
Lusu Cellars produces Heritage California and Rhone varietals. They source from dry-farmed and sustainable family-owned vineyards, using minimal winemaking practices to extract the essence of each vineyard. Their winemaking practices focus on showcasing the characteristics of the grapes and the earth they grow in. Lusu Cellars recently partnered with Whistler Vineyards. You can taste their well rounded finely crafted Pinot with grapes grown on their vineyard in Annapolis CA. They also make an incredible perfectly dry Viognier that is worth the spend ! (or purchase from their website.) This is a BerkHills special suggestion!
Fri-Sun 1 pm-6 pm
Donkey and Goat winery is proud to make “natural wines” which is a term that covers both the vineyard and the cellar. That is what distinguishes natural wine– the extension of natural farming philosophies that drive the practices for sustainable, organic & biodynamic farming into the cellar. They put their ingredients on the label: Grapes and minimal sulphur.
Address: 2323 B 4th St, Berkeley
Fri-Sun 1 pm-5 pm
Former garage winemakers, Bob Rawson and Fred Dick started Urbano Cellars in 2006 with the desire to produce food friendly wines that possess character and balance, using blends and more unique varietals such as Chenin Blanc, Grenache, Barbera and Sangiovese, Mourvedre and Temprinillo.
Address: 1300 5th St Berkeley, b/t Gilman St & Camelia St
Sat and Sun: 1 pm-5 pm
Specializing in organically and biodynamically grown grapes. The grape varietals offered by this winery will often appear unfamiliar. Mission. Lagrein. Valdiguié. Counoise. Carignan. Chenin Blanc. Souzão. Picpoul. And the familiar ones – Syrah, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Mourvèdre- are rendered in ways that make you wonder what exactly is in your glass. In short, it is as much an Apollonian education in the world of wine as it is an invitation to Dionysian debauchery and excess.
After you enjoy tasting the exquisite wines and find you would like to live closer and perhaps would like to know more about homes that are available in the Jack London Square or Gilman District area for sale, please contact us at Berkeley Hill Realty!